Writers are readers. Unfortunately, most will tell you, when they’re in the middle of a new book, reading books is something they don’t get to indulge much time in. They may check out the news, read a blog post or four and maybe skim an eBook or a few pages of something besides a reference related to their current work on any given day but they’re really reading for knowledge and not for pleasure.
Right now, most of my daily reading that isn’t keeping up with the news and the goings on of friends and family involves writing and marketing my writing. I enjoy reading about writing. I don’t so much enjoy reading about marketing but, as an indie author, it’s a necessary evil. Countless books have been written about writing and many of them are truly great. Lots modern indie writers will point first to horror master Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft as the book that first opened their eyes. I’ve never been a big horror fan but this book on the craft by King is one of my favorites.
Now that I only get to read in bits and snippets, I tend to focus more on blogs. There’s a ton of great blog content out there and plenty of drivel too. Some of the best blogs that are ‘mostly’ about writing that I follow and my most recent favorite writing related posts are:
Terrible Minds by Chuck Wendig (Sci-Fi and Fantasy writer extraordinaire) – Chuck writes a lot of great stuff on his blog. Some of it is about writing, some of it isn’t specifically (but it’s all connected). One of the things I love about receiving posts from ‘Chuck’ is that, often, he’s put a call out there to his readers – many of whom are fellow writers for a piece of flash fiction or a post about something and then he actually publishes what he receives back. Recently, he put out a ‘Five Things I Learned While Writing ______’ challenge. Multiple authors have responded. All have had some very interesting things to say. The most recent ‘Five Things…’ post was Five Things I Learned While Writing Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian.
Live to Write – Write to Live by a group of nine writers – This group of writers is also known as the New Hampshire Writers Network. They’ve taken the New Hampshire state motto, ‘Live Free or Die’ and given it a writers touch. The number of posts on the site varies from week to week and, certainly, the content does too. There’s always plenty of food for thought. My favorite post this past week was a quick little read by Diane Mackinnon on Writing Realities. She implores us to keep putting ourselves out there.
Dark Urban Fantasy Shifted by Shen Hart – Shen Hart writes fantasy novels and, often, Shen writes about writing. This past week, a post that caught my eye featured a delicious looking chocolate brownie. I’m quite the chocolate lover and I couldn’t help myself but check out the post, Using Goals and Rewards to Help Motivation. I don’t necessarily agree with the whole concept of word count clocks – something addressed in the post – but then, neither did Shen, at first.
Writing Madness by Charlotte Cyprus – Charlotte (aka Bethany) has her first romance book out. She says she’ll continue to write until she can support a whole passel of pugs. I support her in that. I have a pug and love him to death. I’d have several more if my spouse would let me but…I digress. This past week Charlotte/Bethany wrote on The Importance of Plot Bunnies. I agree 100%. I wouldn’t have ever written my 2nd and 3rd books if it hadn’t have been for plot bunnies. Book four, now in progress, is a continuation from book three but, as I wrote in my last post, sometimes characters take you places you hadn’t planned on. That situation, looking back, was definitely plot bunny driven.
Last, but by no means least, is the blog of author of historical and speculative fiction, and author mentor K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors. You could spend days on K.M.’s site learning about the craft of writing but, if you do that, you won’t have time to write. I have each new blog post dropped into my email – they appear about every two or three days. I try to just read those and not stray into hours of reading through her stuff when I should be writing! They’re always helpful. If I had to pick a best one of the three last week it would be, Word Count Woe: What Should You Do With Your Very Long Manuscript?. It’s a very real problem for a lot of new (and more established) writers especially in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
Those are my five for the past week. What did you find particularly helpful that I don’t know anything about last week? Please, enlighten us all!