Showing posts with label writing resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing resources. Show all posts

Read Well, Creative Writing Resources

by Deborah Lyn Stanley

When we read well, we write well. I list a few good Creating Writing books below.
Standout subjects include; plot and story structure, developing creative ideas, the flow of narrative, dialogue, and character development.

1.    Ready, Set, Write: a Guide to Creative Writing by Melissa Donovan

2.    Writing the Wave by Elizabeth Ayres

3.    Telling True Stories: Nonfiction Writer’s Guide–Multiple Contributors, edited by Mark Kramer, Wendy Call

4.    Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

      “Plot & Structure, Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish,” is 234 power packed pages in 14 chapters and 2 appendices.  

The introduction lays out a fine tuned strategy for learning to write fiction.
What it takes to Learn Plot: Become your own plotting coach. Get Motivated:
1.    Write a statement of purpose, one that gets you excited, and print it. Put it where you can see it every day. Come up with your own visual motivation. Inspirational words taped to your computer, or maybe a photo.
2.    Try Stuff—try out what you learn, see if you get it, try some more. Take time to digest and apply what you learn about plot & structure to your own writing.
3.    Stay loose—A tense brain freezes creativity. The guidelines in this book give you material to work with techniques that can help you.
4.    “First get it written, then get it right.”
5.    Set a quota—Writing is how we learn to write. Write daily – by a certain number of words or for a period of time.
6.    Don’t give up—the difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful one is persistence. Keep writing.

The author: James Scott Bell developed the LOCK system, a simple set of foundational principles for the writers and his success:
L = Lead Character
O = Objective (A want, A desire, driving force - Will the lead realize her objective?)
C = Confrontation (obstacles in the way)
K = Knockout
The author’s intent is to share his writing gems to strengthen all writers for a lasting career of productivity and publication.


Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at:   

Visit her caregiver’s website:
Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love



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NaNoWriMo Resources Are for Everyone

Even if you don't participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November), the NaNoWriMo site has resources and community that you might find useful.

I love the forums, where inspiration is rife and your strange questions may be answered by people all over the world.

You might also like the NaNo Prep 101 Handbook (under Writer's Resources / NaNo Prep), which has information and nice graphics for all fiction writers.

And, of course, if you're planning on writing 50,000 words this November, this website will help keep you sane for 30 days.

Check it out:

Tips for New Writers; U - Z

U is for unique.

You have a unique voice and writing style. I cannot emphasize this enough.

It is overwhelming to take the first step in the writing world. One click on the internet and you know what I mean. There are hundreds of thousands of writers out there; everything from personal blogs to authors. Are there readers who want what you have to offer? Yes!

Believe in yourself and build on that foundation. There is room for everyone.

V is for voice.

Your writer's voice is your fingerprint; your distinctive writing style. This includes how you arrange your words and sentences, your use of punctuation, character development, and more. 

Teacher and journalist Donald Murray defines voice:
"It is what attracts the reader and communicates to the reader ... voice carries the writer's intensity and glues together the information that the reader needs to know. It is the music in writing that makes the meaning clear."
Once you find your voice you will know it. The words will flow and come naturally and will guide you to the kind of writing you will be successful with.

W is for work.

The old adage, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" wasn't necessarily true for mystery writer, Hester Young.

An email query landed her a three-book deal with G.P. Putnam & Sons in 1 month. But it took her 15 years after writing the book to be published.

In Becoming a Novelist: Five Principles to Success, (Writer's Digest; June 2016) Young says:
"What truly helped me get an agent and a deal were my actions over that fifteen year period." 

Technology has made life quicker and easier in many ways. It's important to remember some things take time and work. When you keep this in your sight, you will not be tempted to give up.

X, Y, Z is for "insert your content here".

What will be the mark you leave on the writing world?

It's up to you!

Image above is courtesy of digitalart at 


Kathy is a K - 12 subsitute teacher and enjoys writing for magazines. Recently, her story, "One of a Kind", was published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts

Finding names for your characters

Find your character a name: click here  
If you're like me, you sometimes have a hard time coming up with names for your characters.  This can be especially difficult in fantasy and science fiction.  One solution:  online name generators.

In February, I posted about a cool  "what-if" generator.  Sites like this are good for laughs and for sparks that you can turn into stories, but they're a little on the novelty side.  Name generators, on the other hand, can be very useful in a day-to-day way if you don't intend your character names to be deeply symbolic and if you don't want to waste time, energy, and creativity coming up with names, especially for secondary characters.  

Many generators have various versions or settings, so you can search for names for anything from Japanese women or French men to colonial Americans, rappers, and English kings.  If your writing's a little more on the speculative side, you can search for elves, super villains, robots, heroic orcs, and a whole lot of other character types.  Some sites also have place name generators where you can discover the perfect name for your a small town, lake, hospital, planet, or mystic temple.

Generators should not replace your own creativity, but especially for minor characters and places only mentioned in passing, or if you're really stuck, they can be a life saver.

My favorites:
Fantasy Name Generator (also includes a lot of not-fantasy names)
Rinkworks (mostly aimed at fantasy, with cool settings like "very long names," "vowel-heavy names," and "mushy names")
Seventh Sanctum (One option based on names from US census data, many fantasy options including things like "dark elf" and  "pirate ship")

You'll discover many others online.

So, whether you need a name like Deidre Gordon,  Ronaldo JimĂ©nez, Alouko, or Swiftdemon the Striker, there's a name generator out there for you.

Melinda Brasher currently teaches English as a second language in the beautiful Czech Republic.  She loves the sound of glaciers calving and the smell of old books.  Her travel articles and short fiction appear in Go NomadInternational LivingElectric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and others.  For an e-book collection of some of her favorite published pieces, check out Leaving Home.  For something a little more medieval, read her YA fantasy novel, Far-KnowingVisit her online at

Marketing as a Beginner

The shop of the bookdealer Pieter Meijer Warnars--Johannes  Jelgerhuis (1770-1836)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

With a new fiction novella out in October, I have been brushing up on marketing techniques. As far as I can see, the only certainty is that there is no certainty. What proves successful for one author may not work for another.

My publisher has listed the need for Facebook and Twitter and I'll set up new accounts for my author persona. But social media is continually evolving and the new algorithms always tend to favor the website creators. FaceBook changes have made it more difficult to spread your news and views to all the friends on your list. And not all authors can afford or wish to afford paid ads.

In a new article suggesting how to stop wasting time with marketing, Tom Buford notes that 90% of his business comes from just two strategies: peer endorsement meaning recommendations from friends--this may perhaps include
affiliates?-- and using education based webinars to sell his products.

With a two step strategy in mind, I am considering slideshare and an infoproduct how-to course as a thankyou gift for purchasers of my book.

To work on my website, I'm following Tiffany Lambert's day by day blog--One Year in a New Niche.

Her blog may not be everyone's cup of tea but she's a great marketer and her openness and techniques are built for selling.

That said, here at Writers on the Move we have some of the best book marketers in the business. I have my copy of Carolyn Howard-Johnson's award-winning Frugal Editor and the Frugal Book Promoter  and a folder of helpful ebooks from Karen Cioffi-Ventrice.

Blogpost of the Month

This one has so much help and information that I'm still dipping into it weeks after publication.  Cynthia Lindeman writing for Boost Blog Traffic lists
101 Writing Resources That'll Take You from Stuck to Unstoppable. I don't know how unstoppable I shall be as I'm still having such fun with the list that I haven't quite got started.

* * * *

Next month I'll report back on my marketing plans and updates.

In the meantime, any help and advice in the comments below on which book promotion strategies  work best for you will be greatly appreciated. :-)

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 

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