Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Writerly Resources

Until recently I didn't have much in my writers toolbox. I read a lot of books, I'm an English major, what else is there? I had the blinders on.

Then last month I had my eyes opened wide. There are so many things out there that I had no idea I needed!

Think of it like this: you up and decide to build a skyscraper. First you need to learn about architecture and physics and safety and costs. You need materials, you need to find people to help you, you need to get investors. If you went into building this skyscraper blindly you wouldn't get very far. It would be falling apart, dangerous and possibly the shortest "skyscraper" ever to bear the name.

Writing is the same. You need to do your research, you need support, you need practice.

Here is a list of resources that I couldn't do without.




I randomly clicked on a link to this site and I am so glad I did. This is a blog about writing, books and the industry. The lovely ladies at the Pub are authors, agents, editors and book sellers. Every week day they dispense advice and insight and recommendations. An absolutley invaluable wealth of knowledge. Love love love.



I credit this collection of essays with altering my mindset on writing. From brain storming, to drafting, to editing, to publishing its all covered here. Laini (one of my favorite authors/people I have never met but I will do anything to remedy that) describes everything in a way that absolutely sets my mind on fire. Ever read one of her books? Yeah, its more of that poetic majestic goodness. Her writing fills me with a burning need to write. Literary aphrodisiac???




Here is where support comes in. If you write YA, plan to do so or just really love YA you need to join this site. Whether you're looking for a critique partner, need help on a tricky scene, want information on contests or want to promote your blog its all here. I am really excited for the day I get to participate in some of their agent contests. Every one is really nice and helpful and super talented. Join up immediately!



Admittedly when I first discovered this blog I was scared out of my freaking mind! Who knew queries were so hard and met with such judgement? I sure was blind. But the more I read the better I felt about queries in general. People submit queries to be critiqued and are given chances to revise until its perfect. Being able to watch that progression really helps me wrap my mind around it. I'll no doubt be on this site an excessive amount when I write my first query.


BOSS

If Laini's how to is a little too abstract for you or if you just want another opinion this has you covered. Ness is a genius award winning writer for adults, teenagers and children. He sets out the steps in a very logical and straightforward manner. When I saw that his daily writing goal is only 1000 words I felt relieved. It is always nice to know that the talented and successful people find it hard too right? His discussion of voice and pacing I also found very helpful. Another great tool.



Okay, okay, I'll admit it: this is the only book on writing that I have read cover to cover. Eep. I know, I'm naughty like that. Come on guys its Stephen King! The literal king of our diverse literary world. Part of the reason I love this book so much is because its part memoir, his life was so interesting (he lived in the same town that I go to college!). The stories that relate to his writing and his journey to becoming Stephen Freaking King will connect with everyone. I take his advice very seriously. 

What are your favorite writerly resources? Is there something that completely changed your outlook on writing? What couldn't you do without?

20 comments:

  1. My two favorite books on writing are "How to Write a Damn Good Novel" by James Frey and "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman. I also highly recommend "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass.

    I am so "old school." I buy books instead of surfing the web.

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    1. Ain't nothin' wrong with good ol' books :D

      Thanks for the suggestions Michelle!

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  2. I loved 'On Writing'. It's a great book on it's own, and it introduced me to the canonical 'Elements of Style'.

    You should definitely check out bookblogs as well (http://bookblogs.ning.com/). It's another networking site, and I've met quite a few people through there.

    Oh, also check out 'Evil Editor'. It's another query critique blog (http://evileditor.blogspot.com/)

    I'm checking out the rest of your links since I'm a total noob at this, too. Great post!

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    1. Ooohh great suggestions Nickie! I stopped over at Evil Editor once or twice but found it confusing for some reason. I will have to give it another chance.

      Bookblogs sounds right up my ally! I will have to find you on there :D

      Thanks as always!

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  3. Yay for YALitChat! I love it there. It's such a helpful group and I've met so many great writers.

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  4. Well, since the passing of Ray Bradbury, a lot of folks have been talking about his book on writing, Zen and the art of writing.

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    1. A very apt suggestion, thanks Catherine!

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  5. Awww yay! Thanks so much for including Pub Crawl! <3

    And Kid Lit (http://kidlit.com/) is a FANTASTIC resource as well, especially if you're writing for younger audiences (like YA)!

    Oh, and I can't forget about Inky Girl! One of the BEST for YA and MG writers! (http://inkygirl.com/)

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    1. Heck yes I included Pub Crawl, its tied with Not For Robots as my fave!

      Thanks for the links you can never have enough tools <3

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  6. Yeah for YALITCHAT and QueryShark. That snarky lady had taught me so much.

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    1. The snark and the fear she instills are the best parts!

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  7. Thank you for the website tips! I had not heard of many of them! Will keep me busy :)
    I went to a great lecture by C. Hope Clark, author of Lowcountry Bribe and also creator of long running website FundsForWriters.com. It gives good prompts for contests and grants and publishers etc. It comes to my email each week and gives me a ton of momentum. She is also author of a great book The Shy Writer. This week she wrote about grammar and how it cannot be shortcutted (did I invent that word?). Last week she wrote about how hard it is to say you're a writer no matter what pubbed or unpubbed stage you're in. Anywho, I like her.
    I also like the Ruth Lauren Stevens site and Miss Snark's First Victim...they have contests and giveaways and great advice and attitudes. Oh! And Literary Rambles, I like their agent spotlights. It gives good tips about personalizing queries per agent.
    Must actually write now!
    ~www.gregorific.com

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    1. So many great things! I will be sure to look all those up :)

      PS shortcutted is a word, you're a writer, an inventor, stand up to the MAN!

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  8. Hi Megan,
    Found your blog through the Book Blogs group and I'm following your blog through GFC. My blog is at: http://365-books-a-year.blogspot.com/ Let me know if you want to exchange Twitter follows, too.

    This is a great list of resources. I'm not a writer and I don't have any plans to submit a book, but I'm planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I make up individualized stories for my kids- instead of just reading books they each get their own personal stories. I wanted to get them all written down for them. So, a few of these links look helpful. Thanks.

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  9. Hey, thanks for stopping by!

    If you're not a big writer I suggest reading Not For Robots first. It is very inspiring and lays it out nice and pretty.

    Good luck with NaNo, I will be joining you :D

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  10. Thanks, great sites!
    I'll be doing Nano this year too. I must complete something, I have four unfinished stories languishing on several computer files. I must start and finish something. I must!

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    1. I am exactly the same way! My goal is to finish my WIP by September or October. There are some people who write 5 books a year, it only takes them 3 weeks! That is NOT me.

      We could be NaNo buddies and spur eachother on :D

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  11. I'm not a writer at all, Megan. I looked at the Not for Robots site and it looks like it has some good tips. About how long does it take to write 1,667 (or so) words since that's the daily word count needed, right? About how many hours does that take? Does it help to have an outline for the book in advance?

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    1. Those are great questions!

      Whats suggested is to do some brain storming/plotting the week before November (Laini's attic notebook idea would be great!). You want some idea what to write but try not to completely flesh it out beforehand. The NaNo creator wrote a book "No Plot No Problem!" which would also be a good resource.

      It takes me about 2 hours to write 1667 words on average. If you are really in the zone it may only take an hour or an hour and a half.

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