Below, I have compiled a list of resources gathered over the years that have aided in my growth as a writer.
I hope they are just as useful to you.
This layout should be fairly easy to follow. I've divided my links into three categories following the writing process. In the first category, I will talk about links that aid in your writing process, drafting and such. In the second category are links aiding in your editing process, and in the third are resources helping you if you're looking to publish.
Please note that many of these links may seem random, or strange. Some are blog posts by other people, others are forums, websites, articles, even a video or two. Keep in mind these links are the bookmarks I have personally gathered, and am sharing with you simply because I want to make the process easier for other writers.
128 Words to use instead of "very" -- "The road to hell is paved with adverbs," Stephen King said. Use this adverb one time too many and find your writing quality suffer. Readers want to be immersed in your writing, and often that means using "furious" instead of "very angry" or "exact" instead of "very accurate." This list will help with that.
Creating Deep, Realistic Characters -- Time and time again I go back to this little blog post. It's well-written and well thought-out, and speaks volumes for writers looking to have complex characters. Do you often feel your characters are two-dimensional little cardboard cutouts? Do you feel like, despite how much you try you just can't bring yourself to care about a character? This might help with that.
Writing Advice by Bernard Cornwell -- In truth, this can go into any category it wants. Cornwell speaks about the writing process start to finish, talking about his own experiences as he does. So why is it in the "as you write" category? Because every time I read this note, I get fuelled up to write again. It's motivation. And by God if it don't also make a helluva read!
Short Story Crash Course -- This is a reddit post. You'll often find me posting things from reddit, because I frequent Reddit's writing subreddit. This is, as the title suggest, a quick crash course if you're interested in short story writing. As you may know from my other categories, I wrote a lot of shorts in 2017 and plan to write a lot more in 2018. They're good practice.
Habits and Traits -- Another reddit post. /u/MNBrian is a reader at a literary agency. He started this series, which now has over 100 posts ranging from all aspects of writing. From writing your first sentence to pitching to an agent, to publishing contracts! You can find more here, or click on the title link.
MASTER LIST of Facial Expressions -- This is, as the title suggests, a long list of facial expressions to use ONLY when you're stuck and can't think up your own. Goes hand-in-hand with the whole showing vs. telling adage. As a reader, I want to feel immersed in your writing, so when you write a scene, I want you to pain the details instead of just listing off the emotions. Think of this list as a bucket of paint.
MASTER LIST of Body Language -- Same blog, another long list. Same tip as above. Use it only when you're stumped and can't think up your own. There's a bunch more lists and writing resources on this blog, so I suggest you do some digging!
Emotion Thesaurus (Samples) -- You can buy the book, and while I don't personally have it, I hear it's well-worth your money. Here's a sample of what you'd be investing in.
Tips on Effectively Conveying Character Emotion -- This one goes along with the Emotion Thesaurus. A nifty little list. Worth a read, I'd say.
Kurt Vonnegut's 8 tips on Writing a Great Short Story -- Can't go wrong with this one if you're in the market to whip up a short story. It's short and sweet and to the point. And if you're sick of reading stuff this far down the list, it even comes with a youtube video you can watch instead.
20 Rules for Writing Detective Stories -- *shrugs* Meh. This one struck me as interesting and I bookmarked it juuust in case I wanted to write a detective story. And, funny enough, there's a couple detectives in my NaNoWriMo novel. Now, whether they were inspired by this post, I don't know.
Hemingway App -- This one goes first, because I use it the most. While the other posts below are blog posts and articles, this one is an app. You plug your prose into the box, and the app will analyze it for you. It's pretty eye-opening at first to spot how many adverbs you use, how many filler words, how your sentences are structured.
Grammarly -- Download this. No joke. I have it for my chrome, and it's a lifesaver. You can also head to the website with your login info (it's free), and plug your pages in. Just like Hemingway App, Grammarly will go to work editing things you may have missed. One thing I like about it is that it often finds words used in the wrong context, too.
Revising your Prose for Power and Punch -- I cannot stress the importance of this post enough. It will do wonders for your drafts. At first, I found many of the sentence restructuring tips came with time, with a lot of trial and error. It's difficult to go back and change stuff sentence-by-sentence, so I took kept that advice in the back of my mind. Something that did help was the weasel words. I Cmd+F'd those, cringed when I saw how many there were, and went to town with my delete button. The result: tighter sentences.
4 Delightful Editing Tips to Make your Words Dazzle -- You'll find the same editing advice in every blog you see, the same advice commercial authors give, the same advice literary giants once gave. I just think this list does a good job of talking about everything.
DIY Edit: 10 Tips to Shape up your Manuscript -- it's got some nifty little tips in there. This is the broad strokes of editing. Still, good things to keep in mind.
Word Counter Tool -- This is a word counter. Not only the number of words used, but what are your most used words, unique words, monosyllabic, polysyllabic words, readability, reading time etc. I absolutely LOVE statistics when it comes to these things. Check it out!
Nick Mamata's Simple Guide to Finding a Literary Agent -- Okay, you're done your manuscript and it's edited. Next you'll need to find an agent (if you're going down the traditional route). Here's a quick guide how to go about that search.
33 Publishers and Journals Seeking Novellas -- My first work published was a novella, and I've since wrote more novellas. I think the novella is one of the best forms of writing. It's like a novel for people on the go. And it's the 21st century, everyone's on the go! Novella's are also a dying breed these days. Maybe because they're all homeless. Find a home for your novella, and when you do, send me a message so I can pick up a copy!
The Top 101 Independent Book Publishers -- Here's a HUGE list of publishers who are NOT affiliated with outside agency associations, or companies. Full of contact information for great publishers. Check it out and submit your work to some!
The Top 101 Dependent Book Publishers -- Here's the counterpart to the above list. (This site features people who are creating great books and innovative marketing campaigns with the help of some outside agency or company.) <-- from the website itself.
The Truth about Publishing -- Phew! This one is a brick to the head. In a good way. Ian Irvine offers an in-depth look at Publishing through some simple points, well-fleshed-out. It's a must-read, in my opinion--but then again, that's why I have it bookmarked.
AgentQuery Connect -- To get an agent, you'll have to write a good query letter. This website is a forum where you can critique on others' letters, and have them do the same to yours.
Literary Magazines -- A big list of literary magazines for you, just in case you're looking for homes for your fancy new short story!
GoOnWrite -- This is more for the Self-Publishing route. A website to cheap, well-designed book covers.