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Recommended Resources

 

Fiction Writing

 

Writing and Self-Editing:


Websites:

 

Alessandre Torre Ink: She offers online classes on writing and marketing your books, and she owns an active Facebook group for authors.

The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn offers a wealth of practical guidance on writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book.


The Editor’s Blog: Editor Beth Hill offers expert guidance on writing and grammar.


Fiction University: Janice Hardy’s blog is packed with helpful articles on all aspects of the writing process.


Helping Writers Become Authors: K.M. Weiland does an amazing job of explaining story structure, characterization, conflict, and other fundamentals of writing in an incisive but accessible and entertaining way.
 

Jane Friedman: Jane provides thorough, in-depth practical advice on both traditional and independent publishing.
 

This Itch of Writing: Emma Darwin explores the nuts and bolts of writing, such as plotting and point of view, in a thoughtful, in-depth manner.


 

Videos:

Jenna Moreci: With tips on various subjects, from creating chemistry between characters to overused tropes to avoid, Jenna’s videos are funny, entertaining, and informative.


Brandon Sanderson’s Lectures at Brigham Young University: This series of lectures is a gold mine for science fiction and fantasy authors, but it’s likely to help writers of other genres too. He explores everything from creating characters to worldbuilding and magic systems.


 

Podcasts:

The Creative Penn Podcast: Author Joanna Penn covers many topics related to writing and publishing and interviews professionals in the field.


The Dead Robots’ Society Podcast: By aspiring writers, for aspiring writers.


Helping Writers Become Authors: Author K.M. Weiland offers practical advice on various aspects of storytelling and story structure.


Story Grid Podcast: Editor Shawn Coyne, author of Story Grid, and Tim Grahl, struggling writer, discuss what makes a story great, offering their own work to be critiqued.


Writing Excuses: Hosted by science fiction/fantasy authors Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and others, Writing Excuses offers tips on writing techniques. “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.”


 

Books:

The Writer’s Life & Tips on the Writing Process:

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: This is a delightful read, exploring King’s life and how he became a bestselling author, as well as offering tips for writers.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne LaMott: Her trademark wit and style shine through. She combines anecdotes from her life with lessons on becoming an author.


DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community by Gabriela Pereira: In addition to practical writing tips, she offers guidance on reading literature in a way that will enrich your writing skills and on building a supportive community to help you launch your writing career.


The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write with Emotional Power, Develop Achingly Real Characters, Move Your Readers, and Create Riveting Moral Stakes by Donald Maass


The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester: This is an excellent resource for authors of speculative fiction, but it will help other fiction writers too. Don’t be misled by the title. Its approach is not formulaic; it offers solid advice on myriad aspects of effective storytelling and writing.


The Magic of Fiction by Beth Hill: This is a lovely book exploring all the nuts and bolts of the writing process. It’s conveniently organized so you can refer to the specific section on the issue you’re struggling with.

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel by Lisa Cron: She does a brilliant job of helping you dig deeply into the heart of your story: who your character is, the misbelief that drives her, her worldview, what she truly wants, and what stands in her way. Then she continues to guide you through the development of your novel, balancing plot and story. (Yes, they are two different things.) Gwen Hernandez developed an author-approved Scrivener template for using the Story Genius approach.
 

 

Point of View and Characterization:

Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card


Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development by K.M. Weiland


The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman: This is organized as a reference book, offering strategies for conveying characters’ emotions. It’s a great resource to have on hand if you’re stuck or need a springboard for brainstorming about your characters.
 

The Power of Point of View: Make Your Story Come to Life by Alicia Rasley: This is an outstanding book, exploring the use of narrative point of view in fiction in depth. This can help you create more vibrant characters and dialogue.


 

Conflict:

Understanding Conflict: (And What It Really Means) by Janice Hardy


 

Plot, Structure, and Pacing:

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success and Outlining Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland: If you’re a planner (rather than a discovery writer or “pantser”), or if you think your writing process could benefit from more structure, these are excellent resources. Weiland also offers a free Scrivener template.
 

Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure and Plotting Your Novel Workbook by Janice Hardy Again, if you’re a planner (rather than a discovery writer or “pantser”), or if you think your writing process could benefit from more structure, these are excellent resources.


Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell


Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes: This is a fantastic resource for romance writers. It offers a story structure to help you create a compelling plot and relationship arc. Gwen also provides a template for creating a romance on Scrivener on her website.
 

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story and Structuring Your Novel Workbook by K.M. Weiland: Again, if you’re a planner (rather than a discovery writer, or “pantser”), or if you think your writing process could benefit from more structure, these are excellent resources.


 

Exposition and Description (Balancing “Showing” & “Telling”):

Understanding Show, Don’t Tell: And Really Getting It by Janice Hardy


 

Self Editing:

Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft: A Step-By-Step Guide to Revising Your Novel by Janice Hardy
 

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King
 

 

Self-Publishing:


Websites, Videos, Podcasts & Newsletters:

Begin Self-Publishing Podcast: Editor Louise Harnby offers expert advice on a myriad of topics, from finding a professional fiction editor to creating a series.


The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn offers guidance on writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book through her website and podcast.
 

Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula: Mark Dawson earns a six-figure income as a self-published author, and he built his career in three years. He offers a wealth of resources, including courses, ebooks, videos, and a podcast.


Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors: This site offers tips about writing and editing, design and production, and marketing and distribution.


Story Studio Podcast: The hosts share personal stories as well as practical tips.


Skye Warren’s newsletters: She has a backlist of informative newsletters on self-publishing.


"Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book" by Jane Friedman: Jane offers clear, practical step-by-step guidance.
 

 

Books:

How to Make a Living With Your Writing by Joanna Penn


Saving Money on Editing & Choosing the Best Editor by Janell Robisch


Successful Self-Publishing: How to Self-Publish and Market Your Book in Ebook and Print by Joanna Penn
 

 

Marketing Your Book:


 

Websites, Videos, Podcasts & Newsletters:

Alessandre Torre Ink: She offers online classes on writing and marketing your books, and she owns an active Facebook group for authors.


BookBub Book Marketing Ideas: Tips on identifying your target audience, marketing through social media, and more.


The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn offers guidance on writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book.
 

Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula: Mark Dawson earns a six-figure income as a self-published author, and he built his career in three years. He offers myriad resources, including courses, ebooks, videos, and a podcast.
 

Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast: “Interviewing and learning from successful authors”
 

 

Books:

 

How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn
 

Successful Self-Publishing: How to Self-Publish and Market Your Book in Ebook and Print by Joanna Penn