Ignore your inner nagging thoughts. They are seldom accurate perceptions of what you are actually achieving. It is deeply unfair to criticize your navigation skills when taking a journey into unknown territory. Try not to demoralize yourself. I call my first draft "the Lewis and Clark." Any freaking way to the coast is the correct way! Do not criticise yourself for the odd wrong turn, the weather slowing you down, having to stop for supplies. There is no bad route when you are on a voyage of discovery. Just keep going!
Some of my Favorite Posts(2013)
You can't edit a blank page.
Flip your Dark Side the bird.
Pictures of a Book Being Made
Publication Circles of Hell
How to Push Past the Bullshit
On Writing Despair (Juicebox Mix)
Pretty much everything you needed to know, ever.
MOTIVATIONWriting is hard. Sometimes, it's Really. Fucking. Hard. But the most important thing is to just keep writing something. Don't let yourself get into a funk of never writing, because it'll be even harder to get out of it. Trust me, I am the QUEEN of putting my writing off. It's still the main thing holding me back. But even if you can get two sentences down on paper, that's two sentences more than if you had written nothing.
Click here for more links and posts re: motivation.
Five minute writing prompts. Some of my favorite Writing Excuses episodes I use to get my ass in gear: BIC HOK, This Sucks, and No Excuses. Read this post from Devon Monk. Also, a scientific report on the writing process. There is a reason you write; maybe you just need to find the right words.
Holly Black word count posts: Black Heart, Doll Bones
Finishing Requires Finishing
Advice to Writers
I am not a special snowflake.
The I Suck Playlist
Glad I'm not the only one
Look away from the Shiny
Staying Motivated with Word Count
To Whom It May Inspire
Don't be afraid to scrap something because it sucks *
Writers must kill self doubt
Surefire cure for Writer's Block
Advice for beginning writers
Countdown to Sweet Victory
How many times do I have to tell you to point your toes?
50 Thoughts on Writing *
I TOLD YOU IT WAS FUCKING HARD. Everyone thinks so. You are not special.
N. K. Jemisin's Writing Method
Seven Steps to Starting a Novel
The Submission Circles of Hell
How to Write a Book When You're Really, Really Busy
Critical ReadingReading and writing exercises the same parts of your brain (unlike writing and editing) so it is easy to focus on one and let the other fall to the wayside. I'm super guilty of this. Before I started really writing, the thing that was holding me back was that I just enjoyed reading way too much and I didn't want to do anything that would take time away from that. Put it's important to keep up with what is happening in your genre, one so you know what's popular and two so you know what's cliche.
Stalk book review sites to find good recommendations:
The Book Smugglers
Blood of the Muse
Elitist Book Reviews
Fantasy Book Review
Not only are these great review sites in themselves, but check out their huge blogrolls of other review sites that can keep you playing Click all day long.
Book Depository is your friend, with FREE shipping worldwide!
And let's be serious, no one really wants to read a classic. Pink Monkey
And if you liked something a specific author did, read their books with a critical eye to help build your own skill in those areas. For example, I love reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss because I want my prose to be as clear and crisp and effortless as he makes it. I also want to re-read White Cat by Holly Black to focus on her plot structure, because her's was very clear and visible and I always need help with structuring my plots. Get the drift?
Suvudu 50 page Fridays!
Weird Tales short fiction
The Nuts and Bolts of WritingCharacter, setting, plot, fight scenes, romance... You know, the things that actually build a story.
Before you do anything, you have to check out Writing Excuses.
I'm currently test-driving several different plot methods, because meandering through no specific plot or path is great for the zero draft, but once I have a feel for thing I need to buckle down and get some organization.
My own organization page - My compilation of other people's genius. I don't remember where I got everything.
J.K. Rowling's Outline
25 Ways to Plot, Plan, and Prep Your Story
The Complete Friday 20 Index - Lynn Viehl answers questions
20 Master Plots So useful!
Novel Outlining 101
Dan Well's Story Structure Post 1 Post 2 HTML *
Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions
Key Conditions for Suspense
Getting a Scene from Brain to Paper
25 Things You Should Know About Story Structure
100 Character Building Questions
All the plots in the world
Thoughts on Thought Verbs
The Two-Minute Tension Test
Turkey City Lexicon - Stay away from cheap writer's tricks
Check out Jim Butcher's mini blog. I wish I had found this earlier. He talks about things that you'll already kindof do naturally, but he explains it so clearly and it lets you really focus on each thing. I thought the Sequels article was especially enlightening. Also, this.
