Useful Info…

…about the Writers’ & Artists’ website.

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This week’s useful information is about a vital tool for any would-be (and established) writers out there! You may recall (if you’ve been with me since the beginning) that I mentioned the awesomeness that is the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook in one of my first posts. If you haven’t already got your copy, I strongly recommend you buy one ASAP. They also do one specifically for Children’s Writers’ & Artists, so check them both out, and see which will be the best option for you.

The Writers’ & Artists’ website is seriously amazing. It covers everything! We’re talking:

  • Developing an idea
  • Story and plot
  • Style
  • Revision
  • Literary Agents
  • Publishers
  • Query Letters
  • Synopsis
  • How to deal with rejection
  • Self Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Editing
  • Design and formatting
  • Things you need to know about After Publication
  • Events and courses to help you with your writing and publishing goals
  • Dedicated genre advice for kids lit, YA, historical fiction, short stories, poetry, thrillers, and more!

They also offer editorial services, and have an interactive community you can join, as well as really helpful blogs to peruse.

I cannot stress enough how invaluable a resource this website (and their Yearbook) is for writers. It’s been one of my most useful go-to’s in the tiny writers’ toolkit I’m starting to assemble for myself. If you haven’t had chance to have a look yet, go check out the Writers’ & Artists’ website now. It’s definitely one worth bookmarking!

Useful Info…

…about Facebook Groups!

Facebook Groups

In a previous post, I talked about different hashtag games that I participate in on Twitter. These forums are great for meeting fellow writers, and learning more about the writing process. While Twitter is my main Social Media (SM) hub, I am also member of a few groups on Facebook, which I thought were worth mentioning here.

The first group I joined is Your Write Dream, which I heard about on Twitter. It is hosted by the fab Kristen Kieffer (who you’ve no doubt noticed mentioned on here before), and is a really inclusive, support group of like-minded writerly people. It’s not the biggest group out there, but there are plenty of active members who are happy to offer support, give advice, and answer any writing questions you may have¬†about your WIP. There are also Mastermind Mondays, Self Promo Days, and Friday Office Hours to get involved with! If you haven’t already, check out Your Write Dream now, and see if it’s for you. Remember to read the rules first, and always respect other posters.

Next, there is a group called Writers Unite, which I stumbled across when looking into a different group. This group is huge, with over 36,000 members, so I recommend turning the notifications off, or your phone/tablet/laptop will be “binging” every few seconds! It’s a great place to check in on a few times a week though, as people ask interesting questions, post writing prompts, as well as share information that has been helpful on their writing journey. If you haven’t already had a look at Writers Unite head on over there now! Remember to read the rules first, and always respect other posters.

The third, and final (for now) Facebook group I want to mention is called Fiction Writing. This is another pretty big group, with over 26,000 members, so I would again suggest that you turn the notifications off if you don’t want to be driven crazy! This group is also great for getting a variety of opinions and perspectives on writing, or your specific WIP, as well as support, encouragement and advice. They also collectively publish an anthology each year, called A _________ of Words, with a different theme being picked for each one (the current one being A Contract of Words). Members are able to write a short story based on the assigned theme, and submit it for consideration. Those who are successful get their story published in the anthology, a free paperback copy, the accompanying soundtrack CD, and the ebook form. If you haven’t already, check out Fiction Writing now, and maybe even submit your own short story about a contract! Remember though, to read the rules first, and be respectful of other posters.

I know I’ve mentioned it already, but do make sure you read through all of the rules first (for whichever group you want to join) and make sure they are ones you can abide by. For example, some groups may not allow fan-fiction etc. so do make sure you know the rules before joining, to prevent any grievances later ūüôā

That’s all for this week, but if you know of any other great Facebook groups for the writing community, let me know!

Useful Info…

…about Camp NaNoWriMo!

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As mentioned in my previous post, this month I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp is brought to you by the hosts of November’s regular NaNoWriMo, which you can find out more about by clicking here.

I’d heard of the November challenge before, but had never been in a position to participate. I only recently found out about the 2 Camps, which run through the Spring/Summer months. You can visit Camp website and see what the fuss is about here.

April is the first Camp. The goals are much more flexible than the regular 50,000 words that November requires. You can set your goal based on the number of hours, pages, lines, and words you mean to complete. This means that people can get involved who are still in the planning stages (like me), or perhaps are done with their drafting, and have moved onto the editing part of the process.

You can create/join a private cabin if you know other campers already, or you get assigned one in March. This can be random, or you can set your preferences to be put with others who have similar interests/goals. Luckily for me I was able to join a cabin with a group of amazing writerly people from one of the Facebook writer groups I’m part of.

In the cabin, you can see each other’s project stats, chat about your writing process, give/receive encouragement and motivation, talk about your ideas, and whatever else you want!

