Resources for Fiction Writers: Read, Watch, and Listen

Last Update: May 28, 2017

This page is a constantly growing and updated list of fiction writing resources. If it is here and I have not noted otherwise, I have read, watched, or listened to it myself and feel that it is a good resource for those crafting fiction or for writers in general. Please comment at the bottom of the page with your own favorite fiction writing resources.

If you would like me to review a resource to add to this page, please contact me with all of the details!

Don’t forget to visit my blog, Wordy Speculations, for more articles on writing, editing, and publishing!

Click on the links below to jump right to the section you need to find.


Recommended Books
fiction, writing resources, fiction writing resources, writer, writing, editor, editingRecommended Websites/Blogs
Recommended Listening
Recommended Watching
Recommended Software
Recommended Blog Posts and Pages

Alpha/Beta Readers and Critique Groups/Partners
Character
Business of Writing
Dialogue
Editing
Fact Checking
General
Marketing and Promotion
Narrative and Narrative Voice
Plot
Self-Publishing
Setting and World Building
Structure and Outlining
Theme
Writing Life
Writing Mechanics and Writing Rules
Writing Tools

Crowdfunding Sources


books, recommended books, books, on writing, writing, editing, editorRecommended Books

  1. 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter: Write Faster, Write Smarter target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” by Chris Fox: Great tips on how to increase your writing productivity with the purpose of writing more books and generating more income.
  2. Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life, K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors. This ebook, which is free when you sign up for Weiland’s insightful newsletter, is full of essential information, including an in-depth character interview that you can use for your own characters.
  3. Dictate Your Book: How To Write Your Book Faster, Better, and Smarter (Growth Hacking For Storytellers #4) by Monica Leonelle. Here is my review.
  4. The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester (Good for all kinds of fiction!)
  5. Master Lists for Writers: Thesauruses, Plots, Character Traits, Names, and More, Bryn Donovan. In an idea slump? Can’t quite find the right word? Need some good words for writing a steamy sex scene? This is the book for you.
  6. The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley
  7. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K. M. Weiland: Here is my review.
  8. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  9. Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K. M. Weiland
  10. The Successful Author Mindset, Joanna Penn. Here is my review.

 


website, blog, writing blogs, writing websites, writing, editing, editor, writerRecommended Websites/Blogs

  1. The Editor’s Blog:Writing tips and advice for writers from fiction editor Beth Hill, author of The Magic of Fiction, for your novel, book, or manuscript.
  2. Fiction University: Plan, Write, Edit and Sell. Taking Your Story From Idea to Novel.
  3. Helping Writers Become Authors: K. M. Weiland provides consistent practical advice for fiction writers daily.
  4. JaneFriedman.com: Friedman covers a wide range of topics, mostly focused on the business side of writing in the digital age.
  5. This Itch of Writing: Emma Darwin is not afraid to dig deep to give information and explanations on topics that will help writers of fiction and creative nonfiction improve their craft.
  6. The Writer’s Dig: Brian Klems, online editor of WritersDigest.com, along with a host of other guest bloggers, covers myriad aspects of writing in short, informative posts.
  7. The Writer’s Knowledge Base: A Search Engine for Writers
  8. Writer Unboxed: “About the craft and business of fiction.”

 


writing podcasts, writing audiobooks, audiobooks, podcasts, writer, editor, writing, editingRecommended Listening

  1. The Creative Penn podcast: Friendly and personable Joanna Penn covers a broad range of topics in her weekly podcast and hosts a number of guests. “Podcast episodes will be posted every Monday and will cover interviews, inspiration and information on writing and creativity, publishing options, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship.”
  2. “How to Nail Character Voice in First Person,” Episode 12.2, Writing Excuses
  3. The Journeyman Writer podcast: From Storywonk, Alastair Stephens covers “the art and craft of writing, the ever-evolving publishing industry, and the stories that fuel our creativity.”
  4. Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast: Hosted by authors Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo, and Jeffrey M. Poole. Lots of great interviews and information for speculative fiction authors with a special emphasis to  help you “establish your author brand, increase the size of your audience, and sell more books.”
  5. Writing Excuses podcast: Hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells, and the occasional guest, “Writing Excuses is like a master class in writing genre fiction.” I’ve spent many an hour listening and relistening to their tips and conversations.
  6. Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques (available on Audible, written by The Great Courses, narrated by James Hynes, Series: The Great Courses: Writing): My short review is here.

