Trans, premed, English tutoring, life saving, sarcastic, 26 year old guy with a thing for spicy food, Iron Man, writing, and coffee.


Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.

Meg Cabot  (via fictionwritingtips)

Writing Advice Master Post



Hi!  I am Courtney Summers.  I write YA novels.  Since a lot of the questions I get asked on my Tumblr are about writing, I decided to make a master list of the advice posts I’ve made for convenience.  Yay, convenience!  I will update it for as long as I continue to get these types of questions.

Note:  the writing process is such a personal thing.  What works for one writer might not work for another, what works for one writer for one book might not work for them for the next… all of my writing advice is of the ‘your mileage may vary’ variety.  If what I am saying sounds impossible to you, that’s okay!  Listen to your gut!   You will figure out what you need to do. 

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reach out.  I hope I’ve offered something that’s helped you.

Make Words (Writing Tips)
On Writing for Girls
Doors Won’t Always Open for You
Thoughts on Reader Response to Character Trauma
Thoughts on Reviews
Characters Don’t Have to Be Likable

Don’t know where to begin
Lots of ideas, where to start?
Pinning down your first chapter
Unable to pick and stay on one idea

Worried your idea isn’t original or belongs to someone else
Outlining advice

You know your characters but don’t know what to do with them
Tips on making cardboard characters come to life
Writing unlikable female characters
Tips on writing unlikable characters
How much is too much with unlikable characters
On happy endings
Is it okay to have an unhappy ending?

Writing about things you haven’t experienced
When you start strong and the writing just dies
Staying focused
Dealing with writer’s block
Writing too much of one thing
Getting too attached to your characters, to the detriment of your work
How much action is too much action? (Balancing scenes.)

What font do you use when writing?
How I format my novels
How grammatically correct do novels have to be?
Punctuating Dialogue

How to get as excited about revision as you are about drafting
Can’t stop editing/unable to tell if your novel is ready
Revising an old story
Revision tips
Falling out of love with your work before you’re done
Brief strategy suggestions for major revisions
Should you share your work on Wattpad (or similar sites)?
Can’t stop making big, unexpected changes close to deadline

When you don’t enjoy writing anymore
Everyone says you’re not good enough
Suffering from self doubt/finding self belief

Having and coping with envy
Reading good books makes you feel inadequate as a writer
You’re close to done and convinced you suck

Worried about the people you love reading your work
Tips on managing insecurity
How to deal with negative reviews
Struggling to find inspiration after finishing a project
Just started, already overwhelmed
Dealing with a crippling fear of missing deadlines
When you love the story, but you’re bored of writing it
When you take a break before revising, return and dislike the work
Do you have to suffer emotionally to be an artist?
Can you be too young to take writing seriously?
"Good enough"

Should aspiring writers be nervous if they write in multiple genres
Exploring the next steps
Do you find an editor or an agent first?
Do you submit your first draft to agents? 
Tips on narrowing down your agent search
Tips on querying + deconstructing my query for CRACKED UP TO BE
Advice on querying and what age does/doesn’t have to do with it
More advice on querying and getting published
How to deal with rejections that feel personal
How much do authors make per book?
Choosing a pseudonym
Can you be an author if you have trouble meeting deadlines?
When querying, does it matter if you have won writing contests?
Does age matter?

Tips on writing short stories

Updated August 7th, 2014.

Thank you to readers/writers who have helped me with build this resource with their great questions and everyone who has shared it. I hope it continues to be helpful to writers at all stages of their journeys.



peter quill is like a dungeons and dragons character who has absolutely stacked diplomacy/bluff base skills, but the player has no idea wtf is happening at any given moment. no one should ever listen to peter quill and yet somehow exactly that keeps happening


I think that a huge problem is people who read comics and don’t understand the point of superheroes, which is to be the best version of yourself. You love Captain America? Well, you know what Captain America would never do? Go online anonymously and shit on a girl for having an opinion.

Brian Michael Bendis, dropping truth bombs in an interview with Vulture (via brynnasaurus)




People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.

Watch the powerful Verizon advertisement to really understand what a little girl hears when you tell her she’s pretty.

This is so important. Girls pay attention. Boys, if you are a brother, father, cousin of a girl, pay attention.



I am Iron Man.

                                T h e   s u i t   a n d   I   a r e   o n e .