This week’s top writing advice from around the web for May. 21, 2023

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

I subscribe to more than 150 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).

Productivity, mood management, and battling the demons inside

6 Questions To Get To The Heart Of Your Story by C. S. Lakin

To tell a story with heart, one that is timeless and unforgettable, you have to delve deep into your own heart and feelings. C. S. Lakin is a writing coach, workshop instructor, award-winning author of over 30 books, and blogger at Live Write Thrive. Her Writer’s Toolbox series of books teach the craft of fiction, and her online video courses at Writing for Life Workshops have helped more than a thousand writers. She also works as a book copyeditor and does more than 200 critiques a year for writers, agents, and publishers in six continents. I’ve been reading her advice for a few years now and she is awesome. If you want more advice from her, follow her on Twitter at @LiveWriteThrive and on Facebook at @C.S.Lakin.Author. Live Write Thrive is her writing advice site. She’s also the author of the eight-book The Writer’s Toolbox Series. Follow her on Twitter @LiveWriteThrive. Also check out her other site, The Self Publisher.

Active Questions And Productivity by Sue Bradford Edwards

Usually, at the end of the day, we ask ourselves, “Did I get enough writing done?” And, for me at least, the answer is usually “no.” That’s not a very productive question. It sets you up for guilt and a feeling of being overwhelmed, and you’re even less likely to do anything the next day. This article suggests that we ask our selves more productive questions instead. The author recommends asking “How hard did I try to get my writing done today?” I like this idea. Here are a couple of other suggestions: “What did I do today that helped me be productive?” “What did I do today that helped me be a better writer?” Sue Bradford Edwards is the author of over thirty books for young readers. To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer’s Journey. Women on Writing’s The Muffin blog offers advice about writing. For more advice like this, follow them via their RSS feed (direct Feedly link here) or on Twitter at @ or on Facebook at @wowwomenonwriting.

How To Harness The Power Of Distraction Free Writing by Daphne Gray-Grant

Some great advice here on how to get more done. For example, one tip is that if you fail to make your writing goal for the day, instead of doubling your goal for the next day to catch up, cut your next day’s goal in half, instead. Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing coach, author of Your Happy First Draft, and host of The Write Question show on YouTube. Publication Coach offers books, courses, videos, and one-on-one coaching for authors. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @pubcoach or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Podcast: Making Art From Life — Mental Health For Writers With Toby Neal by Joanna Penn

What are some of the common mental health issues that writers face? How can we use writing to help us process our problems, and turn our life into art through our books? Author and mental health therapist Toby Neal shares her thoughts and tips. Joanna Penn has been sharing writing and publishing advice since 2008 at The Creative Penn and is the author of Successful Self-Publishing and many other writing and publishing advice books. She also has one of my favorite writing advice podcasts, and you can subscribe to it on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or Stitcher. The Creative Penn offers articlesvideosbookstools, and courses for independent authors.

Rejection: What Is Really In Control? by Kristen Lamb

Some tips to help you develop a thick skin to better deal with rejection. Mystery author Kristen Lamb is also the author of the social media guide book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World as well as We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. Follow her on Twitter at @KristenLambTX or on Facebook at @authorkristenlamb. If you want more advice like this, follow the Kristen Lamb blog via its RSS feed (direct Feedly link).

Other motivational advice this week:

The art and craft of writing

Dialogue Writing Examples From Top Books Vs AI by Jordan Kantey

Dialogue writing examples from popular reads and AI teach us interesting things about what makes human-written dialogue better, juicier with voice, viewpoint, and exhibiting balance between elements. A must-read post for anyone interested in staying ahead of AI when it comes to their writing. Jordan Kantey is a writer, marketer, community manager and product developer for Now Novel. You can find out more about him on his LinkedIn page. Now Novel is a company that offers writing sources, coaching, and editing. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link) or follow them on Twitter at @nownovel or on Facebook at @nownovel or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Five Ways To Cultivate A Viewpoint Character’s Personality by Chris Winkle

A few thoughts and feelings can make stale narration feel much deeper. For example, when a character encounters something new, you can evoke associations with past events. When they walk into a room, what do they notice? Do they immediately zero in on unattended children, or focus how people are dressed? And since everyone interprets things differently, you can use that to show aspects of their personality and backstory. 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.

Podcast: Elemental Magic by Oren Ashkenazi, Chris Winkle, and Wes Matlock

This episode is about elemental magic systems — how many elements a system should have, how to choose them, and why everyone expects four element systems to have a secret fifth element. 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.

5 Things Your Readers Need From You by Andrea Lundgren

Key things to include in the opening of your book to help your readers. Andrea Lundgren writes sci-fi and fantasy. For more from Lundgren, check out her website, A Writer’s Path is an advice site for writers. If you want more advice like this, subscribe to their RSS feed (direct Feedly signup link), on Twitter at @TheRyanLanz and on Facebook at @AWritersPath.

Other writing advice this week:

The business side of writing

Avoid The Coming Plandemic by Brian Jud

No, this isn’t an article about Covid conspiracy theories. It’s about how the lack of planning will hinder the ability to find readers, no matter how good the writing is. The article also gives some useful tips for creating a marketing strategy. Brian Jud is the executive director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and Beyond the Bookstore. Follow him on Twitter at @bookmarketing. Self Published Author is a publishing advice site from Bowker, the agency responsible for book ISBNs.

Video: Accessibility For Authors by Mark Dawson and James Blatch

Guest experts Jeff Adams and Michele Lucchini talk about accessibility, and what you can do to cater to a larger reading audience. 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.

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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