 


writing videos, videos, writing, editing, editor, writing, writing tipsRecommended Watching

  1. Brandon Sanderson’s BYU Lectures playlist (ongoing as of Summer 2016): Covers the bases of novel/story writing for fantasy and science fiction writers but with many tips that will help all fiction writers.
  2. “Brandon Sanderson Lecture 6: Three Goals of Meeting Agents,” Brandon Sanderson, Write About Dragons: Tips for what to say when you meet an editor or agent in person at a conference or other writing event.
  3. “Brandon Sanderson Lecture 7: Try/Fail Cycles,” Brandon Sanderson, Write About Dragons: The foundation for your entire plot!
  4. “Chris Baty: ‘No Plot? No Problem’ | Talks at Google”: The founder of National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo) discusses the origin of the event as well as its benefits and tips for writers.
  5. Indie Author Fringe 2016: A collection of videos from the free online conference sponsored by the Alliance for Independent Authors focusing on writing and the business of writing for indie authors.
  6. Kristen Marten’s YouTube Channel: This author of young adult fiction gives some great, sound advice on many writing topics and throws in some lifestyle tips along the way. Her goal to be a healthy, happy writer, instead of a long-suffering one, is appealing.
  7. K. M. Weiland’s YouTube channel covers many of the same topics as her website, Helping Writers Become Authors, in short, digestible chunks.
  8. On Writing Playlist, Rachael Stephen’s YouTube Channel: If you don’t mind a bit of swearing, Rachael does an excellent job in her five-part How to Build a Story series of taking you through the outlining process by dividing it up into usable pieces and showing you how to put them together into a complete outline.

 


writing software, writing tools, writing, editing, writer, editor, writing tips, scrivenerRecommended Software

  1. Scrivener: Keep all of your writing, outlining, and research in one place and at a reasonable price. Here is my review.


writing blogs, blogs, writing, editing, writer, editorRecommended Blog Posts and Pages

Alpha/Beta Readers and Critique Groups/Partners

  1. “How to Spot Toxic Feedback: 7 Signs That the Writing Advice You’re Getting May Do More Harm Than Good,” Susan DeFreitas, JaneFriedman.com
  2. “The Importance and Limitations of Beta Readers,” Jen Anderson, Clearing Blocks
  3. “Writing Feedback: The Ultimate Guide to Working with Beta Readers,” Amanda Shofner, The Write Life

Character/Point of View

  1. “12 Tips on How to Write Antagonists Your Readers Will Love to Hate,” Karen Woodward
  2. “123 Ideas For Character Flaws,”  Writers Write
  3. “4 Ways to Motivate Characters and Plot,” Nancy Kress, Writer’s Digest
  4. “25 Things a Great Character Needs,” Chuck Wendig, Terrible Minds
  5. “Creating Your Hero’s Fatal Flaw,” Laurie Schnebly Campbell
  6. “Deep POV—What’s So Deep About It,” Beth Hill, The Editor’s Blog
  7. “Don’t Know Your Story’s Theme? Take a Look at Your Character’s Arc,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  8. “Getting to the Core of Your Characters,” C. S. Lakin, Live Write Thrive
  9. “Going Deeper” (point of view), Carol J. Post, Novel Rocket
  10. “How to Build a Villain,” Jim Butcher, Magical Worlds
  11. “How to Write Character Arcs,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  12. “Master Lists of Physical Descriptions,” Bryn Donovan (also, see Master Lists for Writers in the Books section)
  13. “Motivation-Reaction Units: Cracking the Code of Good Writing,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  14. “The Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions,”  The Enneagram Institute. This personality spectrum is a great resource for creating characters with depth and motivation.
  15. “rphelper’s Giant List of Quirks,” rphelper Tumblr
  16. “The True Essence of Character,” C. S. Lakin, Live Write Thrive
  17. “Writing Teenage Characters: What You’re Doing Wrong,” Hannah Heath
  18. “Writing the Unlikable Character (and Why You Should),” Adrienne Crezo, Writer’s Digest
  19. “The Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide to Kick-Ass Characters (And All the Crazy Plot Stuff that Surrounds ‘Em),” Chuck Wendig, Terrible Minds

