Over the past few years, I’ve come across many helpful resources that have aided me in my creative writing journey. I realized that it might be a good idea to share these with others. Thus I will start posting links to writing resources here as I collect them going forward.

Writing

Common First Chapter Mistakes by Meredith Ireland. This is a short but important list of common novel openings to avoid. A good read before querying.

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Writing Process. MRK is an incredible writer and writing teacher. In her blog she outlines the process she uses to write short fiction. This is an incredibly helpful step-by-step guide.

MICE Quotient. A favorite of MRK and developed by Orson Scott Card, the MICE Quotient is a great way to develop great stories.

Brandon Sanderson’s BYU class. Brandon Sanderson (an incredible fantasy author) teaches a science fiction and fantasy writing course at BYU each year. This year he posted all of his lectures on YouTube, available for free! I’ve linked to his first lecture.

World-Building

Fantasy World-Building Questions by Patricia C. Wrede. This article published on the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) website is a great list of questions that will help any writer building a new world in their stories. I’ve used this as a worksheet for my own fiction.

World Anvil. A world-building tool that will make it easier for you to create your world in an interactive online workspace. Paid and unpaid options.

Writing Careers

Writing Careers: The Business Behind Becoming an Author. Zen Business has a great overview of the common career paths for published authors and some great tips for how to become successful (especially if you’re a young writer just starting out). Special shout out to Amelia for finding and sharing this great resource!

Submissions

The Grinder. A free-to-use website that can help you find markets (aka magazines) for the short stories you are looking to sub in hopes of getting published. This will also track where your story might be in the slush (perhaps revealing if you’ve been bumped to higher levels of consideration #rejectomancy)

Duotrope. A very cheap version of the Grinder (and the original submission tracker). Duotrope’s analytics are a little better and it’s much more accessible. They also update the product more regularly than the Grinder team.

Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity. An up-to-date blog containing new markets looking for submissions (including anthologies), agents looking for authors, publishing housing accepting unagented manuscripts, and on and on

Angie’s Desk. Another great blog with the latest in anthology submission calls.

Querying

Query Shark. An agent-run blog that shares all the ins-and-outs of writing query letters (the letters you send an agent when trying to sell them your book). This is a must read before querying (and I mean reading the entire blog).

Ethics & the Literary Agent. A very informative interview with two big hitters in the speculative agent world: Mary C. Moore and DongWon Song. The interview is posted on Jane Friedman’s blog and conducted by Sangeeta Mehta.

How to Write a 1-Page Synopsis. PubCrawl has a great guide for writing your 1-page novel synopsis (a request many agents make when you query).

The Importance of Comps. Often agents expect querying novelists to compare their book to others in the genre. This is a quick article about the strategy behind choosing comp titles.

QueryTracker. Similar to The Grinder and Duotrope, QueryTracker is a resource for tracking your queries to agents as well as checking in on which agents are open to subs and which agents to avoid.

Successful Query Letters from many genres.

Pitching

Layers of a Pitch. A quick blog post by MRK explaining the different versions one should have of a story pitch.

Questions to have answers to. A great article by Eric Smith listing the most common questions you might get asked about your book – and how you should prep your answers.

The Art of the Pitch. Quick tips for a pitch and synopsis from Lit Reactor.

Creating an Irresistible Pitch. A short article on how to pitch in-person when you’re put on the spot.

Secrets to #pitmad. There are a few Twitter pitch events that actually can lead to securing an agent, PitMad and DVPit being two of the biggest. And here are some examples of Twitter pitches that hooked agents (from Carissa Taylor):

Workshops

Speculative Fiction Writing Workshops. A blog post by the amazing Kelly Robson that includes all of the best speculative-fiction-friendly workshops and academic programs.

Community

Codex. An online writers forum for pro writers. Not every writer qualifies (so check the requirements), but if you do this is an exceptional community that has a lot to offer (and will give you many chances to give back!)

Other Tools

4 the words. An online tool that turns writing into a fun RPG game. It can help improve your daily word counts and streaks in a fun, communal environment. Free demos are available, but this service is otherwise paid.

Scapple. A note-taking / brainstorming tool for writers.

 

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