This week’s top writing advice from around the web for Jun. 25, 2023

Reading Time: 9 minutes
(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

I subscribe to more than 175 writing advice sites and gather the best posts for you every single Sunday. You can see all the previous writing advice of the week posts here and subscribe to the RSS feed for this writing advice series here (direct Feedly signup link).

The big news this week was the 2023 AuthorTube Writing Conference. You can check out the full schedule here, but here were my favorite sessions:

Keynote – Embracing Technology For Success by Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Advances in digital publishing during the last 15 years alone have provided authors with more opportunity and options than ever before. And while much of the buzz about AI and other rapid advances of digitally assisted creativity may spin into heated debates, one thing is certain: technology will continue to evolve, and authors must learn to navigate through this incredibly intense and powerful new world. Mark Leslie Lefebvre is the director of business development at Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is one of the leading publishing platforms that help authors publish their books to multiple platforms.

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

Video: How To Start Writing Fiction: 7 Tips For Early Success by Brandon McNulty

This is a good video to watch if you’re feeling discouraged about your writing. You’ll hear that you don’t need anyone’s approval in order to write, and that your writing will suck — but that’s okay. Early stories always suck. The fastest way to grow as a writer is to make as many mistakes as possible, so go ahead and make all the mistakes. Brandon McNulty writes supernatural thrillers, horror, and suspense. For more about him, check out his website, Writer Brandon McNulty is a YouTube channel with nearly 40,000 subscribers that offers writing advice.

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

What Do You Think Of The Virgin’s Promise Structure? by Oren Ashkenazi

The pros-and-cons of the “virgin’s promise” structure, which focuses on women’s self-expression in patriarchal societies. Oren Ashkenazi is a speculative fiction manuscript editor at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Seven Types Of Adult Antagonists For Young Heroes by Chris Winkle

Abuse is a sensitive topic; if not handled carefully, depictions reinforce harmful misconceptions. We shouldn’t include it as a quick and convenient means of creating obstacles for a character. Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief of Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

F*** The Cat by Tiffany Yates Martin

Writing systems like Save the Cat! are how you learn story craft and improve your knowledge, skill, and ability. It’s the equivalent of learning dance choreography, by running through it over and over. But when you sit down to write your story, you have to let all that go. The reason you put so much time into studying any pursuit is so that when the time comes to do the thing, you can forget about all that training and let muscle memory and intuition take over. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the founder of FoxPrint Editorial and author of the bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. FoxPrint Editorial offers online courses, workshops and presentations, and advice to authors.

Video: How To Sharpen Your Story With Kristina Stanley by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Many authors know the intimidating feeling of editing a first draft. Fictionary is a tool that can help alleviate that feeling. Guest Kristina Stanley, a puzzle-loving author and developer, talks about Fictionary and how it can help writers see a clearer narrative progression after that first draft is finished. Mark Dawson is a USA Today bestselling author who teaches courses about book production and marketing. Check out his website at James Blatch writes military thrillers. For more, check out his website, On the Self Publishing Formula show, Mark Dawson and James Blatch talk about building a career as a self-published author.

Podcast: Protagonist Failures by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

As much as you love your hero, maybe they shouldn’t succeed at absolutely everything they try. A little failure once in a while can add variety, not to mention tension and believability. Oren Ashkenazi is the speculative fiction manuscript editor, Chris Winkle is the founder and editor-in-chief, and Wes Matlock is a content editor at Mythcreants. Mythcreants is my all-time favorite writing advice site. Get their RSS feed here (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter @Mythcreants and on Facebook at @mythcreants.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Video: Marketing Strategies From Top Authors by Lindsay Buroker, Joseph R. Lallo, and Andrea Pearson

My favorite podcast was back this week, with updates on what these three authors were working on, the changes in the industry, and top marketing advice from other best-selling authors. Lindsay Buroker writes fantasy and science fiction. Follow her on Facebook at @Lindsay Buroker or on Twitter at @GoblinWriter. Joseph Lallo writes science fiction and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter at @jrlallo or on Facebook at @JosephRLallo. Andrea Pearson has published over 60 titles under three pen names, including four marketing books for authors. She teaches marketing through her courses and at conferences and conventions and is an instructor for WMG’s Business Master Class for Authors. 6 Figure Authors is a podcast and YouTube channel focusing on writing and publishing books, hosted by three speculative fiction authors.

New Self-Publishing Facts And Figures Released by Melissa Addey

More cool stats from the recent indie author income survey. For example, in traditional publishing, men out-earn women by 41.4%, but self-published female authors make 40.9% more than men. And LGBTQIA+ authors make 19% more than heterosexual authors. Another fun stat — 75% of all book sales were part of a series. Also, romance was the most popular genre for authors, at 25%, but accounted for an even bigger proportion of sales — 54%. Meanwhile, 18% of authors wrote sci-fi or fantasy, but these books accounted for 6% of sales. Ouch. Author Melissa Addey is the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence for the British Library, where she runs workshops for writers and other creatives who want to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Self Publishing Advice is the advice center of the Alliance of Independent Authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link).

Other business advice this week:

Am I missing any writing advice sites? Email me at [email protected] or leave a note in the comments below.


Edited by Melody Friedenthal

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and check out her latest videos on the Maria Korolov YouTube channel. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

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