A collection of writing advice, helpful websites, and blogs to help you hone your craft.
These are some of my favorite websites for writing advice:
Helping Writers become Authors Well written articles with very specific advice. You will learn something.
Lara Willard’s Write, Edit, Repeat I love the well-organized layout of this website. Everything is categorized by topic and easy to find.
Write on Sisters Solid advice for the beginner, written in a cozy “chatting over coffee” tone.
A list of my posts on writing advice
Amnesia as a plot device-authortoolbox - Using amnesia in your story can lead to a contrived plot. Without proper preparation, readers will be left annoyed and confused. Don't fall into this trap. Follow these simple tips Eliminating Word Crutches - Every writer has words or phrases that habitually show up in their work. These crutches bog down a manuscript and make it feel repetitive. Don't let overused words ruin your novel Beta readers: When to Ignore Them - Having too many beta readers swamps the new writer with advice, and that isn’t always helpful. Don’t let beta feedback trap you in an endless editing loop. Learn to evaluate writing advice and take back control of your story. Realistically Introducing Magic-authortoolbox - Introducing your readers to your magic system takes careful consideration. Don't blindside them with the supernatural. Prepare them properly and they will be ready to believe anything. Revision Checklist Printable - Getting stuck in an editing loop can destroy your forward momentum. This printable revision checklist will keep you on track by helping you do the right edits in the right order. Avoiding Stage Directions - In novels, “stage directions” are sections where the author begins listing a character’s visible actions without giving the thoughts or feelings associated with them. As a result, the reader is bombarded with useless information, unable to discern which actions are meaningful. Scene and Sequel: Making them work together - "Scene and sequel" doesn’t have to be mysterious writer talk. This simple formula will help you create the lean exciting plotlines readers crave. By mastering this technique, you can cut out all the dead weight and unlock your story’s true potential. Using Character Motivations in Plot Chains-authortoolbox - People may not always behave in a logical manner, but when you are planning out your stories, your characters should. Creating characters without any internal logic will produce an inconsistent, illogical mess. Fortunately, there is a simple trick for fixing this problem Creating the Perfect Love Interest - The love interest is an integral part of contemporary plot structure. But too often that character is little more than a pretty face designed to be the main character's dream girl. Today's love interest needs to be more than just a skirt waiting to be rescued. World-building: why sprinkles don’t work-author toolbox - Just chopping info-dumps into smaller pieces isn't really that sneaky. The savvy reader will still sense that something isn't right. Sprinkling world-building randomly into your story is like tossing skittles on top of your tiramisu. It doesn't solve the real problem. Fortunately, there is a Novel Revision and Editing Guide - Revising without a plan can lead to hours of wasted effort and frustration. Rather than getting stuck in an endless editing loop, use this novel revision and editing guide to make sure you are doing the right edits in the right order The Magic Fix-it Scene - Adding material to your manuscript to solve a problem? The magic fix-it scene rarely works. While these scenes are intended to solve a specific problem, they often cause a host of other issues. But there is a better way Opening Action: how to make it work - Start with action sounds like simple advice, but making it work takes careful consideration and planning. The opening action sets the tone for your entire story. Make sure yours doesn't fall into one of these traps. Scene Planning Worksheet - Scene planning worksheets will give you a simple framework to brainstorm your ideas so you will be ready when you actually have time to write. Correctly using Author Intrusion - Correctly using Author Intrusion can create another layer of storytelling to your novel, but unintentional intrusions jar the reader, create distance and make your writing sound amateurish Most Common First Page Mistakes - The first page is the introduction to your entire novel. Create an effective first page by avoiding these writing mistakes Writing a Killer First Page - The first page is the introduction to your entire novel. Follow these steps and create an opening that will draw your readers into the story, and guarantee they will turn the page Motivation-Reaction Unit - Despite being decades old, Dwight Swain's motivation-reaction technique is still relevant. Every time something feels off in the prose, the improperly constructed MRU is usually to blame. How to Be a Good Critique Partner - Learning to give better critiques will not only make you more valuable as a critique partner, it will also give you a set of tools to evaluate the feedback you receive. Why Writing Advice is Ruining your Manuscript - Bad writing advice, and even good advice that doesn’t work for your story, can completely ruin your manuscript. Trying too hard to follow someone else’s writing rules is letting someone else author your story.
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