RESOURCES FOR WRITERS
- ORGANIZATIONS AND GROUPS
- WRITING BOOKS
- REFERENCE BOOKS
Organizations and Groups
The biggest help to my development as a writer has been finding a supportive community. For me, it's my local chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA). RWA is an excellent source of how-to advice on both the craft of writing and the business aspect. Plus, the various local and online chapters provide an opportunity to network with an amazingly diverse, intelligent, and knowledgeable group of writers.
Check them out at: Romance Writers of America
For independently published authors, I also highly recommend joining the following Yahoo! groups. They're an invaluable source of information and encouragement.
Mystery, suspense, and thriller writers should consider joining the Crime Scene Questions for Writers
No matter where you are in your career as a writer, there is always something new to learn. Luckily, you don't have to leave home to access writing classes for all levels. Here are some of my favorite sites that offer online writing classes:
Author E.M.S. provides online business resources for writers, including online classes. I particularly recommend their "Intro to Your Self-Publishing Business" workshop.
Kiss of Death (RWA online Mystery/Suspense Chapter, aka KOD) offers two tracks of classes. Murder One classes deal with the technical aspects of mystery/suspense such as forensics, cop procedures, etc. Killer Instinct classes deal with various aspects of writing in general. You don't have to be a member of KOD to take a class.
Savvy Authors provides a variety of online resources for writers, including online classes.
WriterUniv.com offers online writing classes.
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love
GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
Love Writing: A Guide To Writing And Getting Your Romance Novel Published: (Without Losing Your Perspective, Passion Or Sanity) by Virna DePaul and Tawny Weber
Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel by Cathy Yardley
Rock Your Revisions: A Simple System for Revising Your Novel by Cathy Yardley
Writing Romance--The Ultimate Guide on Craft, Creation, and Industry Connections by the San Francisco Area RWA
Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries (Get It Write) by David W. Page. Originally published as part of the Writer's Digest Howdunit series, this has been an invaluable reference for me when trying to figure out how to describe wounds and injuries.
HowDunit--The Book of Poisons by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon. My first reference point for deadly doses of poison, including snake, spider, and scorpion bites.
The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing by Jana DeLeon, Tina Folsom, Colleen Gleason, Jane Graves, Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, Dorien Kelly, Theresa Ragan, Denise Grover Swank, and Jasinda Wilder. These top indie authors share advice, give warnings, and talk about their personal experiences in indie publishing.
Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez. This book helped me tremendously during my transition to using Scrivener.
Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck-Required, Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, with David Wright. As they themselves have said, here's where to get their self-publishing advice without the BS that's often present on the podcast.
The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Very useful if you're looking to name a character of a particular ethnicity or want the character to have a name that carries a specific meaning.
There are a number of podcasts targeted at authors. Here are my favorites:
The Creative Penn hosted by Joanna Penn. This is my all-time favorite writing related podcast. Joanna is a savvy and enthusiastic author entrepreneur who provides fantastic business and marketing information. Her optimism is my antidote to the negativity often expressed in the industry. Plus, I love the way she explores new niches and trends in publishing.
How Do You Write hosted by Rachael Herron. Fascinating interviews where authors reveal details about their writing processes.
The Petal to the Metal with Rachael Herron and J. Thorn. Down-to-earth conversations about what it's like to be a full-time writer.
The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast hosted by Chris and Becca Syme. Actionable marketing advice for fiction and non-fiction writers.
The Self-Publishing Podcast with Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright. The language is definitely not suitable for work, and they often go off-topic, but these guys are dedicated to making their author careers stick and aren't afraid to experiment. Their stories of what's working and not working for their business, and their future plans for optimizing their business, are bound to give indie authors some good ideas. Worth listening to even if just for the banter.
Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula hosted by Mark Dawson and James Blatch. They discuss self-publishing with a variety of people in the industry.
The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast hosted by Simon Whistler. NOTE: Simon has retired this podcast. However, as of January 2018 you can still use the URL to access old episodes. Interviews with the top authors in the self-publishing industry. Focuses mostly on the stories of how the authors rose to success. Valuable for those looking for inspiration from others who have achieved their goals.