Almost There: Writer Talk: Two Great Writing Resources

Monday, June 17, 2013

Writer Talk: Two Great Writing Resources

This Writer Talk post is all about some awesome posts I found that helped me plan out my work in progress. I'm sure there are tons of blogs and sites out there for writers that are fantastic but this post is all about Janice Hardy's blog. Why? Because I'm a little obsessed with it! 

I'm a creature of habit, especially when I write. When I get an idea for a story 9 times out of 10 I will write the first scene out then jump to the middle or end of the story and start writing there. 

Why? Well, I hate the first part of stories. Sure, I have it mapped out in my head. I know who the bad guy is, I know what conflicts will arise and how to deal with them, and I even know what the last scene of the book will entail. There's just something about writing the very first part that throws me. This has been my Achilles heal. You can't finish a book if you don't have a beginning.

My current work in progress deserves better than that, though. It deserves a first half so, I've been slowly conquering my habit of running ahead and never looking back while I write.

I can proudly say that I'm almost done with the first half of my book!

There are two resources that have helped me with this that I think can help a lot more people too. Writers, check them out!

This blog is so well written and insightful that, not only did I find a great post about plotting with layers, I found so many more posts that helped me along.

Writing the first part of your book is made so much easier when you have everything with the plot all straightened out in your head. I thought I did until I read If You Build it, They Will Read: Plotting With Layers. It not only made me hone in on my main conflicts but it also helped me tackle my subplots. The post talks about the four layers of plotting and how to put them together. 

Getting all of those layers straight made it easier to see what I needed to have in the first part of the book to help further the main plots as well as subplots.

Another post I really enjoyed was Send up the (Red) Flag: Telling Words That Often Send Trouble. In college we went over this issue but it was nice to see a condensed version of the lesson. It reminded me not to get lazy with my words!

Currently, I'm stuck on the post Does Your Novel Have Too Many Characters? It has a fun exercise about mapping out all of your important characters, starting with your protagonist and antagonist. I got out the sticky notes (because I LOVE STICKY NOTES) and did my own little map of characters. It forced me to create everyone, get their stories straight as well as what purpose they serve in the story. I highly suggest doing the same exercise.

There are more posts from Hardy's site that are great. She tackles topics from coming up with book ideas to publishing. You should definitely go check out her site.

2. Character Q&As
I'm not going to go into detail about how AWESOME character Q&As are because Holli has one up her sleeve for a later date. However, I will say that doing the Q&A she sent me helped me SO much in character development, backstory, AND plot. Check it out!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

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