Hello all, and welcome to my last post of 2016! This is the first of two blog posts where I plan to share some of my favorite writing resources. These may take the form of books, websites, videos, or podcasts. A writer doesn’t have to follow every piece of advice out there. If they did, they would probably end up extremely confused. The best thing to do is to find the pieces of advice that work for you at that time. People and projects improve and change with time, and a trusty plotting tool that you used for three novels might not work for your fourth. So here are some of my favorites, I hope you will find them as helpful as I did.
Writing Magic (Book) – Gail Carson Levine’s book Writing Magic was my first writing book. I found it in a Barnes and Noble the summer before my first NaNoWriMo. It’s a fabulous book for young writers. It covers topics like starting your book, forming realistic characters, setting, plot, writing groups, humor, and more. The book has a solid overview of the art of writing, and each section comes with a writing prompt to practice what the reader has learned. I would highly recommend as a gift for a budding author, or as a good book for going back to basics.
Wonderbook (Book & Website) – I received this book for my birthday earlier this year, and so far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. The mixture of exquisite illustrations and instructive text makes Wonderbook distinctive. The information is good for writers of all levels and experience and it’s beautifully put together, witty, and instructive. This writing book has an associated website with pictures, prompts, and more.
Writing Excuses (Podcast) – I found out about Writing Excuses through one of Brandon Sanderson’s goodreads.com blog posts and I was hooked. The four main podcasters, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Marie Robinette Kowal, and Howard Taylor are funny and well-versed in the craft of writing. They each come from a slightly different background in the craft (long novels, horror, historical fiction, short story, comedy, comics, etc) which gives the podcast a variety of views that is often essential for good writing advice. Guest podcasters give another layer of variety to the episodes and often help highlight a certain point. I started listening with Season 10, when they went through the year along the process of writing a story from the first spark to final publication. Other episodes are extremely valuable as well, with a range of topics. The latest season has provided me with a lot of information about subplots and putting multiple layers in a story. I like that the episodes are shorter (15 minutes) so I don’t have to set aside a huge time commitment to listen.
Hope you enjoy these resources as much as I do. Be on the lookout for a special post on January 1st with the first part of the Quote of the Day series. The second part of my Writing Resources will appear on the first Friday of 2017 as a return to normal programming. Happy New Year!
All Image Credit to Amazon.com