Author Topic: Your favorite author resources  (Read 1040 times)  

Offline DmGuay

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Your favorite author resources
« on: August 13, 2017, 07:32:37 AM »
I'm compiling a list of resources on writing craft and publishing for a young friend of mine (20, trying to write fantasy but completely new and lost and overwhelmed.)

I've got a list of a few of my favorite books but wonder what resources on writing craft, publishing and self publishing you've found most helpful.

I'm particularly interested in video/podcast, etc. resources as I have very few of those!

Any help would be appreciated!

Here is what I have so far:
1. The Kick Ass Writer:1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published & Earn your Audience  by Chuck Wendig
2.. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson
3. The Fantasy Fiction Formula By Deborah Chester
4.Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction by Phillip Athans
5. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-this-world Novels and Short Stories by Orson Scott Card
6. This year you write your novel by Walter Mosley
7. On writing by Stephen King
8. 77 Reasons why your book was rejected (and How to be Sure it won't happen again) by Mike Nappa
9. The First Five Pages: A writer's guide to staying out of the rejection pile by Noah Lukeman
10. How not to write a novel: 200 classic mistakes and how to avoid them by Howard Mittelmark
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 07:56:56 AM by DmGuay »
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Online Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 04:06:28 PM »

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 05:40:02 PM »
Thanks!
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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 05:43:59 PM »
You can browse the sixty books on my How-to-Write shelf on Goodreads here.

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Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 05:47:29 PM »
Punching Babies: A How-To Guide by Adron Smitley (the title would have turned me off if I hadn't seen it highly recommended on a forum; it's great for organizing your plot)
Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story by Steven Harper

Offline Picky Cat Proofreading

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 09:24:56 PM »
I'll toss in another vote for Chris Fox. His books and videos are great.
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Offline John Magna

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 10:57:24 PM »
Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell (Author of First Blood[Rambo] and the Brotherhood of the Rose Series).

The Career Novelist by Donald Maass (Agent for trad publishers, but can be transposed for the indie scene. Example paraphrased: Conflict on every page whether that is internal or external). Has several books.


Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 11:05:11 PM »
            v  v  v   Short Stories   v  v  v               vvv FREE! vvv
     
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Offline Matti Lena

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 11:43:17 PM »
I hope your writer friend gets lots of hugs and support from the people in her life to help her with her dreams and aspirations. At her age (or at any age!), that's the best kind of resource she can get! ;)

I'm trying to recall what resources helped me when I was in my twenties. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King rocked my world at that age. I'd already taken a few postgraduate grammar courses, but this book helped me see the connection between grammatical structure and literary effect. Plus, the book is written in a very easy style with a bunch of illustrative examples. It also includes checklists and exercises to help readers practice and apply the book's different principles. I felt like it gave my writing style a better sense of direction.

During that time, I went through an angst-y period in my life and in my writing, so just in case your friend goes through a similar period, Julia Cameron's books were a tremendous help to me. Cameron has written many books that address writers' deeper emotional needs, but The Artist's Way and The Right to Write both served me well. Cameron's tone is so supportive--whether she's giving you blunt truth or gentle encouragement, you will never doubt she's fiercely on your side.

Currently, I'm reading The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, and if it had been available when I was twenty, I think it would have been a huge help. When your friend feels confident with some of the more widely discussed techniques like plot structure and POV, if she wishes to study slightly more subtle techniques, this may be a fun book for her.

Of course, you've recommended Kboards to her, right? ;D I remember reading once that even lurking on this board was like taking a Master's class in indie publishing. I think that is a fair assessment.

I wish your friend all the best!  :)


Offline VanessaC

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 05:20:15 AM »
Another vote for Chris Fox - his videos are short and easy to follow.

One of my lovely beta readers introduced me to KM Weiland's writing podcast - you can find her on you tube or her website "helping writers become authors" - again, short videos, with good writing tips, focused mostly on craft.

I also like Chuck Wendig's blog for his no-holds-barred opinions, and his way of looking at being a writer - y'know, a writer writes.

And to add to the list, Rachel Aaron's writing blog is excellent - she talks about plot arcs and story structure as well as her famous 2k to 10k and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Thinking back to when I was writing at age 20, I was nowhere near this prepared!  Apart from following Chuck's advice - a writer writes, and I've learned masses from just writing my own stories - and reading widely, what may also be helpful is finding a really supportive critique group - there's nothing like good, constructive feedback to move your writing forward.  :)

Offline MyraScott

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 05:32:21 AM »
Fiction University has some really good process articles.  Fiction University

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 09:28:31 AM »
Thank you all. So much great stuff!
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Jesse, Redeemed: Guardians of Salt Creek book 3: 98%
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Offline dianapersaud

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 12:35:04 PM »
James Scott Bell has several craft writing books. I prefer the ones he self pubs rather than the writer's digest series. It's just simplified and easier to understand.


