A Helpful List of Writing Resources

Part Two of the Helpful List Series! Woohoo!

This week, I would love to share some amazing websites and books that have shaped my writing so far. Like any craft, writing is a life-long learning experience. On the other hand, there are some rookie mistakes that are good to avoid when submitting your work. Amiright?

Photo cred: foter.com

Photo cred: foter.com

On my web browser is a bookmark called "Writing" where I save my favorite articles and posts regarding the craft of writing. Within this folder, the following websites and blogs repeatedly appear. I hope they can be as useful to you as a fledgling writer as they are to me!

Justin Mclachlan -- This is an interesting guy out of DC. He is a screenwriter and filmmaker, and is dedicated to helping people tell stories well. He's very dedicated to his subscribers, which is a huge plus.

Fiction University -- This site is the bomb diggity (I'm not embarrassed by that reference). I have mentioned it before as a great source which transformed my approach to editing. An advantage to this site is that it is organized in such a way that searching for a particular question is easy, from planning your novel to editing it, and beyond. Highly recommend. 

Jerry Jenkins -- This is the author of the LEFT BEHIND series. To be honest, I've not read his books. Still, his advice on writing is concise and practical. I even attended a free webinar of his on storytelling that I found very helpful. 

The Write Practice -- This is a great site started by Joe Bunting, an Atlanta author (holla! ... still not embarrassed) who is dedicated to inspiring writers to accomplish their goals and persevere in productivity. Think twice before subscribing to the website, however. He is not shy about filling your inbox!

I would give you a grammar resource but, let's be honest, that is just so easy to google. When in doubt, my golden standard is Chicago Manual style. 

How about some books?

Here are some books about writing from my bookshelf. Again, this list will hopefully grow with time.

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES: AN EDITOR'S ADVICE TO WRITERS -- This read was given to me by a sparkly, talented writer friend. In fact, she gave me her copy with instructions to pass it on (again, not lacking in charm). It was eye-opening. Not only does the author, Betsy Lerner, divulge her absolute worst pet peeves in the years she has worked with writers, but she also offers her insights as to what kind of personalities writers tend to have, and how they should deal with their natural dispositions in order to get the best result. Although I'm not sure I'd like Lerner as a person, I distinctly felt that she was reading my soul as I pored over this book. A must-have.

ON WRITING -- By Stephen King, this book was recently given to me by my sister-in-law, and seems to be an industry standard. I already love it, especially since King looks to be a fan of Strunk and White. Which reminds me ...

ELEMENTS OF STYLE -- Just so hilarious and brilliant and astoundingly brief. A classic reference guide to writing well. You really should have read it in college, but if you didn't you can just pass yourself off as an experimental writer who is too cool for all that archaic, stuck-in-the-mud stuff of the past (but then you should secretly read it).

THE COURAGE TO WRITE -- My mother loaned this to me, and I confess I've not started it yet. But the subject is really so important, since most hopeful writers are paralyzed before they even begin because of the fear of failure. It is written by Ralph Keyes, a very successful author and cheerleader for aspiring writers. Just to give you an idea of how excited I am to read this book, here is a quote from the back cover blurb:

"He offers specifics on how to root out dread of public performance and of the judgment of family and friends, make the best use of writers' workshops and conferences, and handle criticism of works in progress. Throughout, he includes the comments of many accomplished writers on how they transcended their own fears to produce great works."

How's that for inspiring?

That's all for this week! Can't wait to conclude this Helpful List series next week with ways to encourage more balance and less anxiety in your life!



Emily H. JeffriesComment