Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Great Resources for Apiring Writers


Are you an aspiring author? A lover of words, stories and characters? A daydreamer? A creative soul more comfortable in fictional worlds than reality?

This post is for you.

Don't Let Life Stop You From Writing Your Book!

Some of us dream from childhood of writing a novel. Some are called to it later down the road. The moment you decide to write a book life will send every conceivable interference to try and stop you. From the major stuff (divorce, bankruptcy, illness, death) to the all the little daily demands (family, friends, work, errands and social media).

But these are the moments when you need to charge forward with more resolve than ever.

I've always wanted to be a published author. It wasn't until 1997 that I began pursuing it seriously (with lapses in between when road blocks got in the way). Although it took me longer than I would have liked to publish, I always kept writing and working on craft.

I'd like to share my Top Favorite writing resources with you. There are many, many phenomenal resources available, which is why I've held off putting together a list in the past, but here are my Must Reads and You Gotta Check Outs:

3 Books


If you ask me, these days too much focus is being placed on platform and branding. So much energy goes into marketing strategy that we're not giving as much thought to the most important aspect of writing:

CRAFT

One of the things I appreciated most about Stephen King's On Writing is that he said you don't have to be a literary author to care about language, craft and the art of telling stories.







Hooked by Les Edgerton is about one thing and one thing only. Grabbing your readers' attention! In today's world of gadgetry and internet it is absolutely crucial that you hook your reader from page one and keep them on the line.

This cute little book is filled with practical (yet often overlooked) advice. I almost wish it was required reading before anyone could hit publish on a self-published book.






Now that the King of commercial fiction has taught us about overcoming roadblocks, plotting, revising and the overall aspects of good storytelling... And now that we know how to grab our readers attention (along with avoiding the no-nos), it's time to Edit!

Oh boy!

Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is another book I wish was required reading before self-publishing. There's only so much a copy editor can do and it's up to authors to get their manuscript into the best shape possible before passing it on for professional help.


Online Writing Workshops
 
My #1 favorite: Gotham Writers' Workshops
 
It's spendy, but you pay for what you get. Incredible support, advice and critiques from award-winning and bestselling writing instructors and feedback from a talented group of online classmates.
 
Gotham is the Harvard of online writing workshops.
 
National Novel Writing Month
 
You have some resources now. The only thing left is to Write Your Book!
 
Most people have heard of NaNoWriMo these days. For anyone who ever dreamed of completing a book, this is the most Fun, Motivational (free) writing event ever conceived... and it takes place NEXT month.
 
To get the most out of this month, I highly recommend first reading founder Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days.
 
I read this quick guide in March 2005 and was so inspired afterwards that I did my own NaNoWriMo the very next month (April 2005), completing my first full length novel - a defining life moment that led to fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a full-time fiction writer.
 
It's Your Turn
 
Check out these resources, block out the distractions - the rest is up to you!

4 comments:

  1. These are some great resources. Hooked sounds like a great read because no matter what readers won't read a boring story. Well crafted or not. Nano is definitely a great resources and I have participated in the last few years and it's a joy.

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    1. Boring is the kiss of death.

      Good to see you, Sheena-kay. :)

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  2. I sure hope I'm ready to do NaNoWriMo in November! Feeling hopeful...

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    1. Even if you get 20,000 words out of it, that's 20,000 words! Good luck. :D

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