• Abbie Smith

Writerly Wednesday: Resources for Writers

Happy Wednesday friends! I am starting a new series of blogs where on Wednesdays, I give out tips that have helped me succeed as a writer. I'm still very new to the independent publishing business, but I have picked up a lot of knowledge that I hope you'll find helpful. That being said, let's get started!

There are many, many different resources that I could list here, but I want to start this series by specifically pointing out craft books. I struggled for a long time to figure out story structure, to develop my characters, and even to show rather than tell (I know, *eyeroll*, but it's so important!).


First things first, in order to write a story, the main thing you need is: story structure!

I used to be a pantser. I used to have no idea where I was going with a story. Do you want to know what happened? I never finished. I got stuck. I have so many half baked ideas that have barely seen any attention because I didn't have a road map to guide me through to the end.


Some authors may roll their eyes at this suggestion, but Save the Cat! Writes a Novel has been life changing for me.

Touted as "The Last Book on Novel Writing You'll Ever Need," Save the Cat breaks down story structure into three acts. It gives a clear road map of the plot points you should hit in your story. Even if you don't follow it 100% of the time, it gives plenty of structure for you to follow and be successful in building your story. It breaks down the different types of stories and gives tons of real life examples. For every novel that I outline, I start with this method to be sure I'm hitting the plot points.


The second suggestion I have is Sacha Black's Better Writer series.

I haven't been shy about sharing my love of Sacha's works. In the past, when I've read craft books, they're all pretty dry material. Sacha has a fun voice and gives a lot of examples in popular fiction (novels, television, and movies), to help you build a better voice in your writing, as well as for crafting your villans, heroes, and side characters. She is, quite frankly, a badass, and I can't wait to see what she writes next.


The next is the Emotion thesaurus series.

I absolutely adore these books. When you have a character experiencing a particular emotion, you can look it up in the thesaurus, and they give examples of internal sensations, external behaviors, and so so much more. They have come out with an entire line of books. I personally own The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus, and the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. All are amazing resources if you're struggling to round out your characters and really want to dive into showing what they feel.


The last suggestion is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.

Yet again, I have tried to read a lot of craft books and I have really failed at it. A friend suggested this work, and I found that it was easy to read, it didn't feel like I was being talked down to, and it provides plenty of handy tips and resources. There are even checklists at the end of each chapter to provide you with a guide on how to self-edit your work. Whether you're going the traditional publishing route, or publishing yourself, this is a wonderful resource to get your work in shape.


That's all for this week! I hope you'll check out some of these books if you're looking for ways to improve your craft.


Thanks, Abbie


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