My Top 5 Writing Resources
These are my CURRENT top 5 writing resources. Things that I am currently using and love. Check them out and then come back again in a few months — they'll have probably changed.
the 90-day novel
by Alan Watt
My writing buddy Karen Comer (who also has a fantastic website, check it out here) is constantly reading books on writing. She is a real scholar of the craft, which is lucky for me, since I usually have no patience with writing books — or self help books in general. I want a ten page executive summary, not 100 pages of how to... Anyway, my reticence hasn't deterred Karen yet, and so she continues to quietly slip me book suggestions at our regular catch up lunch. Usually, I check it out, maybe grab a few take aways and then dismiss it, but this book is different. Sure, I've written half a dozen full manuscripts already, but that doesn't mean it gets any easier, and I found this book fabulous at nudging you to do a little each day while forcing you to really think about what the heck you are trying to write. I definitely recommend it.
Writing Middle Grade List of US agents
At the moment I'm researching literary agents in the US for my Catch the Villain, Save the World Series and this website has been awesome. It lists 47 agents in the US that specifically want middle grade submissions. So, I'm challenging myself to research one agent a day and if it's a fit, to put together a submission. To do this in a reasonably organised way, I'm using One Note and Scrivener. Fingers crossed!
First Time Podcast
There are a lot of great podcasts out there for writers but this is one of my favourites. It focuses on what to expect the first time you publish a book. Kate Mildenhall and Katherine Collette always seem to interview someone interesting and ask the questions I'm dying to know the answers too.
Australian Writers Centre
When I first decided that I was serious about becoming a writer and looking around for help and inspiration, the Australian Writers Centre was there and it's only grown in strength and value since then. It's an absolute treasure trove of inspiration and writing knowledge and not only fiction writing, but business, memoir - everything! I've since completed a couple of their courses and I still listen to the 'So you want to be a writer' podcast with Valerie Khoo the CEO and Allison Tait a best selling children's author. In fact, Allison mentored me for a little while and I will always be grateful for her advice and knowledge. I still read their weekly newsletters too, full of fun and info. Plus, if you need a writing challenge, they run a Furious Fiction competition each month with the winner bagging $500!
by Stephen King
I have honestly never met a serious writer yet that doesn't love this book. I'm on a bit of a Stephen King rediscovery. After watching The Shawshank Redemption for about the tenth time I decided that I would actually READ the novella and of course that meant reading the other novellas that were in the book with it and from there I'm reading On writing again. It's such a great source of inspiration for anyone who's serious about this writing game.
All time favourites
These are some resources that never go out of fashion...
Scrivener is the bomb! when it comes to writing. Any writing — essay, novel, screen play, or even a thesis on the migrating habits of the Dugong. Scrivener lets you chunk your writing in any way that suits you, it makes outlining and editing a breeze and you can include all your research, notes and general musings in the ONE PLACE.
Some people bemoan the fact that it can be complicated to learn, but that's only because it can DO SO MUCH. Plus, you don't need to know ALL the features to make use of the most important ones. Best of all it's reasonably priced.
What makes a hero
I just love this video. It's so simple and yet compelling. I go back to it every so often when I'm lost in planning, or just for some inspiration. A great way to explain a story arc to kids too.