Business of Writing

  1. Author Earnings: This website provides reports on author earnings, including print versus digital, traditional versus nontraditional, etc. “An increasingly popular resource for authors, shedding light on aspects of the publishing industry that were going previously unreported.”
  2. “The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2017,” Jane Friedman, JaneFriedman.com
  3. “Pros And Cons Of Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing,” Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn gives an in-depth look at this important question.
  4. “A Tax Cheat Sheet for Kindle eBook Self-Publishing,” Intuit Turbotax
  5. “Tax Deductions for Writers,” Stephen Fishman, Nolo.com

dialogue, writing, fiction, writing dialogue, writer, writing, editor, editingDialogue

  1. “How to Write (and Not Write) Expository Dialogue,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  2. “Restraining Accents,” Beth Hill, The Editor’s Blog
  3. “Writing Fiction: Dialog Tag Basics,” Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn

Editing

  1. “Checklist for Editors,” Beth Hill, The Editors Blog, “Whether you’re a professional editor or a writer going through your own work, you probably either have a system you use to evaluate each manuscript or wish that you did.” Beth Hill gives you a running start here, with a more detailed version in her book, The Magic of Fiction.

Fact Checking

  1. “Weekday Calculator – What Day is this Date?” timeanddate.com
  2. Weather Underground allows you to look up the weather on specific days in history at specific locations.

General

  1. “25 Things You Should Know about Young Adult Fiction,” Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds discusses the elements and assumptions of young adult fiction in his usual brash, funny, and in-your-face style.
  2. TVtropes.org: This site, dedicated to pop culture and tv tropes, is actually a great site for mining for ideas and also for making sure you don’t overdo tropes in your own writing. Just type in your subject area, such as romance, fantasy, or vampires, into the search box, and you’ll have plenty of reading to keep you busy and inspired.
  3. “Worksheets for Writers: Story Planning Worksheets,” Jami Gold offers a great collection of worksheets on story structure/story beats, writing craft, and the publishing process.

books, book promotion, book sales, sell your book, writer, writing, editor, editing.Marketing and Promotion

  1. Beginner’s Guide for WordPress: I’ve used this site and its accompanying videos many times for building both my author website and this one with WordPress.
  2. “Free Book Promotions: Are They Worth It?” Frances Caballo, The Book Designer
  3. “How to Leverage the Power of Someone Else’s Platform (Without Being Smarmy),”
  4. “How To Write Back Blurb For Your Book,” Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn
  5. “Writing Your Book’s Back-Cover Copy,” Jessi Rita Hoffman, JaneFriedman.com

Narrative and Narrative Voice

  1. “3 Ways to Make Your Writing More Visual,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  2. “Casting the Spell,” Donald Maass, Writer Unboxed
  3. “What’s the Story on Backstory?” Rachelle Gardner, Books & Such Literary Management
  4. “Writing Tips: 7 Strategies For Writing Suspense,” Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn