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Offline IWFerguson

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 06:43:45 PM »
For a fantasy author, mythcreants.com is really good. They have an extensive library of blog articles and podcasts. About 45% of them pertain to role-playing games, so I skip those, but the rest are helpful.
I also really like the podcast called Breaking the Glass Slipper (Women in Speculative Fiction).
And I will second the recommendation for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing podcast.
I've skipped some, but basically once I discovered these podcasts, I started at the first episode, and went through the set.
I. W. Ferguson, writer of speculative fiction. Debut novel Belief's Horizon coming in early 2018.  http://www.happen.net

Offline Picky Cat Proofreading

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 07:40:20 PM »
You might also be interested in the video marketing course by author JA Huss. She writes romance but the info can be applied to a variety of genres.

http://jahuss.com/free-marketing-course/
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Offline Joseph John

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 06:41:54 AM »
My go-to books on story structure:

1. Story, Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
2. Save the Cat! by Black Snyder
3. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

Army officer and analyst by day, novelist by night.
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Offline RBC

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2017, 07:39:05 AM »
Bookmarking!

Offline TStraker

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2017, 08:06:43 AM »
Also bookmarking. Thank you.

One of my favourites is The Pursuit of Perfection: And How It Harms Writers by kristine Kathryn Rusch. It's very encouraging for writiers and ery short. I love it and have read it many times

Writing the blockbuster novel is great - Zuckerman

Write publish repeat - those guys: Platt, Truant and Dave, whose last name I can never remember

Story Fix and Story engineering - Larry brooks

I find David Morrell's book (mentioned above ) is very good for beginners.

On Writing - of course Stephen King

Bird by Bird - can't remember her name now, but encouraging book.

Now your friend will be overwhelmed with great books ;)

T

 

T. Straker

Offline Drew_Harmon

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2017, 08:57:36 AM »
1. The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.
2. Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave by Don McNair.
3. Robert's Rules Of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know by Robert Masello was helpful.
4. The Chicago Manual of Style
5.Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success, by Platt and Truant

Drew Harmon | Trespass Island Blog

Offline PatriciaThomson

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2017, 11:05:19 AM »

Bird by Bird - can't remember her name now, but encouraging book.


Anne Lamott.  :D
   
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2017, 02:47:54 PM »
Brandon Sanderson's college lectures on Youtube.
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Offline Dan Phalen

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2017, 02:56:42 PM »
Writing 21st Century Fiction - Donald Maass
The Fire In Fiction - Donald Maass

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Online Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2017, 04:48:47 PM »
You really got me going on the podcasts. There have been lots of "what are some good podcasts?" threads, but nothing large and cohesive, to my knowledge. Here's my attempt:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,254285.0.html

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2017, 06:56:16 PM »
The Emotion Thesaurus is invaluable to me: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00822WM2M/


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
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Offline Adria R.

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2017, 03:15:27 AM »
I've found that reading books on what not to do made me freeze up, so I won't recommend any of those. A few writing books that really changed me as a writer are

Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dixon (about how understanding character translates to plot, and can create and strengthen a plot)
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley
Mastery by John Greene (not a writing book, but an invaluable craft book, imho)
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‎ (a book about the creative state)
This talk on creativity by John Cleese contains so many things I wish I'd known earlier: https://genius.com/John-cleese-lecture-on-creativity-annotated
I also enjoy Chris Fox's videos a lot.

I've read extensively in my chosen genre and others -- all kinds of romance, fantasy, sci-fi -- until I was familiar with the tropes, and then I read on until I was sick of most tropes and there were only a handful of authors left whose work I still enjoyed. Then I wrote down all my reader 'kinks'. Those are the things that still excite me and that I can't get enough of as a reader -- fiercely supportive relationships based on mutual respect as much as love, for example. Now, when I get disenchanted with something I'm writing, I check back against that list and often realize that I've veered away from the things I enjoy writing about.

What helped me the most, though, was realizing that I was spending too long on one story. I mostly learn from failure, so I had to increase my failure rate in order to grow more quickly as a writer. I made a list of aspects of writing I was good at (creating a mood, writing emotion), things I was decent at but could stand to improve (transitions, setting up scenes, entering a scene late an leaving early), and things I was really bad at (plotting, handling scenes with more than three characters). For practice, I set a goal in 2016 to write 300k worth of completed stories. I reached that goal, and I improved a lot in the areas I'd been targeting.

In closing, I'd say that it's been important to me to not only read books on writing but also synthesize that advice and pick concrete areas to work on. Writing is not a monolithic skill; there are so many aspects to it, not least being clear about the story you want to tell. It's easy to veer away from that and get lost in craft-related details, so I've had to manage how I approach craft, or I would invariably end up overwhelmed.