Writing tools of the trade

Did you realize how many resources are available for new – and “older” – writers? I’m amazed at ALL that’s out there. I don’t mean just online. Several of them, unless they’d been given or mentioned to me, I never would have known they existed. Here’s a list of the ones that, personally, I found most helpful.

I need to start with the following because it focuses on Canadian guidelines.

Prentice Hall Reference Guide for Canadian Writers (Harris/Jewinski). If you’re not from Canada, keep reading, I’ll list other resources available to you as well. One my college professors had two copies drew a name to give away the second copy. I got it (thanks Denise).

When I edited my story last month for Word Alive Press‘s publishing contest, that resource certainly came in handy. Does it mean I didn’t make any mistakes? No! It amazes me at how different the guidelines are from non-Canadian books I’ve read. And since my story is Canadian (fiction Christian Drama), and it takes place in Canada, might as well stick with Canadian guidelines, eh? 🙂

Robert McKee’s STORY (audio version, 5 CDs). It was highly recommended and I loved it. I was told:

“he [McKee] teaches screenwriting at UCLA, and is a very famous writer of scripts… this success comes through in his voice… It really really teaches a lot of vital structure… he is enjoyable to listen to.”

I listened to it one time through. Then I listened to it again, this time taking notes. I want to listen to it again because although I learned a lot from it, I know I missed some things. Now, I in turn, highly recommend it.Online, I found a lot more resources, too many to mention, but the two I enjoy reading the most are the following:

About.com: Fiction Writing. This newsletter is filled with helpful advice, articles on how to get started, novel-writing, writing contests, and so much more. Ginny, the writing guide is always very helpful when I have questions. Take a peek, subscribe to the weekly newsletter and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did. 

WDC stands for Writing Dot Com. I found it last March when I entered my first 50,000-word challenge (50K sounds like a lot but it’s 3 pages per day). Writing Dot Com produces 4 newsletters: Drama, Mystery, For Authors, and Noticing Newbies. All four are very interesting, helpful, and worth checking into. Another interesting part of this website however is that once you register, and get your own portfolio and email (and it’s free) you can post stories/poems/etc. Then, people get to read your portfolio, critique and send you feedback. It, too, is very helpful.

I came across WDC when reading a post on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’d found NaNoWriMo when reading About.Com. So you see, one thing led to another. As you read these resources, you’re bound to find even more of them. All of which are very useful. 

Now there are more resources available online and in bookstores. What are your favourite ones? And will you please share them with other writers?



I don’t write because I want to say something,
I write because I have something to say (Unknown)


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