Tales to Tide You Over - Margaret McGaffey Fisk

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For Writers

I was introduced to the Internet (after being a computer user for many years) when I discovered Holly Lisle's Forward Motion. She passed the mantle to Lazette Gifford some years ago, and the philosophy stayed focused on paying it forward. In my own efforts, I have tried to do the same. Below, you will find links to some of the sites I find beneficial and/or frequent.

Writing Articles

I have written many writing articles and had a chapter published in a non-fiction writing book. One of my articles in specific, Footsteps to a Novel, has been frequently linked and was named article of the month by a Romance Writers of America chapter. So if you're looking for some new approaches, you might want to wander through the non-fiction section of my bibliography. Non-Fiction Publications.

Writing Publications

Author's Grimoire My essay on surviving, managing, and learning from your rejection letters is one chapter in The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy Volume 3: The Author's Grimoire available from Dragon Moon Press.


Order a copy at your local bookstore, or from:



Barnes and Noble


Writing Blog Posts

I have been using my LiveJournal account to talk about my writing process for some years, and when I moved my blog to my website, I imported all those posts as well. These include notes about the various projects I'm working on, what struggles I've had, what went really well, and what made me laugh. Some of the posts are so far in my past that they seem alien even to me. It's an interesting look into my journey and something I could not recreate if I were writing them now. However, because I discuss projects in process, I do have to warn you that there might be some spoilers hidden within. The posts are labeled with the projects so you can avoid specific ones you don't want spoiled if you still want to see what's there. The link is on the sidebar of every page, or you can go here: Writing Blog.

Writing Links

I realized a while back that the links I was compiling in my favorites could be useful to others as well. Being a programmer as well as a writer, I put together a script that converted my links into something I could post on the web. I attempt to keep them updated as much as I can, adding new and verifying the older ones still work, but I'm only one person. However, there's a lot of useful information to be had here: Writing Links

Forward Motion

Forward Motion for Writers

Forward Motion is an online writing community with more than 4,000 active members. The stated goal is to help writers along the road to publication with no distinction as to genre (with the exception of erotica so parents of the younger members can consider the site a safe place). In my tenure, I've seen many writers (myself included) go from unpublished to published. I've seen many more complete their first novels, or even just learn how to be in touch with their writer selves.

The site includes:

  • discussion boards on pretty much every topic you can think of, though the amount of activity in the smaller boards varies based on whether someone has a question or comment to make.
  • critique boards (both private and open to site members) where members can get feedback on their writing. These are all password protected to ensure no first publication rights are endangered, and posts are deleted once the critiquing is complete. None of these are searchable boards.
  • a chat engine for live interaction with other writers, word wars when you need that extra push, brainstorming sessions for when you're stuck, or just a friendly conversation with someone who doesn't look at you strangely when you talk about the voices in your head.
  • forum classes to help you improve your writing skills or topic knowledge.
  • site tools for tracking your WIP progress.
  • pips (small gifs) to display your achievements on your triumphs page.
  • and many other features, including a record of agent turnaround data.

Membership is free, though donations are welcome. Come check it out.

Online Writing Workshop

Online Writing Workshop

The Online Writing Workshop is a haven for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. The core is a critiquing engine with strict rules that govern participation so that in order to post beyond your first one, you must also critique. Once you get the hang of it, it's relatively easy to accrue the right number of posts, but by then, the social aspects take over to discourage worthless feedback.

As a sidebar to the critiquing site, there is an associated listserv where community members, former members, and folks who are not part of the Workshop but are interested in checking it out, discuss all manner of writing topics.

The Workshop is not free, but the annual charge is low and the benefits gained are high.

Holly Lisle's Writing Aids

As I mentioned above, Holly was a big influence on my pay-it-forward mentality. Though I've always loved helping people, through Holly, I've found new ways to do so. Her site, HollyLisle.com, is very informative with a number of articles about various writing topics.

If you have a little spare cash, you might also be interesting in these offerings:

Holly's Shop

Here, you will find books by Holly and other writers that can help you develop your writing skills and topic understanding as well as some that are there for the entertainment.

How to Think Sideways

Holly is a multi-published author with a knack for sharing her methodology in a way that makes sense, and is helpful, to writers of all levels. Thinking Sideways is a look at the whole picture from teasing out solid ideas through writing, editing, and shopping them around all the way through to publication contracts. No matter how far along the path you are, you're likely to find something here that can help improve your process.

How to Revise Your Novel

If you've written a novel and are at a loss for how to turn that into a submission-ready manuscript, How to Revise Your Novel gives step-by-step instructions for identifying and resolving any issues the novel might have.

Note: These are my affiliate links. If you'd prefer, just go to HollyLisle.com and Holly has links there.

All contents copyright Margaret M. Fisk ©2009-2024