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#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop New Favorite Writing Resources - Setting, Word Choice, Revision (oh my!)

Happy June, Writers!

This month has been huge for me in the way of craft. In the midst of my revision, I decided to take some dedicated time to focus on a few of my weaker areas in terms of craft. These were areas I had identified during my read-through or areas in which I simply lacked confidence.

I decided for this month's blog hop to share my list of resources that have been helping me these past couple of months with the hope that they will prove useful to some other writers out there.

#1 Setting

The Rural Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)

The Urban Setting Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglish (click for Amazon page)
What's so great about them: Written in incredible detail, these two books showcase a vast majority of possible setting locations throughout your novel. It pinpoints the exact sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, sources of potential conflict, and more.
Let's say that one of your scenes takes pl…

10 Ways to Create a Badass Protagonist (like Buffy Summers)

When picturing dynamic and powerful protagonists, I don't know about you, but Buffy Summers is always on the top of my list. The invention of creator Joss Whedon and the protagonist of film-turned-television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Summersis a cultural icon of my generation.
When I heard that they were adapting Buffy into a rebooted TV series, I was inspired to stroll down memory lane for another character analysis. See the video below for my full summary of the Buffy Summers character arc. Through this analysis, I have pulled out a list of specific writing strategies employed throughout the series that writers can use to enhance their own characters.
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the character arc of Buffy Summers:
1. Even if your hero comes from a supernatural or unusual background, give them motivations and experiences that are universal that the audience can relate to. From breakups, to friendship squabbles, to fitting into her ever-changing identify, Buffy…

(Author Toolbox Blog Hop) The 3-Step Revision Formula: Mystery Solved!

Many, if not most writers probably experience the same sense of dread when they type those two little words at the commencement of their first draft: The End. Uh oh. Time to let those shiny-new-story butterflies die. Now you're in the pit of despair, better known as the revision stage.

When I began writing my first novel, the concept of self-editing was a complete mystery. My research told me that while one author would self-edit seven or eight different times, another author could be done after a second draft. Some would rewrite the entire thing over and over, while others could get by with bits and pieces. Books that I found on revision told me what to edit, but not how many times I could expect to repeat the process. I started to wonder if self-editing was completely subjective.

The first novel I wrote was definitely my experimental phase. I remember thinking back when I wrote my second draft how much better it was, only I had ended up editing out half of my book! The result w…

Camp NaNoWriMo: What it is, how it works, and how to reach your writing goals

I remember July of 2018 quite vividly. I had just started my YouTube channel in the hopes of putting myself "out there" in the writing community and meeting other writers in the process. What was unique about July is that I noticed many of the writers in the "authortube" community posting vlogs of something called Camp NaNoWriMo.

To be honest with you, I had no idea what this was. I had heard of people tossing around the words nano this and nano that. I knew it had something to do with novel writing and these writers online had a genuine enthusiasm for it, so my interest was peaked.

In case you aren't familiar, I'll start with the basics. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which happens every year in November. The intention is that writers can push themselves to achieve the goal of writing an entire novel (or, at least, 50,000 words) in just thirty days. People that would otherwise struggle to self-motivate and stay on course can be encourag…

(March #AuthorToolboxBlogHop) - Writing career feeling stagnant? Try something new!

I often look back on my days in college as the most productive time I have ever had when it comes to my writing. In college you are faced with both deadlines and feedback from your peers that can be encouraging, disheartening, or sometimes a little of both. In either event, it is usually constructive and you learn a great deal from it.

I have found since graduating that, without the peer group, my ability to push myself to that same level of productivity comes in waves. Sometimes I'm able to keep my self-imposed deadlines and strict writing routine, but it can often feel like I'm banging my head against the same impenetrable wall over and over, hoping with each impact to break through. I started to wonder if perhaps I was making the same decisions in my writing over and over and expecting different results.

Over the years, I've debated whether or not I would benefit from joining a local writer's group. Since I am such an introverted person, the thought of physically go…

(February AuthorToolBoxBlogHop) 100 Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Let us all rejoice for reaching the third week of February! I say rejoice because it's almost over and because February is the month I've come to refer to as the "blah" month. At least where I live, it's the month where the temperatures reach their most frigid and all that beautiful snow you were hoping for at Christmas time now finds its way to earth. Only now you don't get a White Christmas, you get slick roads without a merry excuse to stay home.

What I find most interesting at this time of year is how motivations begin to decline. Goals that a lot of us set at the end of last year begin to lose their luster. For me, February weather has an especially powerful effect on my creativity. This time of year, I just don't have the same kind of creative mojo and motivational energy that I feel in the warmer months.

When you think about it, it kind of makes sense. When the weather gets crummy we hole ourselves up for protection and as a result we can get a lit…