Plot

  1. “Coincidences in Fiction: What You’re Doing Wrong,” K.M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  2. “Does Your Story Need Subplots?” K.M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  3. “Dramatic Structure and Plot…or How to Keep Your Story from Circling The Drain,” Hallie Ephron, Mystery Writers of America
  4. “How to Build Tension and Heighten the Stakes,” Jessica Page Morrell, Writer’s Digest
  5. “How to Plot a Romance Novel,” Now Novel

Self-Publishing

  1. CreateSpace: Print on demand. “Publish your words, your way. Tools and services that help you complete your book and make it available to millions of potential readers.”
  2. Draft2Digital: Platform to help indie authors publish their book through conversion/formatting, ebook publishing, and distribution.
  3. IngramSpark: “From print on demand to e-book publishing, IngramSpark makes getting your content to readers across the planet as easy as 1,2…well, you get it.”
  4. Kobo Writing Life: “One-stop, do-it-yourself publishing portal.”
  5. Smashwords: “The world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks. We make it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to publish and distribute ebooks to the major retailers and thousands of libraries.”

Setting and Worldbuilding

  1. “Writers Are World Changers,” Beth Hill, The Editor’s Blog.

Structure and Outlining

  1. “My Writing Process, Pt. 1 of 2: How I Use Scrivener to Outline My Novels,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  2. “Parts of Story: Try–Fail Cycles,” Karen Woodward
  3. “Start Your Outline with These 4 Questions (How to Outline for NaNoWriMo, Pt. 2),” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  4. “A Useful Four-Act Murder Mystery Story Structure,” John P. Murphy
  5. “Want to Write Romance? Layer Your Scenes for Success,” C. S. Lakin, Writers Helping Writers
  6. “Writing a Novel: Chapter Breaks,” Courtney Carpenter, Writer’s Digest

Theme

  1. “25 Things Writers Should Know About Theme,” Chuck Wendig, Terrible Minds
  2. “Don’t Know Your Story’s Theme? Take a Look at Your Character’s Arc,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors

Writing Life

  1. “Don’t Picture Your Readers in Their Underwear: Writing Stage Fright,” Allie Larkin, Writer Unboxed

writing tools, editor, editing, writer, writing, fictionWriting Mechanics and Writing Rules

  1. “Is Perfection Possible?” Beth Hill, The Editor’s Blog
  2. “Tips for Creating Sentences that Flow,” Jodie Wrenner, Resources for Writers

Writing Tools

  1. “My Writing Process, Pt. 1 of 2: How I Use Scrivener to Outline My Novels,” K. M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors
  2. “Sync Scrivener with Android Devices for Writing on the Go,” Mattias Ahlvin, Tall Tech Tales

Crowdfunding Sources

This is the only category of items that I have not verified personally (beyond visiting the websites). However, if you are considering crowdfunding any part of your project, I wanted to give you some places to start so that you can explore them to find out which one fits your needs. Contact me if you experience any problems (or successes!) through these sites, and I will make a note about or remove the resource as needed.

  1. The Artist’s Partner: “The Artist’s Partner is a crowdfunding consulting service. We have helped artists and entrepreneurs raise over $150,000 for their creative projects through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Since 2013 we have specialized in providing consulting to the 85% looking to raise up to $20,000 through crowdfunding.”
  2. Indegogo: “At Indiegogo, our mission is to empower people to unite around ideas that matter to them and together make those ideas come to life. With the help of our Indiegogo community, we’re redefining entrepreneurship—shifting it from being a privilege to a right. Because every inventive idea should have its shot, and every creative entrepreneur should have their moment. Together, we can do anything.”
  3. Kickstarter:Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. A home for film, music, art, theater, games, comics, design, photography, and more.
  4. PubLaunch: “It starts with a crowdfunding platform but it doesn’t end there. We’re combining a crowdfunding platform with a collaborative work environment that connects writers with the trusted industry professionals they need to make their book a success.”
  5. Publishizer:Publishizer is a crowd-funding platform that matches authors with publishers.
  6. Unbound: “Creators pitch their ideas. Readers decide which books get written. It’s that simple.”

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