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Writer's Help Archive


I recently ran across an archive with over one hundred articles / exercises to help writers with their craft, all the way from writing to editing to publishing.

Here's just ten examples of subjects offered (I've hyper-linked these in case they intrigue anyone):

  1. 5 Tips Every Writer Will Find Helpful in Getting Published
  2. External Conflict Worksheet
  3. Creating Well Rounded Characters
  4. How to Outgrow "Write what you know"
  5. The Care and Feeding of a Genre Book Series
  6. Quick Character Motivation Exercises
  7. Writing an Effective Book Summary
  8. To Agent or not to Agent
  9. The Magic of Getting and Giving Feedback
  10. Flesh on Bones: Creating Characters with Character

For the full list of articles to choose from--and believe me, you'll want to set aside some time to explore this playground, it's a treasure trove for writers--here it is for easy access to all of my fellow bloggers: Just About Write Article Archives.

Oh, and I finally hit the halfway mark in my book! YAY! Bad news is, so much still has to happen. It's quite possible I'll end up changing my word count goal to 95 or 100K. That seemes to be pretty standard for me, considering all of my MSS in the past have never been less than 110K. In that case, I have yet to reach the halfway mark. Hum. Oh well, you gotsa to write the story all the way to the end. I'm sure there's an article somewhere which would substantiate that sentiment. I'll have to go back to the old archives and have a look-see...

Happy writing, everyone!

 


Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
mirtlemist
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the info! I see I've got a few hours of reading in store :) And ditto yay for your word progress.
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! And, yeah, I try not to visit that site unless I have LOTS of time to kill. Which isn't very often. But it's just so much fun to learn, isn't it?

Thank you for the Yay! I'm still hoping to cinch the book up around 90K. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out. I'll drop by your blog later today. I've found I can only get writing done if I limit my blog post and visits to once a week, and Monday seems to be the best day for it.

See you soon on your LJ...
green_knight
Oct. 6th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Some of those exercises would drive me mad. Create an elaborate family tree for each character? Quick, make 'em orphans. I'll undoubtedly spend more time on the site - inspiration never goes amiss.

As for Wordcounts, I set mine to 120K. Most come in somewhere around that - 110K, 125K - but I'm not worrying about it.

2.5K and a shiny idea. Onwards and upwards.
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Wow! You're quite an enterprising writer. :-) And prolific, no doubt. I'm with you about some of the writing exercises out there. Sometimes, they make things a little harder than they need to be. But then again, sometimes you'll stumble upon one that will hit the spot and renew your muse. You just never know...

Good luck with your shiny idea! :-)
green_knight
Oct. 7th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'm overly prolific - a good day is about 2K, and I've hit 4K once or twice, but I know people who regularly write 5-10K a day, so it's never occurred to me. I've just been at this for <mumble> years, and the projects have added up over time...

Am now working on writing something that's actually publishable, and sending it out, so there's a long road ahead.

I think in the main the advantage of writing articles as opposed to a formal programme/writing class is that many writing teacher will teach one method - the one that helped *them* - without realising that there are many ways to successfully write books.

I'm embarassed to report that my shiny idea weighs in at 593 words. I've thought about the book a lot in the past few days, did some research, but didn't actually look too closely at the chapter I had written - it's a lot more condensed than I am used to writing, and I hope I can keep it up. Yikes.
author_aghoward
Oct. 7th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
If you don't mind my nosiness, how many books have you written?

And I totally agree with you about not taking many writing classes when learning to write. I took NONE. By the time I finally took one, I'd already written and rewritten my first novel, so I had established my voice, and couldn't be swayed in that respect. I only took that one to make a connection with the author teaching it.

Have you read the BookEnds blog today? It was on that very subject.
green_knight
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
How many books... let's see.

- First novel, which was very first-novel-y - omniscient passages and muddled plot and all that. Not something I can fix - it's a good first novel, but no more than that.
- 500K Quadrology, during which I learnt more about writing. I did eventually rewrite Part I, but at that point I was sick and tired of the whole project
valendon's Diary, which started as a comment about my first novel ("If I give him a viewpoint, he'll take over") [dang, must take down first draft and replace with current version] - I got enough ideas early on to realise that I've got a novel, but it seems to be one of those unsellable projects, at least for a first novel.
- The Dreamer's Friend (which I'm sending out right now) - same world as first novel/diary, neat, compact, and standalone, of which I'm rather proud
- first in a trilogy that has hit a plot slump - I love it, love the characters, but I'm not sending it out before I've finished drafting the others
- first part of a duology that fell apart, plotwise, somewhere near the middle of part II because the story questions that drove the character become more or less solved (it's obvious that she will reach her goals and obvious that nothing her enemies do to stop her - short of killing her, which is not an option in a comedy of manners - _can_ stop her. I've worked out how to invigorate the plot by putting more emphasis on a subplot with greater potential for danger and secrecy, but again, I am *sick and tired of it* and I will have to go back to rewrite some of Part I and most of Part II, and that will be easier if I step back and gain a little distance.

For everything I haven't sent out I've got a perfectly good explanation, but looking back, I think I should simply have persevered with the Quadrology even though I was bored with it :-(
author_aghoward
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Wow. Color me impressed. You really are productive! And I hopped over and read some of Valendon's diary. Sounds like you've got the makings of yet another story there. That's such a cool idea, letting a character have a "blog". What a great way to flesh him out, and / or keep him satisfied so he won't take over the story he's in, if he happens to be a secondary character with high aspirations. :-)

Edited at 2008-10-08 10:55 pm (UTC)
author_aghoward
Oct. 7th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, and 4K in one day? DANG. There are those who hit 10K a day?? WOW. They must have nothing else to do but write. I have kids, a hubbie, work, laundry, etc...

