The Lonely Path
The writing journey is a solitary one. Countless hours are spent in pajamas in front of a computer. You have a cup of coffee, perhaps a cat sleeping in a cardboard box on your desk (doesn't everyone?), but you're pretty much alone. And that's okay. We need that solitude to really get into our work. However, there's a world outside our little writing space, filled with fellow writers.
I'm making an effort to get out of my "writer bubble". It's not been easy as it requires me to slink out of my comfort zone. I've gone to workshops, participated in writer-related discussion groups online, and my favorite, beta-reading for other authors on Goodreads. There are many talented and creative people out there, going through the same journey as you. There is comfort in that knowledge.
When I first started writing my manuscript--FIVE YEARS AGO--I did it by the seat of my pants. I didn't know anything about three act structures, inciting incidents, or black moments. I had a clumsy outline to get me from beginning to end. And I did. That in itself is an accomplishment, I know, but I didn't know what to do next. My bloated 400+ page masterpiece sat and sat. Oh, I'd make little changes like, what shade of blue best describes the sky in this scene OR should I say the creature was fluffy or soft or both or...I was missing the big picture. I didn't yet have the tools to see it.
I found a great writing coach in my area. He steered me in the right direction, giving me honest and constructive advice. I realized I had a lot to learn. A lot. And that was okay. I was ready.
There are many resources out there in Internetland. Searching through the sea of information can get overwhelming, not to mention being an incredible time suck. Learning your craft is worth the effort. I'm a better writer now than I was five years ago. If anything, I'm more aware of the process, why some scenes work and why others don't. Before, I could feel that things were off, but I didn't know why. Now I have a better understanding of story flow, conflict, and character motivation. I have more "aha!" moments. It's a wonderful thing.
This is only a small list some of the books and websites that I've found to be extremely useful. Like all advice, take what works for you and discard the rest. You know what feels right, what fits your writing style.
Please share any websites or books that have been helpful on your writing journey. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you use index cards to lay out your scenes or do you use Scrivener? What has been your best writing resource?
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King (my favorite resource and the one I go to again and again.)
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder ( although intended for screenwriters, many authors use this to outline and structure their novel. Plus, it's actually a fun read!)
Dialogue by Gloria Kempton (awesome resource when writing dialogue)
Rock Your Plot and Rock Your Revision, both by Cathy Yardley (simple, straightforward tips and advice)
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White (how strong are your grammar skills? Be honest!)
The Queen of Writing Advice (in my opinion) is Joanna Penn. She is one busy, yet incredibly helpful woman! Beware, she has so much information that your head may explode.
Another helpful author is Cathy Yardley. She's funny and full of helpful tips for writers.
An new author, Jenna Moreci, documented her self-publishing writing journey on Youtube. Her videos are entertaining and informative.
♥I hope you find these resources helpful. Let me know what I should add to the list♥