Welcome back, lovely writers! Today, we’re going to cover the Three Best Resources for New Writers. Like last week’s post, these resources are also recommended to the more experienced writer. There are so many other resources and sites and blogs that are helpful (check out the Resources for Writers tab at the top of this site), but these two resources are the ones that made the most difference in my writing journey. They’re also the ones that I most heartily recommend when I meet someone who is a new writer.
1. Critique Circle (Website)
This website, while it might not look the prettiest, is perhaps the most powerful tool to helping new writers hone their craft. Warning: it will take time and energy to get fully reap the benefits of this site. But if you put in the hours, you will learn so much.
Just a few of the cool features of this website:
- Critiques. You can give critiques on other people’s stories, and earn credits for doing so. Then you can spend credits to post your own story (or a chapter of a novel), and other people will critique it. Basically, they read through it and tell you how to make your story or your writing stronger. Now, not every critique you receive will be The Greatest Advice Ever. You will have some people just tell you where you left out a comma. But there are writers on the site who know their craft, and they know it well. And they are there to help you learn yours. OH, AND YOU WILL ALSO LEARN SO MUCH from having to critique other people’s stories.
- Forums. There are forums for everything from Writing to Publishing to Poetry to Blogging. And there are generally intelligent conversations, with a mix of Newbies and Oldies. People are generally polite, helpful, and entertaining.
- People. I’ve made a handful of lovely writing buddies on this site. There have even been a couple people who would critique my story, chapter after chapter, as I posted it. It’s a site for making friends, finding blogs, finding a community.
While I may not be on there much anymore (I feel a bit as though I’ve outgrown it, but perhaps that’s arrogant of me), I still visit it every once in a while to check up on my old writing buddies.
One last note on Critique Circle: this was the website that got me from “I am writing a book?! How? What? IS MY STORY EVEN GOOD? What do I do from here?!” to “Okay, I know what changes I need to make to my writing. I know how to write good dialogue. I know how to write better characters. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know I am a writer.” It’s the place where I grew the most as a writer, and I’ll always be thankful to the people who helped me to improve and inspired me to keep going.
2. Self Editing for Fiction Writers (Book)
Disclaimer: this is the only writing-craft book I’ve ever read. And it was absolutely, entirely, wonderful. It covers everything from plotting to dialogue tags to point of view. It’s interspersed with practical examples, and shows you how to incorporate the ideas they teach.
The writing in this lil book is so good, too. It’s snappy and quick and full of witty jokes. There’s not a boring page in it, and the concepts are easy-to-grasp and so, very, incredibly helpful. I cannot recommend it enough.
Hmm, I need to go find my copy and read it again.
3. @InspiredToWrite on Instagram
I’ve followed Amie (instagram.com/inspiredtowrite/) on Instagram for over a year, and her words have filled me with such hope and joy. She talks about her writing in a way that is real, and raw, and honest. She won’t talk to you about adjectives and adverbs – she’ll tell you about how to find the strength to write after a long day, or about the absolute magic that storytelling is.
I highly recommend you follow her if you have an instagram. She writes little letters in the descriptions of her posts. Go read them. They will bring you strength and hope as a writer, which is something that is in high demand.
And she’ll post updates on her stories about the mundane, day-to-day struggles of being a writer, such as what happens when your laptop dies at the coffee shop or I just got another rejection, how do I deal with this?
Go give her a follow. You won’t be sorry.
// I’d love to hear in comments what you’ve found to be the writerly resource! I’m always looking for more writerly communities, books on craft, and just excellent lil things to make our writing job easier. //