A to Z Challenge

Knowledge and Where to Find it

K is for Knowledge.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to turn to for the right info when you want to learn how to write and how to become a great writer. I’ve been looking at my search history and the books in my personal library and decided to set up a list to help others.

Let’s start with learning how to write:

Free blog posts and info on The Writers’ Workshop and various services and courses you can sign up for. I’ve worked with them before and they’re really great.

Writing courses through SA Writer’s College – there are other branches too. I’ve done a course through them and learned a lot.

Blog posts on Writer’s Digest, webinars and various books published by them.

Blog posts by Writers Write.

Blog and books by KM Weiland. Especially important for learning how to plot.

And some posts part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is specially focused on the art of writing.

Then you have to learn how to write even better:

Books like “The emotional craft of fiction” by Donald Maass will show you how to write the story beneath the surface.

Other books like “The first 50 pages” by Jeff Gerke will help you to engage with readers, editors and agents, setting your novel up for success.

Stephen King’s “On Writing” will remind you that we all had to start somewhere and that inspiration – and taking the time to write – can happen anywhere.

A reminder about punctuation like Lynne Truss’s “Eats, shoots and leaves” can help in those murky moments.

Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” can be your guide when there’s too much info and not enough wisdom.

“The Art of War” will remind you what is important when you are wavering in your writing. (It’s also good for non-writing aspects of your life.)

Juneta Key sent me this list of books to help with writing even better:

Elements of Fiction Writing – Description by Monica Wood.

Writing Deep Point of View: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors by Rayne Hall.

Deep Point of View by Marcy Kennedy.

Rivet your readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

[All the links in the above section go to Goodreads so you can see the descriptions/reviews of the books.]

Don’t forget about editing:

The Manuscript Shredder has excellent tips on that – just check out the post ML Keller wrote for this challenge on my blog earlier the month.

You can also hire professional editors – here’s why you should.

And then you have to sell your work:

We’ll look the pros and cons of the different types of publishing for P. We already looked at Vanity publishers and why you should be wary.

You can try to find an agent for your writing. We’ll look at how to write a great query letter for Q.

No matter which type of publishing route you’re taking, you’ll still have to market your work. For that, I suggest looking at Joanna Penn’s books and her blog The Creative Penn, BadRedhead Media’s great posts about social media and book marketing – check out Rachel Thompson’s post about branding for authors from earlier this month.

Final note:

There are several blogs that can help with everything – just use the proper search terms!

My favourite blogs for learning new things:

Anne R Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris. 

The Creative Penn. 

Jane Friedman. 

BadRedhead Media. 

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog. 

(There are others, but these are the ones I’m currently turning to.)

For some the learning how to write and the learning how to write better parts blur into one – and that’s okay. As Hemingway said: we are all apprentices in a craft where no-one ever becomes a master. I think what he meant was that we always have something new to learn about writing and publishing, and that we should always be open to learn new things to make us better writers.

All the posts for this year’s A-Z Challenge is focused on helping you become a better writer, find the tools you need to do so and the courage to keep working on your craft.

I hope that by the time you get to Z, you’ll have the knowledge to be your best writer-self.

Do you have any favourite books about writing/marketing? Any blogs that help you with your writing journey? Have you read any of the books mentioned?

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