So you’ve decided you are finally going to start writing regularly. Your Horrible Whatiffer has died an equally horrible death (and you are standing by with stakes if it rises up again) and you’ve ruthlessly hunted down a couple hours a week to write. You were ruthless, right? You have an amazing idea or a character you know every reader is going to love. You sit down at your desk or in a coffee shop, open up a new document on your computer aaand…you have no idea how to start. How do you turn an idea or a character into a 100,000 word story?
Or you have the start, have the end, even have random scenes throughout the story. Plot points A, G, K, Q, and Z, but you can’t figure out where the rest of the alphabet is.
And lastly, maybe you have a whole first draft done. It’s good, but you know it can be better, you just aren’t sure how to go about making it as perfect as it can be.
Never fear! We live in an awesome era of information overload. You can find online courses about turf management, find websites on how to macramé, and even tons of information on, drum roll please, all aspects of fiction writing! Yay!
I’m sure most of us wish we could go all out and get our masters in creative writing. Putting that in a query letter would definitely look good. Unfortunately, time, life, and money (not to mention some of us practically break out in hives at the thought of going to school again…not me of course…) prevent many of us from accomplishing this goal. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to write. There are online courses, blogs (obviously), websites, and books all about fiction writing.
A good place to start is Writer’s Digest. This website is chock full of resources for writers. You can subscribe to the magazine, take writing courses, browse the books, or read all the free tips. You can also look at the books in your local bookstores or on Amazon. Can’t afford a book but really want to read one? Remember the local library! Even if your library doesn’t have any books on writing, most librarians are happy to track some down for you.
Still overwhelmed? Here are a couple of my favorites:
- 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack Bickham
- The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke
- Write Great Fiction series (this is several books by different authors on specific aspects of writing including revision, dialogue, plot & structure and characters)
We also plan on creating a new page specifically for writing resources, so keep an eye out for it. We’ll let you know what worked for us and any books we are currently working through and how we like them.
Whatever you need help with, there’s a book or course for that! So if you are struggling, don’t struggle alone. There are a lot of resources to help you through the difficult process of writing. So write on!