Usually at the end of each month I do a roundup of the best helpful writing sites and blog posts I come across during the month. This month I will be doing things a little differently. For those who follow me on Twitter, or read my post from last week, you will know I have been a bit disconnected from the internet this past month due to some bad news I received early in the month. For those who don’t follow me, I found out I lost my baby early this month and I’ve been having a hard time emotionally. I’m starting to get back into the swing of things now, but as a result of my disconnectedness from the net I haven’t collected many great sites this month to share. Instead I’ve decided to do a roundup of a few of my favourite posts from throughout the year, ones I thought were so helpful I bookmarked them for future reference.
Helpful Writing Posts
Key Elements of Strong Fiction
Shennandoah Diaz writes about creating the foundation of strong fiction by establishing dynamic characters, an intriguing plot, a compelling voice, and a vibrant setting. She gives great examples to illustrate her points.
Top 8 Tips for Writing Dialogue
Ginny Wiehardt outlines eight ways you can improve your dialogue so it sounds more realistic, advances the story and fleshes out your characters.
A great little reminder on the correct use of dialogue tags with examples of correct and incorrect usage.
An excerpt from Teresa Neilsen Hayden’s lecture on ‘Stupid Plotting Tricks’ giving a look at cliches revolving around villains and the genres of science fiction and fantasy.
Counting Chickens: A Few Words About Word Counts
For anyone writing any form of kidlit (from picture books to young adult novels), Hope Vestergaard’s post is handy to bookmark as a reminder on appropriate word counts for kidlit.
Workshop: Writing the Novel Synopsis
For any writer who dreads writing a novel synopsis or isn’t sure how to go about writing one, this workshop by Sheila Kelly shows you how to write a synopsis. She outlines the main elements you need to include and how to format it.
Helpful Writing PDFs
These worksheets are primarily geared towards planning for NaNoWriMo, but they are great planning tools for anyone thinking about starting a new novel idea. There’s a planning sheet for everything from story idea maps to character sketches to act one, two and three plot goals.
I’ve mentioned this resource a few times on this blog. It outlines not only the five main senses we use, but six extra ones as well. It includes some writing exercises using the various senses and a great list of words for each sense (so you don’t always have to fall back on the same old sense words all the time, like saw and heard).
I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and you all have a happy and safe new year!