As writers we all need help from time to time, whether that’s with plots, style, ideas, or simply the mechanics of writing and publishing. These are some of the materials, books, blogs, web sites, etc. that have been suggested to me or that I have found and I think are worth passing on. I’ll keep adding as I come across new and interesting ones.
Stephen King – On writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I have put this first for reason. It’s the most useful thing I’ve read on the art of writing. The first part is a short autobiography, the second his thoughts on the whole writing process, style, formatting, vocabulary, grammar, everything. A very readable book with loads of simple good advice for the would be writer.
Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. It is literally that, his 10 short simple rules (and home truths). You’ll read it in half an hour, but some of it will lodge in your writing brain forever.
Elizabeth Lyon – Manuscript Makeover. All about revision techniques. Not just the mechanics, but also problems with characters and plot. I’m sure there are others out there, but this has helped me.
Michio Kaku – Physics of the Impossible and other books. Interesting and thought provoking.
Ben Bova – Space Travel: A writers guide to the science of interplanetary and inter stellar travel. Looks at the practicalities (or lack of them) and then how to deal with it as a Science Fiction writer.
The New Scientist – Sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A writers guide to character expression – Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. Having blogged on the subject this was recommended to me.
Robert Silverberg – Science Fiction 101. I have put this hear rather than in the books section. It’s a collection of great early Science Fiction short stories from great writers. Silverberg then explains why they mean so much to him and what in his opinion makes them classics.
Blogs and Web Sites:
One problem here is that there is just so much out there. If you’re a tweeter, you’ll have come a cross loads of sites and blogs. A lot of them are saying the same sort of things. But there’s no doubt there is some good, free, useful information. Or at least information that can help you find what you really want. If there are one’s you find particularly useful I’d love to hear from you.
These are just a few I’ve come across:
http://www.thecreativepenn.com – A prolific blogger, tweeter, writer and someone who’s made it work. A good place to start if you’re new to the whole self marketing, blogging thing, as I am. Loads of free help (as well as things you can pay for)
http://www.epublishabook.com. A blog with multiple contributors.
http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk. Again much free and useful information. I chose to go through them for my first dip into a professional review of my books.
http://www.indieauthornews.com/ See what other indie authors are up to.
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com Includes a list of sites that will list your e-book for free
http://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/ If you’re e-publishing like me you want an easy way to ensure that it formats on Kindle etc. Joel Friedlander, who is behind these appears on the KDP website giving advice. You can pay someone to do it of course. However I paid about $77 (£50) for the multi book version, so all my books will have the same look. After a bit of careful transfering I pressed the upload button on the kindle site and it all worked perfectly – can’t say better than that
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/carnival-of-the-indies/ Again Joel Friedlander and the Book Designer people. Great place to advertise your blog. I posted a couple and received a good number of hits as a result. Also a good place to find other useful blogs.
http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction-common.shtml. Strange Horizons the online magazine has a list of ‘Stories We’ve Seen Too Often.’ It doesn’t mean you can’t write them, but beware.
http://www.asimovs.com. I subscribe to the on line magazine. I like short stories and it’s a different view of the genre. I could equally of added this to the Inspiration page.
http://www.popsci.com Updates on what’s new in the worlds of science
http://writerunboxed.com I joined this group recently on facebook. A group of writers sharing information and asking questions. Not a place to push your books (forbidden).
https://theconversation.com/uk Another news site, but agian I find it good for science a technology articles.
http://findaproofreader.com/ If you’ve read some of my blogs on writing, you’ll know that I think professional proof reading is an essential.
http://writershelpingwriters.net/ Some helpful blogs for all writers, including some of the above.