Some useful crap:
BabyNames.com, Behind the Name, Naming Book
Index of Surnames
Writing Forward Prompts
Since this software has really been getting some press now that NaNoWriMo has linked up with it (if you win NaNo, you get 50% off), I thought it would be useful to include some reviews and write-ups about the software. Basically, it's $40 for writing software that lets you organize, tag, reorganize, track, and compile the hell out of your notes, outline, research, and drafts.
Visualization (and Audio-ization?)I am a very visual person, and finding images that relate to my writing can be a huge help to sort through the notes and outlines and character sketches in my head. Check out this post by Lynn Viehl, where she uses colors to generate story palettes. DeGraeve's Color Palette Generator and Color Picker are great for making palettes. (And for fellow bloggers out there, use this HTML Color Codes page and this Cheat Sheet for getting those colors onto your site.) Photobucket and Photolibrary are great for finding images (use the color search in Photolibrary to match images once you have a palette). I love this idea, but it's too much work for me to invest and keep myself interested long enough to really find something that works for me.
HTML Rainbow Text
Color Palette Generator
Since I write fantasy, I really want to see pictures and drawings that portray my creatures. The Magic: The Gathering site is great to find many different images of a certain creature, and can be great inspiration if you need something to start from. Deviant Art is my favorite to cast characters. I focus on the drawings, watercolors, etc. as opposed to the photography. People in the world are SO CREATIVE, and I know my seven year old cousin can obliterate me in art class--use that to your advantage when looking for visuals. Josephine Wall is great to use for story prompts. Also do a Google Image Search or search through screensaver and wallpaper websites.
Playlists are great. Every once in a while I'll hear a song on the radio, and a scene plays itself out in my head like a movie and I have to frantically scramble to jot down some notes. Listening to a certain song can get your mind into the right zone before you start writing, or a playlist can keep your mind churning around your writing while your at work. I love the original scores to movies, because it's like watching the movie all over again. I love when author's post their playlists online, and I'll make my own to books I like. I don't have a good site for searching music other than Pandora, any suggestions?
RevisingThis section is going to be hard for me. Revising is just something I get. I majored in Editing and Publishing in school, and I work for a publisher now. Getting a first draft on the page is like pulling teeth. Revising that page is just SO much easier. In any case, keep these things in mind when revising, also this.
The one thing I do have trouble with is finding alpha/beta readers. I don't have writerly friends. As of now, I'm not at the stage to start getting input (I need a more solid draft first) but these are some good websites that offer peer review:
Polish My Writing
The Art of Rewriting: Susan Dennard's Awesomeness **
From First to Final Draft: Ten Dissections
25 Ways to Unfuck Your Story
Revision Checklist by Carol Riggs
Other Writing Resources PagesThis is the overflow section. Many author's have their own pages where they list helpful sites and articles. Check out Cassandra Clare's page, Penelope Fletcher's, and Holly Black's. Writer's Digest puts out a free newsletter that gives you a shit-ton of junk, but also a lot of supremely useful articles, not to mention all the other useful stuff on their site like writing prompts. Also Susan Dennard's page, which is especially helpful for revising.
The Writer's Knowledge Base
Megan Crewe's page
Publishing stuff that I'm not concerned with yetWhy? Because I need to finish the shit that I started. BUT. Every writer should be reading Publisher's Lunch from the get go. The newsletter is free, but you need to buy a subscription to read in depth about any of the deals.
Other helpful links:
PubRants Great blogroll
Writer's Digest Agent Newsletter Click "Manage Subscriptions" at bottom of first e-mail to see all options, WD sends a lot of crap.
Kat Zhang on Querying
Jennifer Castle on Query Letters
Nathan Bransford on Query Letters
How to write a query letter - AgentQuery
Write a good synopsis - Nicola Morgan
Lydia Kang's Querying Journey
Jessica Corra on Query Letters, Part II: Deconstructing the Blurb
Seven Paragraph Synopsis
How to Write a 1-Page Synopsis
10 Conference Tips