Thursday, February 02, 2006

Rocking Sites for Writers AKA Everything You Need To Outline, Format, Start, Finish, and Submit Your Novel

My previous post covered helpful blogs I patronize. This one covers non-blog sites that I think will help you (and me) make this the year we write a knock-their-socks-off novel. I offer them in the spirit of writerly kindness:

Holly Lisle is a well-known SF/F writer. Her website, Forward Motion, serves up lots of articles for writers on both the craft and the business of writing. Inspirational. Useful. She also has a peek-in-the-life-of-a-fulltime-writer blog that I visit regularly called POCKET FULL OF WORDS.

Alicia Rasley's Writing Corner is not a fancy, eye-catching site, but the content more than makes up for that. Make sure to check out OUTLINE YOUR NOVEL IN 30 MINUTES, which can be found in the treasure trove that is her archive of articles.

Brenda Coulter is a first-class soul-sis whose bright mind and restful garden (when she posts pics) make my day.I recommend both her website and her blog to anyone interested in popular fiction, especially romance, especially Inspirational/Christian romance. Go here to find her insider tips on how to do all sorts of useful stuff, such as writing a synopsis or a query letter, or formatting a manuscript. If you've ever wondered exactly what happens when an editor rings up a writer to say, "We want to buy your book," then read "What's it Like to Get the Call" and find out.

The official site of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is fully loaded with goodies. Even if you don't write SF/F, you can get great tips there. Please don't skip the why-doesn't-every-writing-site-have-this-kind-of-thing pdf file by award-winning Vonda N. McIntyre that SHOWS YOU exactly how your manuscript should be formatted. For all novices, this is key. Sometimes, the rules just go, phoof, right over our heads. SEEING is not just believing, it's understanding. You'll want to browse and bookmark this site.

If you're one of those delightful, asset-to-humanity type people who want to write spiritually relevant stories of the Christian sort, then hurry over to the site of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Sorry, but if you want to reap the goodies at ACFW, you gotta join. It's not a helpful site to non-members. Once you learn the secret handshake and hula dance (oh, it's easy!), however, you gain access to some keen minds and kind hearts, as well as workshops, fora, newsletters...well, the goodies abound. ACFW is worth the not-steep-at-all investment of its membership dues for the chance at being mentored, critiqued, and encouraged by bestselling pros, midlist pros, nouveau pros, and unpublished non-pros. A wonderful organization for Christian scribes of both genders and various denominations.

Okay, I'm about to mention the H word, and no one is allowed to sneer, snicker or otherwise behave in an unseemly or judgmental manner. You have been forewarned, and I've got my eye on you. Good. Keep that decorum for the rest of this paragraph. Harlequin, the megapublisher of women's fiction, has a site that brims over with concise articles for anyone interested in writing books aimed at a female audience (ie, romance, Chick Lit, female-lead fantasy, suspense, Christian romance and women's fiction, etc). Drop by their LEARN TO WRITE section and scout around for grammatical help, writing classes, the critique service, message boards (I've been known to pop into the Steeple Hill boards), writing guidelines, submissions guides, and a page that offers links to samples of a query letter, a synopsis, a manuscript page, and even a list of proofreading marks.

The Desert Rose Writer's Guide is a great resource for anyone who's beginning their journey in writing romance. Just go see if I'm fibbing.

Best-selling suspense author, Lisa Gardner, has a web page full of links dedicated to TRICKS OF THE TRADE You'll find the Seven Secrets of Romantic Suspense and The Villain: Developing the Diabolical Prima Donna, plus an in-depth guide on plotting your novel. Delve and delight thy mind.

And if you want to discover some site I haven't recommended here, or perhaps even visited, feel free to browse the "Best Websites for Writers for 2005" in the category of writing tips as compiled by Writer's Digest

Now, if you will excuse me, I must take some of these tips and APPLY them to AGE'S END before my online writing pals gather round and group-bop me on the noggin for procrastinating.

Happy Creating!


Camy Tang said...

Excellent list! Except I never learned the secret hula dance. Am I missing out on something?

Mirtika said...

Yes, yes you are. You are missing a lot of lower back aches and sore hips. Not to mention the humiliation of constantly having that grass skirt fall down.

But it's great for the abdominals.


Mike Duran said...

Hey Mir, thanks for an ecclectic list. I've never visited most of these sites so, thanks to you, I'll be surfing this weekend. P.S. Thanks for the plug a coupla posts ago.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Wow, what a list. You really put a lot of work into that. You go, girl!