Writing, promotion, tips, and opinion. Pour a cuppa your favorite poison and join in.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where to Start?

A new member joined the local writing group I'm a member of. We hadn't quite started, so he was asking us all sorts of questions about writing, editing, and publishing. He joined the group because he has been working on a novel that has turned into a trilogy, and he wasn't sure what to do next.

As I listened to his questions, I realized that I haven't been spinning my wheels all this time. I've actually been learning something. From you all. From around the Internet. From books. From writing.

I guess if you plug away at it long enough, you do get better at it.

We all had different advice for our new member, and I commented that there's a lot out there on the Internet if you go looking. He had been searching, but he wasn't finding anything that was helping him. I offered to point him to some good writing sites...um...two months ago...  

When I sat down to do it, I realized there was so much. I didn't know where to start. I kind of got overwhelmed by it. And I wanted to formulate it into something that made some sort of sense.

So, this week all my posts are for him. It's novel writing and publishing for novices. And since the rest of you are experts, I'm counting on your help as well. Because he had a lot of questions, and I think we all know how it feels to wade into this thing called writing.

What do you wish you had known after finishing your very first (and/or second) draft? What's a good site for someone who is new to all this to visit?


Neurotic Workaholic said...

That's good of you to write posts for novice writers, because there is a lot that writers need to know. I think that one helpful source for me is WritersDigest.com, because it includes a lot of good articles on the writing process.

Huntress said...

Not sites so much and How-To books.

I wish I'd had Hooked by Les Edgerton about how to write a compelling first page.

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, a succinct, easy to understand book about the basics.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. How to *show* the reader expressions rather than *tell*.

The Grammar Girl's website and book.

The Breakout Novelist by the supernova agent Donald Maass. This includes a worksheet that takes you down every writerly step.

Stephen King's On Writing.
Agent blogs: Janet Reid, Suzie Townsend. Literary Agencies that aid the aspiring author.

*whew* Yeah, you are right. There is too much to list.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi! You have great questions going on here!

What do I wish I had known after finishing my very first/second draft? that would be to seek a GOOD set of critters (critique partners) because those are INVALUABLE.

A good site... well, first thing's first. I would join a GOOD social network and hook up with writers there and show genuine interest in them as people and share my experiences.

I would attend real live writers conferences where you will meet living, breathing writers in which you can connect via social online networks. Join writers groups where they help each other out:

Authors' Think Tank over on FB is a very good one that I'm with. You can ask any writerly question and not feel dumb about it. There is also this nifty site for writers:


*Also*, if he could find a good, dependable friend to have as a mentor... that is a great one, too! Tell him I wish him the best! ;)

Elizabeth Mueller
AtoZ 2015
My Little Pony

Elizabeth Mueller said...

If he's looking for how-tos, there's Margie Lawson's classes:


mshatch said...

There are way too many to list but I will mention the QQQE blog, where Matt brilliantly dissects someone's query and offers suggestions on how to make it better so an agent will notice it.

Liz A. said...

Thank you all. Some of those I've heard of, and some of them I haven't. That's why I asked you all, for I knew you'd have some good resources that I wouldn't think of.

E. Arroyo said...

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. And remember...hail to the sucky first draft!

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

Nice of you to do. It actually makes me think.

"What do you wish you had known after finishing your very first (and/or second) draft?"

I would have employed the skill of more beta readers to provide feedback.

Traci Kenworth said...

Writers Helping Writers is a good website.
Also Helping Writers Become Authors.
Fiction University.
Then I suggest you find some websites that talk about the genre you're writing. There are a lot of good ones out there!!