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Author Topic: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources  (Read 5454 times)

Offline NightWrite

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A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« on: July 23, 2015, 03:13:22 PM »
This was a thread I had originally started in the Writing Group. It was meant as a way to compile useful links to improve our craft, all kept together in an easily accessible thread. After some discussion, however, I realized it was unfair to keep the thread on a board only a handful of people could access. Here in the Fantasy Resources board it can be seen and used by everyone.

The links already listed are ones compiled before recreating this thread. No one will be forced to submit resources. Nor will any be forced to use these resources. This is just for fun. All I ask is you keep the resources limited to those related to writing.

Any books, articles, podcasts, etc. you'd like to share? Post them here. I hope to continually update this first post so people don't have to go searching the thread for them. I'll also reserve the second post, just in case we one day exceed the character cap.

General Writing Advice & Stash
Write About Dragons - series of lectures by Brandon Sanderson
Limyaael's Rants - series of rants about writing, some of these are brilliant
Writing Advice - the first of a good series of writing advice articles on Michael J Sullivan's blog (links further down on the right)
Jim Butcher Collection - a compiling of advise from author Jim Butcher, compiled into a Google Docs by @Jmack
Lost Ark Transcripts - a copy of the transcripts from a 1978 story conference dealing with the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Watt-Evans' Laws of Fantasy

Punctuation, Grammar, & General Word Play
Space and Punctuate Dialogue Correctly: Creative Writing Success Tips - guidelines and examples of how to correctly use punctuation in dialogue
Onelook Thesaurus

Software
Word Menu

Checklists to Edit By
Creative Writing Tips for Fiction Writers - a checklist writers can use to make their story stronger

Critiques
How to Critique Fiction - I've had this open while writing critiques, and found it a really good prompt that helped me come up with (I think) constructive feedback

Submissions Help
I am your editor - article about the submissions experience from the point of view of an editor, really good read

Misc. Links
Outlines Written by Famous Authors
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 02:45:15 AM by NightWrite »

Offline NightWrite

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 03:14:36 PM »
*Reserved for the future*

Offline Jmack

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 04:05:02 PM »
I'm not that steeped in the advice of successful writers, but this Jim Butcher's writing blog is one of my go-to resources. You can easily google for it online, but it's in multiple posts, etc. and with some irrelevant crap in the middle. (It was a blog, after all.)

I've put it all into a Google Doc here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11MFT2cJmlrVnGRRhCVlG-e7zIybQyKhR7bQRic5s2RU/edit?usp=docslist_api

(At least, I think I deleted all the irrelevant griping about irritating readers and trolls.)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 07:10:06 PM »
Limyaael's Rants - series of rants about writing, some of these are brilliant

good gravy.  you've just cost me hours and hours of my life.

Offline Raptori

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 09:11:44 PM »
Limyaael's Rants - series of rants about writing, some of these are brilliant

good gravy.  you've just cost me hours and hours of my life.
I did say they were brilliant. Think I've read about 3/4 of them in total, it took forever but was well worth it!
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 10:48:47 PM »
oh!  oh!

it's absolutely impossible that this hasn't been mentioned somewhere else on the site, but as a noob running all over the internet looking for solid writing advice, i found "writing excuses" with brandon sanderson, mary robinette kowal, howard tayler, and dan wells -- it's awesome.

like i said, it's called "writing excuses" and it's a weekly podcast about the art and craft of writing.  (they appear to focus on fantasy)  it's amazing.  they cover subjects like "How Do I Write a Story, Not an Encyclopedia?" and "What Do You Mean My Main Character is Boring?"  it's chock-full of tactical advice and examples -- not just hand-waving, theoretical musings.

they've been at it since '06, i believe, so there are about a bazillion back episodes -- all perfectly relevant.  and it looks like nobody's mentioned them in the forums for a couple years, so i'm bringing them up.

http://www.writingexcuses.com


edit:  *sigh*

of course, i post this and go click a bit.  writing excuses is LITERALLY the first link in this first sticky of this board.  in my defense, on a search, that post showed up for 2011.

so.  um.  bump!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 10:51:31 PM by m3mnoch »

Offline Jmack

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 12:30:01 AM »
oh!  oh!

it's absolutely impossible that this hasn't been mentioned somewhere else on the site, but as a noob running all over the internet looking for solid writing advice, i found "writing excuses" with brandon sanderson, mary robinette kowal, howard tayler, and dan wells -- it's awesome.

like i said, it's called "writing excuses" and it's a weekly podcast about the art and craft of writing.  (they appear to focus on fantasy)  it's amazing.  they cover subjects like "How Do I Write a Story, Not an Encyclopedia?" and "What Do You Mean My Main Character is Boring?"  it's chock-full of tactical advice and examples -- not just hand-waving, theoretical musings.

they've been at it since '06, i believe, so there are about a bazillion back episodes -- all perfectly relevant.  and it looks like nobody's mentioned them in the forums for a couple years, so i'm bringing them up.

http://www.writingexcuses.com


edit:  *sigh*

of course, i post this and go click a bit.  writing excuses is LITERALLY the first link in this first sticky of this board.  in my defense, on a search, that post showed up for 2011.

so.  um.  bump!

