Saturday, January 31, 2015

List of Useful Resources For Writers

I've been quiet lately. The holidays came and went very quickly, and now I'm embroiled in a new semester at the college. I've also been starting the time-consuming and terrifying process of querying my novel. For the uninitiated, this means that I had to polish up a query blurb or pitch and come up with a short synopsis and go through yet another polishing pass on my novel.

And of course, there's the process of compiling a list of agents who appear to be interested in representing the kind of novel I've written (a secondary world fantasy that is stand alone but definitely looking to be first of at least three, and at the upper end of the recommended length for first-time authors).

This last is more time-consuming than one might think. Each agent has their own submission guidelines. Some want just a letter, some want a letter and a few pages, some want x number of chapters, some want a synopsis with the query and or pages and so on. So checking and double checking to make sure you know who wants exactly what is very important.

I've sent just one small stack so far. I'm taking the go in small batches approach for several reasons. One, if it turns out I have a bum query letter or that the opening of my novel is not as appealing as I and my beta readers hope, I can reconsider before I've blown through all my preferred choices. Two, January isn't the best time of year for querying, both because of the backlog many agents have after the Holidays, and because November is NaNoWriMo, so I'm guessing many of them get a pile of unpolished, 50,000 word manuscripts during December and January. There's that New Year's Resolution thing too.

So my plan is to wait for whatever feedback (or lack thereof) I get from this round and revise my approach as seems appropriate.

These past few years have gone by quickly. Time flies when you're writing and editing, I guess. I've learned a lot, both from the two online writing communities I participate in, and from the Cascade Writer's Workshops I've attended. I've also amasses a pile of web sites I've consulted over the years. I figured it might be helpful to create a blog entry that places links to these in one place for easy reference. There's an emphasis on fantasy writing, since that's my primary interest, but many of the sites and blogs I've linked are aimed at all writers.

As always, if anyone has any recommendations, let me know, and I'll add them.

Hope everyone's 2015 is prosperous, healthy and happy.

List of Writing Sites I've Found Helpful


Grammar, Punctuation etc.

Point of View, Narration, Dialog, and Voice

Present and Past Tense in Writing

Character Creation

World Building

Process and General Writing Advice

Giving and Receiving Critiques

Online Writing Communities

Cliches and Tropes

Novel Length


Researching Agents and Publishers

Author Blogs

Social Issues in Writing and Fandom

Books I've Found Helpful

Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress
Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood
Description by Monica Wood
On Writing by Stephen King
Plot by Ansen Dibdel
Rivet Your Readers With Deep PoV by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham
Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
The 10% Solution by Ken Rand
The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease
Violence, a Writer's Guide by Rory Miller
Writing Fight Scenes by Marie Brennan
Writing the Fight Right by Alan Baxter
Writing the Other, a Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward