102 Resources For Fiction Writing UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software. 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters What are the Sixteen Master Archetypes?
Writers Write untitled Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity by Maria Popova “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (public library) is among my 10 favorite books on writing — a treasure trove of insight both practical and profound, timelessly revisitable and yielding deeper resonance each time. One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. What makes Lamott so compelling is that all of her advice comes not from the ivory tower of the pantheon but from an honest place of exquisite vulnerability and hard-earned life-wisdom. I started writing when I was seven or eight. So she found refuge in books, searching for “some sort of creative or spiritual or aesthetic way of seeing the world and organizing it in [her] head.” I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. But, one might wonder, why? Donating = Loving
Fiction University untitled 15 Habits That Will Make You A Better Writer Writing is one of the great joys of life, but it can also be difficult, tedious, and full of frustration. Luckily, there are some specific things you can do to become a better writer. Read on for 15 habits that will make you a better writer, today. 1. If you wait until you feel 100%, you may never start. 2. It’s tempting to want to sound more professional or intellectual in your writing, but simplicity wins every time. 3. Writing an outline or rough dot points can only take you so far. 4. Your writing will never be perfect, so striving for perfection is a fruitless task. 5. Imagine your ideal reader and write to him or her. 6. Avoid overwriting by using fewer words to express the same sentiment. 7. Writing every single day will help you avoid writers block by maintaining a flow to your writing practice. 8. Without editing, write your first draft freely. 9. The perfect moment to write may never come, so don’t sit around waiting for it. 10. 11. 12. Every great writer has a good routine.
Robin Black How did you become a writer? I took a super circuitous route. Growing up, I wanted to be an actress and a singer, ambitions that I dropped the second I arrived at Sarah Lawrence and saw the theater kids there. They were so sophisticated, so cool, I nearly died of social anxiety, and gave up before I began. (My decision-making skills are not always the best.) In May, 2001, when I was thirty-nine, my father died. Fall 2001, I entered The Rittenhouse Writers group in Philadelphia, and July 2003, I entered the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.). Allan Gurganus and Steven Schwartz are without question the teachers who have had the greatest influence on me. Authors who have influenced me include Virginia Woolf (of course!) When and where do you write? All the time and all over the house. What are you working on now? Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? That would be 1982-2001. And then, post 2001, it depends how you define it.
images (4) Fifty Writing Tools: Quick List Use this quick list of Writing Tools as a handy reference. Copy it and keep it in your wallet or journal, or near your desk or keyboard. Share it and add to it. I. 1. Strong verbs create action, save words, and reveal the players.4. 6. II. 11. Dig for the concrete and specific, details that appeal to the senses.15. III. 24. 28. IV. 40. All of these tips are available via podcast through iTunes. To purchase a copy of “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer,” visit your local or online bookstore or click here (as an Amazon affiliate, Poynter will receive a small cut of the profit).
Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Author of 'My Struggle,' on the Power of Short Stories By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. See entries from Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, and more. Karl Ove Knausgaard isn’t known for being brief. My Struggle—his celebrated six-volume, 3,600-page autobiographical novel—is an experiment in radical scope, a kind of literary ultra-marathon. In our conversation for this series, though, Knausgaard chose to examine the biblical story of Cain and Abel—a text he admires for its extreme compression. My Struggle is being serially translated into English, and the latest volume—Book Four—comes out Tuesday. Knausgaard’s work has been translated into more than 15 languages. Karl Ove Knausgaard: I first heard the Cain and Abel story at school, when I was seven or eight. I need 300 or 400 pages to say something significant. In some ways, this concision is typical of the Old Testament. I was invited to be a consultant for the New Norwegian Bible translation of this story.