[bumped]  Just subscribed to the podcast. If my commute tomorrow sucks, it'll be your fault. ;)  If it's great, it'll be due to the brialliant writer-hosts.  ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 01:23:55 AM »
[bumped]  Just subscribed to the podcast. If my commute tomorrow sucks, it'll be your fault. ;)  If it's great, it'll be due to the brialliant writer-hosts.  ;D

story of my life.

Offline Raptori

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2015, 08:57:20 AM »
I listened to a couple of seasons of writing excuses, but got bored with them and found them a little irritating by the time I stopped. Plus everything they cover is done in more detail elsewhere. It'd be cool to follow it if I had some kind of commute, but since I don't it's not really worth it.  :P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline KaiHerbertz

Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 11:51:14 AM »
Agreed, writing excuses is awesome.

As for something (hopefully) not yet mentioned: Rachel Aaron's blog and her writing advice posts (she does one every Wednesday) are great, imho, ymmv. The classic post I always recommend is "How I went from writing 2k words a day to 10k words a day": http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.de/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html

Offline Jmack

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 01:07:13 PM »
I've listened to a few Writing Excuses, and so far they're breezy and interesting. I imagine it could get dull over time.

One I listened to had an interview with David Farland, who writes the Runelord series, was Sanderson's and Stephanie Meyers's writing teacher, and currently runs an online writing workshop. ($399 per workshop @ mystorydoctor).

I've been reading his book "Million Dollar Outlines". It suffers some from being a quick conversion from workshop guide to stand alone book (including some glaring editing errors), but it's an overall interesting read. In a lot of ways it's a book of lists: things to do to create impactful plots, things to avoid in different parts of your book...

Have just been going through the section on starting your story, and I recognize a number of things from my own attempts and those of others.

Things not to do (my wording of his points):

> Take more than a page to grab your reader's attention
> Start your story describing the weather
> Have only one character in the opening scene
> Have no conflict of any type in the opening scene
> Fail to give your main character a name right off
> Have your character running for her life from something he doesn't recognize/see/understand (cliche)
> Trick the reader by offering "false suspense" or "false mystery" (his example is, a woman is walking to her car through the mist, and feels someone coming; terrified, she drops her keys; a man materializes and says "Hey, hon, drop your keys? We gotta go get the kids")

And more.

So, interesting book with some useful suggestions.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Jmack

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 06:30:18 PM »

OK, almost finished Farland's Million Dollar Outlines and my excitement over it really built in the last 50 pages.

At the end of the book, he summarizes and quotes extensively from a story conference from 1978 about Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Lucas, Spielberg, and Kasdan brainstorming what Kasdan should include in the script. Farland's summary is great; the quotes are great. Here is a link to the full transcript (which I've not read; it's almost 100 pages):

http://maddogmovies.com/almost/scripts/raidersstoryconference1978.pdf

I really encourage folks to get a copy of the Farland book. It's changing how I'm going to approach my WIP.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Raptori

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 10:20:54 PM »
Watt-Evans' Laws of Fantasy

@ClintACK shared this in another thread, I think it's really good. The laws are stated near the top in short form, but the article further down is well worth reading. Obviously loads of popular fantasy (I'm looking at you, Wheel of Time) completely breaks half of these rules, but for me those are the flaws that keep me from liking the books as much as I otherwise might have.
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Jmack

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Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 12:35:15 AM »
Watt-Evans' Laws of Fantasy

@ClintACK shared this in another thread, I think it's really good. The laws are stated near the top in short form, but the article further down is well worth reading. Obviously loads of popular fantasy (I'm looking at you, Wheel of Time) completely breaks half of these rules, but for me those are the flaws that keep me from liking the books as much as I otherwise might have.

Great read.
And I liked Brust's Rule: Don't explian how it works; Explain how you use it.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline ClintACK

Re: A Writer's Stash - Share Your Resources
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 01:43:58 PM »

And I liked Brust's Rule: Don't explian how it works; Explain how you use it.

That's a good one.  Reminds me of another.

I can't remember whose rule this is but:  Explain one well-chosen thing in vivid detail, let the reader fill in everything else.

This also works with sci-fi technology.  Explain how slingshotting or LeGrange points work, then just take it for granted that the FTL drive works, and it will still feel like hard sf.  (See Firefly w/ space suited EVAs vs. Star Trek)


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