As you may know by now, I'm not a fan of writing gimmicks. I'm also not a huge fan of articles that over-promise and under-deliver (Five steps to write a best selling novel in one month! etc...).
But I am a fan of finding truly helpful, useable tools that support you as you write. That's what this post is all about: I found these gems buried in the clutter with other been-there-tried-that articles and promises-you-don't-intend-to-keep titles. And I just had to share them with you.
Because they are tools I actually will use. And I think they might help you too.
Initially I thought this was another gimmicky type of post that would lead to formulaic sounding scenes that were wooden and lifeless. BUT I was so wrong.
The author of the blog post, Suzannah Freeman, analyzed the prose of one of her favorite authors and came up with twenty-one components that make a strong, fully developed scene. She also points out that you shouldn't use all twenty-one in one scene (thank you!), but it can get you thinking about what might be missing from the scenes you are writing that feel flat.
I suggest copying and pasting this into a Word document or under your Research tab in Scrivener. You can also print out a copy and hang it where you write. It might help you start writing that scene that you just can't seem to start.
2. Rewrite Your Life FREE Writing Course
This course is free. Yep, totally free. It's put together by an author and former teacher and focuses on using your life experiences to write fiction (not nonfiction). I haven't started it yet, but I plan to. A friend of mine has already had incredible success with it.
3. Starting an Online Writing Group (for free).
This is a post I wrote awhile back, but I've recently been reminded how magical this experience actually is. I started the Six Months to DONE writing group and we use a Google Doc to meet up and write together and give each other feedback. It's such an amazing experience. It allows for flexibility for people who live in different time zones and really helps you feel less alone as you write. It also spurs you on when you see the great progress and ideas of your fellow writers.
If you are in need of community, invite a few friends and start one. I promise you will love it. (Note: A working knowledge of Google Docs is needed for the group to work well--but there are a ton of online video tutorials that can help you out with this in just a few minutes).
4. This post about 15 Ways to Write a Novel.
Again, I feared this was a gimmicky post about using various dried up plot formulas that weren't going to be all that helpful. Instead, the author looks at different ways to write--goal setting, where to write, when to write, etc... He also has an interesting take on Nanowrimo (don't worry, I still love it). Heads up he uses some language throughout the piece.
Okay, so this is sort of cheating, but I find some seriously good stuff on Pinterest--and I'm incredibly picky about what I pin. I often (though not always) click through to the article and make sure it's a quality post and not just click bait (or a broken link). I avoid gimmicks or posts that give general advice that everyone already knows. I look for the good stuff. In fact I found most of the above resources from careful scouring of resources on Pinterest. If you want more like this, head on over to the Ink and Grace Pinterest account.