So far I’m enjoying it. It’s been hard, and I’m a little behind due to health stuffs, but I’ve found that by being accountable to Camp, and to my cabin-mates (?), I’m more likely to push myself to do something on my WIP, just so I don’t feel bad when I see how much progress they’re all making!

I’m not sure if you can sign up for this month’s camp, now that we’re a week into it already, but you could still have a look around the site here and sign up for the next camp in Summer! I’ll do an Update post later in the month to hopefully make myself more accountable on here too…. ūüôā

In the meantime, happy writing Campers!

Useful Info…

…on Noteworthy Blogs and Websites!

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This week in my ‘useful websites’ thread, I’m going to introduce you to a site which focuses more on the editing part of story-telling, although there are some very helpful posts on writing too.

Today I bring to you the writerly awesomeness that is Kidlit! This site, for writers of children’s literature, is run by the amazing Mary Kole, who you can (and should) follow on Twitter here.

Mary’s years as an editor mean she approaches the craft of storytelling from a different angle. Kidlit mainly offers advice to the writer who has already completed their first draft, and is interested in getting down to business, and making the book into a best-seller.

There are sections about Publishing, getting an Agent, Revising and Editing, Query Letters, as well as actual Writing. Mary also offers specific advice for writers of Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult fiction. I also recommend checking out the Resources for Writers page.

If you haven’t already had a look at Kidlit why not head over there now? Have a browse through her advice, and if you really want your work to shine, you can use her freelance editorial services too. Her feedback on the first few pages of my WIP were massively helpful!

Useful Info…

…about Noteworthy Blogs and Websites!

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This week we’re diving back into the ‘useful websites’ thread, with a quick look at another brilliant site, which has been beyond helpful on this writing journey of mine.

Today’s pick is the fabulous Helping Writers become Authors by K.M. Weiland, who you can (and should) follow on Twitter here.

Katie writes both fiction and non-fiction, and uses her website to assist fellow writers who want to improve at their craft. She also has a wide range of amazingly useful resources (some free, some paid) that are well worth a look-in.

I am currently using her thread on Character Arcs¬†to give my story greater breadth, depth and strength. I would seriously recommend you check it out, regardless of which stage of the writing process you’re currently at – she breaks it down in to easily digestible sections, and offers a wealth of information that I have not found anywhere else.

This site is huge, and there are hidden nuggets of writerly awesomeness around every corner! If you haven’t already, definitely head on over to Helping Writers become Authors and have a look for yourself.

Useful Info…

…about Twitter # games!

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One of the most useful resources I’ve found on this writing journey of mine is Twitter. There are so many amazing writerly tweeps on there, and a wealth of useful information.

One of my favourite things about Twitter is the hashtag (#) games. There are loads of them, I’m sure, but there’s a few writing-specific ones which are definitely worth a look-in.

One of my personal favourite hashtag games is #storycrafter – run by Faye from @WriterologyHG (previously found at @Writerology). Each Sunday evening (8pm GMT) Faye hosts the game, which is based on a specific topic that is relevant to the writing process, and/or your current WIP. Once a month there is the opportunity to role play (RP) as one of your characters too! There are usually 5-6 questions asked, and whoever wants to can answer. A fab bunch of tweeps join in, giving you the chance to meet and engage with like-minded individuals, as well as thinking about your writing process in a way that perhaps you otherwise wouldn’t.

Another favourite is #WritersPatch hosted by @PatchworkNerd¬†– also on Sunday (10am CST). Al hosts the game in a similar style to Faye’s #storycrafter, in that it lasts an hour and is based on 5-6 questions about a specific writing-related topic. There are often fun gifs and random mentions of food, as well as another bunch of wonderful writerly people to engage with. She ends each game with a poll of what people would like to discuss the week after, so you can play a part in determining each game’s topic too.

One of the daily hashtag games I’ve started this month is #authorconfession, hosted by the fabulous @_JM_Sullivan. Unlike the previous 2 mentioned, this one happens over the course of a month, with 1 question being set for each day.¬†There are a wide range of questions asked, all still writing related, and it can be fun to read other people’s responses. The complete list of each month’s questions are posted on @_JM_Sullivan’s profile, and are well worth a look.

My most recent discovery is that of #DreamWIP, hosted by the lovely @claeriekauthor. It’s run along the same lines as #authorconfession, in that there is 1 question for each day of the month on the topic of (you guessed it) your dream WIP! The questions are varied but still writing-centric and again, it’s fascinating scrolling through the answers of other participants.

Last, but not least, I recently stumbled across the #SFFchat which runs once a month, usually in the first week (so I believe). They run it twice on 1 day (afternoon & evening USA time) and each chat has a theme – March’s was about first drafts. I missed out this month, by mere hours, but after reading through everyone’s tweets I am definitely looking forward to checking it out in April! I’m not entirely sure who hosts it, but @EmilyBeeMartin and @Michelle4Laughs¬†seem to be in the know.

