Skip to main content

(Author Toolbox Hop) Most Helpful Writing Resources


Hello Everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I'm thrilled to have you.

Today I wanted to share my favorite resources as they relate to writing, structure and inspiration. Everyone needs a little help now and then, no shame in it. In my opinion, the wisest person is always asking how they can improve.

Whether you're just starting out writing that book you've always dreamed of, or maybe you're a seasoned writer who needs a pick-me-up for their current WIP. These resources are what have helped me tremendously over the years, through various stages of my writing both in pre-planning and actually executing the dang thing.

#1: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell




If you don't try any of the other resources I mention, at least try this one. Even if you think you know all there is to know regarding story structure and plot, this book has something to offer you. This book is immensely helpful not only in structuring your novel, but so many other things ranging from improving your conflict, to raising the stakes, finding story ideas, and writing your character arc. This book is a really an A-Z guide on how to write a novel.

I first read it back in college. It now has at least thirty dog-eared sections as I have consistently picked it back up every time I get stuck in one of the stages of my current project. Buy it. Read it. It definitely won't collect dust on your shelf, I assure you.

#2: How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell




Another one by James Scott Bell. Okay, you caught me. The majority of the books I have on writing were written Mr. Bell and for good reason. His writing is so clear and to the point, that you don't ever find yourself wondering when he's going to finish his thought. I don't know about you, but I hate that.

This book is a very easy read that you could get through on the plane, or sitting through a soccer practice. Short and sweet, it offers a variety of examples of dialogue that you can use to move your plot forward.

Yes. Dialogue to move the plot forward. Can you imagine?

If you're currently struggling with dialogue that just doesn't seem to mean anything or feels dull, then give this book a try.


#3: On Writing by Stephen King




I've actually read this book twice now. I mean, really, if you're going to read advice on writing from anyone, wouldn't you want to hear it from one of the most successful writers out there? One of the things I love about this book (there are many) is the fact that even though I don't particularly enjoy suspense novels, it doesn't matter. This is a book by a writer, for writers, and it touches on so much more than genre, but life balance and how to get your head in the place it needs to be in for success.

Of course, Stephen King gives some witty anecdotes about writing sins, but one of the sections I particularly loved is the part where he talks about how he used to put his writing desk in the center of his office, like a trophy, until he later realized that writing isn't about the glory of the craft itself. Writing is about reflecting life. And if you don't spend enough of your time actually living, you can't possibly do well in your writing. He now has his writing desk pushed back into the corner of the room.

If you're having a hard time getting your mindset right, I highly recommend this book.

#4: Audio Books


This one isn't terribly specific, I know, but it is one I really wanted to mention. On my Youtube channel, I talk a lot about my reading journey over the past year. I finally realized how important it was to spend an equal amount of time reading as I did writing. If you're interested in hearing all the points I made as to why, you can watch my video here.

So why audio books? A lot of writers use the excuse that they just don't have enough time in the day to read, so what little time they do have, they want to focus on writing. When I shifted my focus over to reading, I finally tried audio books for the first time where I wasn't driving a long distance. I used to think that I wouldn't be able to pay attention, or that I would get bored. Let me tell you how wrong I was.

Audio books are a great way of freeing up your hands to do household activities while still reaping the benefits of indulging in a story. It was through listening to an audio book that I came up with several ideas for my current story plot, including beefing up some of my conflict and exchanges between the characters that would bring them closer together emotionally.

Try it and see for yourself.

#5 Podcasts


Again, not so specific here, but something that became very present in my life this year was podcasts. For the same reason that audio books are so available to you, I love that podcasts can easily be downloaded to your device and listened to at your convenience. 

There are SO many categories of podcasts out there, it's incredible. Simply search the keywords, "Author," or "Writing," you will find hundreds of helpful resources out there for any subject in which you are looking for help. From literary agents sharing their experience and expertise, to interviews with successful novelists, to fan fiction writers and book lovers (who doesn't want to learn more about their target audience...?). 

If you haven't hopped on board the podcast train, I highly recommend it. It's easy, it's free, and you can learn so much from the thousands of amazing brains offering you high quality content each week. 


That's all for today, hoppers! Thank you again for stopping by my channel and I hope to see you again next time!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

(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…

#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…

Preptober for NaNoWriMo 2019: Planning Essentials

This is a companion post that I created to share the resources I discussed in my NaNoWriMo Prep Checklist video on my YouTube channel. If you haven't seen the video, I have it embedded below. 

Preptober is finally upon us! Well, maybe not officially, but I couldn't bring myself to wait another day to share all of my planning and resources in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2019.

If you're unaware, NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, is the one month a year where writers all the over world challenge themselves to complete a finished rough draft of a new novel within 30 days. October, also referred to as Preptober, is the month of preparations before the event, where writers decide their story idea and flesh it out. It's also a great time to get your personal scheduled squared away so you can plan for maximum efficiency throughout November.

This is my first year to participate, outside of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am beyond excited to let a new spark of an idea come to life…