I mentioned in an earlier post that I look to other writers to get better at the craft of writing. Here are 3 resources that I’ve found helpful:
On Writing by Stephen King I’m not into the horror that Stephen King writes so I tend to shy away from his work. But can the man ever write! This book does not sit in my revolving stack of books to read. It has a place of honor inside the drawer of my nightstand. I find myself referring back to it often, reminding myself of the things I need to work on.
Sometimes I hear Stephen King’s voice in my head telling me that I shouldn’t be using adverbs. And then I argue with him that I know the rules, and this is one instance where I’m breaking them deliberately. And he tells me to quit being a lazy writer. And I tell him that I’m going to throw in extra adverbs just to spite him. And he goes on to roll around in his piles of author money, and I’m stuck with a page of stupid adverbs I have to get rid of.
Mostly I find Stephen King is right, and I shouldn’t argue with him.
Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker This is another one I refer to regularly. And no, it’s not a salacious read. And yes, I did have to explain to one of my boys why it was ok for Mom to be reading it. In the writing world, ‘pantsing’ is what a writer does when they simply sit down to write. Get it? Writing by the seat of your pants? ‘Pantsing’ is the antithesis of outlining.
The first time I came across the advice to outline I dismissed it with a, “Well that’s not how I write.” (Insert hair toss.)
Then I continued to see that advice over and over from experienced writers. My inner voice went from haughty to whiny.
“But I don’t know how to do that. I just want to write. Outlining sounds haaaard.”
If you’re anything like I was when I started my first draft, maybe you have no clue what the outlining process can look like. This book can fix that. I’m a reformed panster myself. And no, it doesn’t stifle my creativity. In fact, I find I’m more focused and productive when I take the time to outline.
Go Teen Writers This is a blog that I find helpful to peruse every so often. Don’t let the name fool you. There’s heaps of helpful advice for fiction writers of all skill levels. I like that it’s authored by more than one person, and I like that they address all aspects of the writing process.
What are some of your favorite craft books or blogs and why? I love recommendations!