Writer's Resources

6:30 AM

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Writing is so easy a kid could do it! Really. We learned this as kids. 


BUT

Writing stories is a craft. It takes time and dedication to learn how to properly craft stories that people actually enjoy reading. These are some of my favorite resources for improving your storytelling.

Blogs 


  • Story Fix
    • Larry Brooks also offers services as a fiction consultant, but his blog is one of my favorite resources. He even has a whole section of posts devoted to NaNoWriMo. This guide was far more useful to me after I had written my first novel and could reflect back on it. Brooks has completely changed how I write. 
  • Fiction University 
    • Janice Hardy's posts are always specific and useful from first idea to final draft. The weekly column "Real Life Diagnostics" accepts your pieces for an honest and thoughtful critique. 
  • The Kill Zone (or anything by James Scott Bell) 
    • The blog is focused on thrillers and mysteries, but the content is useful for all writers. There are a number of contributors to The Kill Zone talking about everything from daily writing habits to current events in the publishing industry. 
  • The Creative Penn 
    • Johanna Penn is my go to resource for learning the business of books. She covers a lot of self-publishing, but her blog covers topics for traditionally published writers too. 
  • Helping Writers Become Authors
    • If you check out nothing else, read this. K.M. Weiland breaks down huge and challenging topics into easily understood posts. Everything she posts is useful. I swear. Everything. Whether you are a newbie or advanced writer, she has you covered. 

Books



  • If You Want to Write - Brenda Ueland 
    • An inspirational rather than instructional writing book, Ueland helps new writers to get over the doubt and write something amazing. 
  • Plot Whisperer Workbook - Martha Alderson 
    • Alderson helps you to build / revamp your plot by breaking it down into chunks of suspense. She shows you how to build the tension through character driven plot. 
  • Write From the Middle - James Scott Bell
    • Short but PACKED with information, Write from the Middle tells you how to create a strong midpoint. Bell particularly focuses on the "mirror moment" within that midpoint scene to create an impact midpoint.
  • Emotion Thesaurus - Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi 
    • Available in ebook for only 4.99, this book is worth every penny. I often struggle to show my characters feelings rather than telling, and the Emotion Thesaurus is my savior. When reworking my scenes, I'll refer to this book for help describing my characters expressive reactions and emotions to convey their feelings more accurately. 

Twitter Chats 


There are a ton of literary twitter chats that occur each month. Just search for the hashtag at the right time / day and jump in the conversation.

  • #FutureChat - Fridays, 10am CST 
    • @PorterAnderson leads a discussion on the current and future publishing industry. 
  • #TWDTopic - Tuesdays, 8pm CST 
    • @WriterDiaries discusses all sorts of publishing and writing-related topics. 
  • #StoryCraft - 1st Sunday the month, 5pm CST 
    • Focuses the craft of fiction writing. Fiction writers of all experience levels and from any medium are always welcome. 
  • There are many, many more for your specific genre or category like #YALitChat, #MGLitChat, #K8chat, #NALitChat, #Fantasychat, and #SFFWrtCht. 

Conferences 

I love conferences & festivals in general. They are a great way to meet other writers and learn from the best. There are fantastic ones all over. The San Francisco Writers Conference was incredible, but you can find great ones in your home state as well.

Tips for picking a great conference:

  1. Check out the speakers list. Look for a mix of authors, agents, and editors. 
  2. Find out the ratio of panelists to attendees. You want to maximize your opportunity to meet those panelists. 
  3. Google reviews on last year's conference. Writers often post about their experiences there. Reach out to them and ask if they recommend it. 


What are your favorite writing resources? I want to learn more!




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