A good day for me is if I can write 2K. I consider that VERY productive. Usually, I'm lucky if I hit one. But as long as I get 500 words in on the days I go to my other job, I'm satisfied. Every little bit adds up. I've written 4 books so far, so it seems to be working for me. :-)
green_knight
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
There *are* people who write that much. And they don't necessarily turn out worse words for turning out lots of them, damn their blackened souls. I *have* seen a trend in the most prolific of the writers I know, though, that they seem not to spend the same amount of time editing as I would think necessary - even when I write a clean first draft, I still feel a need to edit everything in great detail - making sure everything is consistent, sharpening the plot - and I don't see how one can get through a book *without* either outlining in great detail and sorting tension and structure in outline, *or* doing a careful editing pass.
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! And you're welcome. We writers need to share the wealth, you know? We're all in this together, after all. :-)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Awesome
Even if the length is long, your stories read fast! :)
What a great post. I love to read articles much more than how-to books. I'll definitely be checking these out!
Thanks Anita!

Jessie
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome
You're welcome, Jessie! And I just got an email from you earlier that DIDN'T go to junk mail. YAY! I'll be replying soon...
patesden
Oct. 6th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Congratulation on hitting your midway point. It sounds to me like you weren't that far off your intended wordcount.

Thanks for the link as well. I like reading writing articles when I'm revising and need a break for a few minutes.
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kudos!

And I love reading writing articles, too. It was actually an obsession for me in my earlier writing days. But it worked out great. I really think it was a better route to follow than taking classes for me, because the articles helped me build my skills without changing or altering my voice.
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks Mark! Yeah, I tend to write longer than shorter. Glad you like the articles. There's lots more where those came from!
ext_36853
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
Hey! Neat stuff!
author_aghoward
Oct. 7th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah! It's a pretty fun link to visit when you have time. Thanks for stopping in, DW!
(Anonymous)
Oct. 8th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Ha
You're definitely beating me :-)
Looks like I better get moving, LOL

Jessie
ext_126860
Oct. 8th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
help list...
great links, thank you....
author_aghoward
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: help list...
You're welcome. And thanks for stopping by my blog...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 10th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
Lucky You
I clicked on the link. Christian Bale is HOT! I really liked him in 3:10 to Yuma. So... lucky you :-)
author_aghoward
Oct. 10th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
Re: Lucky You
Teehee. Thanks! What's really funny is Vince and I didn't even realize the resemblance until that first Batman came out that had him in it (Batman Begins). And then it took seeing Bale a second time in The Prestige for it to really hit home.

When Yuma came out, other people started noticing how much they looked alike, so I guess he just kind of grew into it. But he's always been a cutie-pie. :-)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 10th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Sweet
That's really sweet. I'm not sure who my hubby looks like. My friend's nine year old once said he looked like Brad Pitt. I laughed for about five minutes straight.
LOL on your spelling. It's the one thing I've almost scored perfectly on in school. My quirk, I guess.
Hehehe, don't hate me:
dependAnt is dependEnt.
*squeezing my eyes shut, anticipating a cyber hit*

Anonymous (LOL)
author_aghoward
Oct. 10th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet
Okay, you totally cracked me up there with the Brad Pitt comment. He must be a hottie though, for your friend's little girl to even compare them, yes?

Teehee.

And MY OH MY on my terrible spelling. I actually considered, when I was typing that comment, that I should check the spelling of dependent, because it's one of my trap words. But I arrogantly assumed I'd spelled it right. It must be that absent-minded professor side of me. Too self-assured to question my BRILLIANCE. Snicker.

I got your emails! I'm going to respond later; probably this afternoon. I've got to do some housework still to get ready for bug man, and I'm desperate (did I spell that right?) to get a few more words in on my WIP this a.m. I've finally reached the confrontation point with my H&H. They're rolling around on the ground as we speak (and not in the way you might think--teehee).

TTYS...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 10th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
LOL
With Willow's temper I know exactly what you mean! For someone who doesn't think they're good at spelling, your manuscripts are flawless. Spell checker doesn't get it every time but I haven't seen a single mistake, I don't think.
Have fun with the bug guy. I ironed yesterday so today I'm writing. Eek, I'm still rolling around in my head whose pov to put it in.
Well, I can't wait to read more!
As for hubby being a hottie, I just don't know. Obviously the guy looks good to me, lol. I don't know what other women think of him. But, um, no. No resemblance to Brad Pitt.
Hehehe
(Anonymous)
Oct. 12th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Woo Hoo!
Just checking out the word count! You're a story machine

Jessie
author_aghoward
Oct. 12th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Woo Hoo!
Thanks! Teehee.
author_aghoward
Oct. 12th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Woo Hoo!
Ooh, and I love the googlie eyes! How'd you do that??
(Anonymous)
Oct. 18th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Googly eyes
It's right there when I leave a comment. There's a smiley face next to the subject line. Click on it and you get a whole bunch of options.
See, I'm curious and am always exploring stuff :-)
When I was a kid, I used to explore my sister's diary.

I know. Bad, bad, bad.
author_aghoward
Oct. 18th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
Re: Googly eyes
Thanks Jessie! Grr. I don't have that option. Or maybe I just haven't ever looked for it. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. next time I leave a comment on yours.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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