Fine-Tune Your Writing Series: Resources

Quill pen and letters

In the second installment of this series, I will address the importance of…utilizing resources to help you learn, and I’m not just talking about the ol’ dictionary and thesaurus, valuable as they are. This seems to be an obvious piece of advice, I know, but I’m continually surprised at how many writers ignore it. In this day and age, no one has any excuse for not accessing resources to help them learn about good writing. If you’re reading this, it means you have an internet connection, and that is your doorway to the world, regardless of your means. There are free tutorials that expound on every aspect of writing, from the seed of the first idea, to navigating the wilds of the publishing industry and everything in between. There are authors’, agents’, and editors’ blogs by the thousands. There are myriad forums and groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, among others, where industry people gather for discussion. Think of the web as a big stadium full of people. You only need to drift through the crowd striking up conversations, announcing what your specialty is, and asking for directions to find your corner of the stadium where your kind of people are meeting.

I’d like to recommend two of my favorite resources. There are so many good ones, it’s hard to pinpoint a couple, but these are my favorites. The Train-of-Thought Writing Method, a book by Kathi Macias, in which she likens the process of writing to the parts of a train and the journey that the train takes. It’s directed towards a high school audience, but I find it to be full of very helpful analogies and written clear as a bell. Give me facts and advice in a simple-to-understand scenario and that works for me.

The other one is a website, www.novel-writing-help.com. I can’t even describe (yes, even though I’m an author) how much I’ve learned from this site. Just go to the site map, start at the top, and start reading all of the articles. There’s not a useless one in the bunch. It really is true that you don’t know what you don’t know. You need resources to enlighten you as to what you need to learn.

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