Those are my faves for right now. Of course there are the regular writing threads like #amwriting, #writing, #writerslife, #writingtips and #amwritingfantasy that are worth following too.

I hope you find these as interesting and helpful as I have, and if you know of any others that are worth checking out, feel free to let me know!

 

Useful Info…

…about Noteworthy Blogs and Websites!

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As a follow on from last week’s “Useful Info’ post, I’m going to be talking briefly about another website which has been massively helpful as I’ve taken my first few steps on this authoring journey.

Today’s post brings to you the writerly talents of Writerology! This site is run by the amazing Faye, who you can (and should) follow on Twitter here.

In addition to her fabulous website, Faye also hosts #storycrafter on Sunday evenings (on Twitter) which I 100% recommend you take a look at.

Writerology is packed to the brim with useful articles, inspiring posts, writing challenges and so much more.

If you haven’t already have a look you can right now, here -> Writerology

Have a browse, follow her on Twitter, and check out the awesomeness that is #storycrafter on Sundays – I would also recommend that you sign up to her StoryCrafter’s Circle, where more wonderful writerly resources can be found!

Useful Info…

…about Noteworthy Blogs & Websites!

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While on my writing journey I’ve come across a few blogs and websites that have proven invaluable. As part of my ‘Useful Info’ thread, I’m going to share a few of the places I’ve found really helpful information about all things author-ing.

The first one I want to mention is an amazing website called Well-Storied (formerly known as She’s Novel). It’s run by the fantabulous Kristen Kieffer, who you can (and should) follow on Twitter here.

Well-Storied is one of the best¬†sites I’ve come across so far, with writing tutorials, resources, articles and an amazing community of like-minded writerly folks.

Her posts are really straight-forward, easy to understand and cover pretty much every topic I’ve managed to think of about the writing process. Since discovering this site, I’ve been able to create a well-rounded plot outline, develop more complex and relatable characters, and cultivate practices which help with my overall motivation and writing technique.

If you haven’t already had a look, you can right now, here -> Well-Storied.

Good luck on your writing journey, and check back next week for another noteworthy website!

 

 

 

Useful Info…

…about Writing Exercises.

Business Author Writer Text Writing Paper Letter
…but only if I write.

From what I’ve seen during this brief month of writerly-ness, every writer out there has rough days. Writer’s block. Lack of motivation. Loss of inspiration. Writing yourself into a corner. Self-doubt. Fear. Countless other reasons…

It happens to everyone. Apparently. Yet, people are still out there writing. Getting published. Being awesome authors.

Which means you can too.

The most important advice floating around the interwebs is to WRITE. You are not a writer if you’re not writing. You’re just a dreamer.

So, here are a few suggestions for when you hit those inevitable ‘down days’:

  • Writing prompts – there are loads of blogs, websites, Twitter accounts that will happily provide you with¬†writing prompts for free. Weekly, daily, sometimes hourly – take a look and see if any appeal to you. Then write.
  • Free writing – sometimes known as ‘stream of consciousness’, where you sit down with pen & paper/laptop & fingers and just write whatever comes to mind. It can be as random, weird, worrying or wonderful as you want. Try it.
  • Different POV – if you’re stuck with your current WIP, why not pick a scene and try writing it from a different character’s point of view? It might give you a different perspective/added in-sight and help shift that mental block.
  • Sprint writing – can be combined with any of the above ideas. Sit down, set a timer for 10/30/60 minutes (however long you want) and then write!

These are just a few ideas to get you writing each day, writer’s block or not. There are tons more out there if you can be bothered to go looking for them. This Writing Exercises¬†website is a good place to start, and has some interesting ideas for you to try out.

Play around, try a few different ideas, see what works for you. But most importantly, WRITE.

Useful Info…

…about ADVERBS!

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If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to read every useful bit of information on the internet that has anything to do with writing, in an attempt to improve your craft. Quite a few articles I’ve read recently have been about authors’ use of adverbs.

Apparently, a common mistake of newbie writers is the overuse of these tricksy little words. I’m assuming most other people are pretty confident in their understanding of adverbs, but for the few of you who, like me, are not quite so sure, here’s a quick overview:

An ADVERB is not the same as a verb, or an adjective (common mistake).

A verb is a ‘doing’ word (e.g. the dog barked).

An adjective modifies/describes nouns (e.g. the good dog).

An adverb modifies verbs/other adverbs/adjectives (e.g. the good dog barked playfully).

These are obviously very basic examples, but hopefully you’ll get the idea. Often, adverbs end in ‘-ly’, although there are exceptions to this, as shown in the picture above, of common adverbs.

Have a quick look at your manuscript (MS) and see how many adverbs you’ve used. There’s nothing wrong with a few here and there, but if they crop up all over the place, it might be worth going through and seeing if there is a better way to write what you’re trying to say. My WIP wasn’t too bad, but there were a few instances where I was able to make my sentences a little more concise.