December 14, 2021

Best of Write with Fey 2021 (& 2020)


For Writers:

10 Things All Authors Should Know

Writing About Minor Characters Who Are People of Color / Vlog

Traditional Publishing - Pros and Cons / Vlog

A Better Alternative to Goodreads - The StoryGraph 

Don't Shame Readers for What They Read (or Writers for What They Write)


Dear Publishers Interview / Jess Lee Talks About Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Antiracism in the Publishing Industry

Ad Astra Interview / Olivia and Fiona Discuss Banned Books and Intersectional Feminism

Interview with Esme Brett, Creator of #RomancestagramBall on Instagram  


What Happened When I Had a Free (Companion) eBook During My Blog Tour?

New Release Marketing Conclusions

Book Recommendations:

Diverse Children's Books and Adult Books on Anti-Racism

Graphic Novels, Picture Books, MG & YA Books, Adult Romance

Book Chat Fun - The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Indigenous History Month / Florida & Seminole History

Windover, A 7,000-Year-Old Pond Cemetery / Research

Causes to Support:

How to Respect and Support Indigenous Peoples

Causes and Donations - Books, Animals, and People / PART 1

Good Causes to Support / PART 2



Why did I write a story for Thorn in the Disaster Crimes series? 

Dear IWSGers - An Announcement

I realized I never did a "Best of" post for 2020, so here it is!


For Writers:

COVID-19 and Authors

Every Author's Path Is Their Own

Don't Make Light of Another Writer's Plight

Writers. Should. NOT. Tell. Other. Writers. What. Tense. Or. POV. To. Use. It's. NOT. Your. Choice.

Dear Author with No Reviews

Dear “I’m Still a Nobody” Author

Dialogue Advice / VLOG

Do I Need a Website / Vlog 

What Should You Know About the Writing Life? / Vlog

Bad Things Must Happen / Vlog


Paid Book Blitz Results


Write a Letter to Your Fear / Except from Keep Writing with Fey

How Tarot Cards Helped with my Depression


NOT INADEQUATE / A Post about Self-Defense and Abuse

Real-Life Memories in Flaming Crimes / Vlog

A Man Like Donovan / Vlog

Writing About Pregnancy and Intimacy in FROZEN CRIMES

Whom Would You Want To Be Stuck with During a Blizzard?

Why Did I Write a Prequel to 30 Seconds? / Vlog

5 Secrets about 30 Seconds / Vlog

December 06, 2021

5 Tropes about Mental Illness You Need to Stop Writing / Guest Post By Natalie Dale, MD / A Writer's Guide to Medicine


5 Tropes about Mental Illness You Need to Stop Writing


By Natalie Dale, MD


Tropes exist for a reason. They are familiar, comfortable, and can provide a shared vocabulary with readers. In a skilled writers’ hands, tropes can be deployed or subverted in unique and original ways. But when it comes to mental illness, there are a few tropes that, even in skilled hands, have the potential to be quite damaging. This list is by no means exhaustive–I didn’t even begin to touch on tropes regarding specific conditions, such as ADHD, Autism, OCD, Schizophrenia, and Tourette’s–but it contains some of the most damaging and prevalent tropes regarding mental illness. In this post, we’ll discuss five prevalent tropes regarding mental illness and how to avoid them in your writing.

5)   Evil ECT

“Just lie here, bite down on this strap while I stick these electrodes to your head.”


“But I don’t want–”


“I promise it won’t hurt a bit.”


*Flips switch* *muffled screams*


In this trope, a character is strapped onto a table, electrodes placed on their head. Without warning or consent, electricity floods through them. Their limbs jerk and they grimace or cry out in pain. It’s horrifying to watch or read about. And it’s not how ECT works, at least not anymore.


Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a procedure that uses electricity to treat serious mental illnesses, ranging from treatment-resistant depression to catatonia. It is an incredibly effective treatment that can alleviate symptoms in as little as six sessions, or about three weeks. By comparison, most medications for depression take at least six weeks to take effect.


The stigma surrounding ECT comes from the early days of the procedure, when higher doses of electricity were used, and without anesthesia. Back then, side effects could include everything from permanent memory loss to fractured bones due to the incredible strength of the convulsions caused by the high voltage. Invented in the 1930s, the procedure as it was performed back then was barbaric at best. Then again, during that same time, doctors were touting cigarettes as a “healthy choice.” Medicine has come a long way since then.       


Nowadays, people receiving ECT do so under general anesthesia, as they would for a surgical procedure. They’ll be given a muscle relaxant to minimize convulsions, a mouth guard to prevent them from biting their tongue, and supplemental oxygen through a face mask. Throughout the procedure, their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen levels are closely monitored. The electrical activity of the brain is also measured using an electroencephalogram, or EEG.