Writing a blog about writing has led me to a lot of cool websites and other writing blogs. I’ve found more tools than I’ve ever had to help me get my stories written. As I’ve researched individual topics, I’ve discovered some great resources that I wish I’d found in time for some of my earlier blog pieces.
That’s why I’m revisiting earlier topics so I can share some useful – and fun – resources to help keep you writing too. I’ve chosen three blogs that I’ve published in the past few months because they cover issues that come up in every writing project:
1. I explored the concept of where – and how – writers get ideas for fiction in I’ve Got This Idea: “A large part of what drives artists to create comes from the need to get those ideas out of our heads because there are always more hiding in the wings. I’ve got a long line-up waiting to be noticed.” Apparently this isn’t true for everyone. Who knew? I polled my writer friends and many reported using some sort of aid to get fresh ideas.
There are many websites that offer ways to find new story concepts. This particular site will help you generate new ideas out of what you see and do every day and then show you ways to use them to create new and unique fiction: http://www.how-to-write-a-novel.net/creative-writing-idea.html
This next site has a different and fun approach to producing fresh new ideas. There are a multitude of photographs, each with a question designed to prompt the writer to think about the circumstances surrounding the object or action in the photo. I tried one and had to stop after several pages of mad scribbles so I could get back to writing this blog: http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/writing-prompts.html
2. I touched on the topic of motivation in The Next Project. “The glow of inspiration is dimmed after the initial draft is splashed onto paper or computer and now the work of shaping the story and its world begins.” How do writers stay motivated when the rush of creativity has passed and they’re now faced with the humdrum details of polishing that once-fresh idea? It can be disheartening to discover that your first draft – that you may have spent months or years pouring out – just isn’t as fantastic as you once pictured it in your mind. It can be difficult to stay dedicated to the project, especially if you’ve got another story just begging to be written.
There are countless tips and tricks to keep you on track, but they basically all boil down to telling you to keep going, stay on task, keep writing, keep editing.
On this site, you get a “Rosie the Riveter” pep talk about committing to the job at-hand because no one else is going to finish your project for you: http://www.lulu.com/blog/2013/04/writing-and-work-ethic/?mid=social_facebook_blog. Here’s one with ten fantastic tips on how to just get the work done: http://ollinmorales.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/motivation-2/
3. And did I mention editing somewhere along the way? In Edit Edit Edit…Are We Done Yet, I explored how part of the creative process is letting go of the inner perfectionist who wants to ponder every word as it’s written. “The beauty of editing for me is being able to refine what my characters have said at any given time. Writing fiction is the one place where this can happen, because your character’s words are your own but you get to go back as many times as you want to and edit those words, tighten them up, make them witty, concise or suave.” Easier said than done, you say?
Here’s a great piece that helps you look at your work honestly so you can give it the sparkle and shine that will transform it into the bestseller it deserves to be: http://www.how-to-write-a-novel.net/editing.html
Here are some editing essentials from author Bruce Blake, who uses free online editing software to analyse his writing and generate reports on word usage: http://writersgettogether.blogspot.ca/ You may need to scroll down the page a bit to find the blog called Editing Essentials. It’s worth the scroll.
Regardless of the methods you use to get through your writing projects, these three basics are indispensable. Start off with a solid idea on which to base your story. Stay on target and give it the time and attention it deserves. Don’t be afraid to cut out the crappy bits so the brilliance of your story can shine.
And finally, because I love bulleted tips, here are ten fantastic ideas to inspire you: http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/tips-for-writing-a-novel.html
“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”
― Joss Whedon
You can never have too many tools in the toolbox. Well, that is except the ones we don’t know how to use. Thanks for introducing AND explaining these interesting resources to us!
My pleasure, Ricky! It’s really astonishing how much good material there is out there to help a writer create fantastic fiction, but it’s a lot of work to slog through the interwebs to find it…