If you are visiting this page it must mean you are interested in either becoming a writer or improving your writing. Congratulations! It shows you have a teachable spirit and I am honored to share with you the resources that have been shared with me or I have discovered along the journey.
**The opinions/beliefs represented by the individual pages/organizations do not necessarily reflect my own.
Below you will find several categories:
– Professional Organizations
– Writing Craft Book Suggestions
– Suggested Podcasts
– Helpful Writing Blogs
– Facebook Writing Communities
– My Blog Posts About Writing Craft
Click on topic below to expand the “accordion” of information. I used this format to keep the page easy to find what you want without it taking forever.
Also, I teach writing workshops to schools, writing groups, and at conferences. Check out my speaking tab, or contact me. I love helping others on their journeys.
If you are a teen, here are some resources just for you. Download the PDF: Teen Resources Handout
- American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is a professional community of serious writers, both published and unpublished. It does require a membership fee but the benefits are worth it. Through the community, you can connect with other writers face to face in writer’s groups. You can also take online courses, submit portions of your writing to critique groups, participate in contests, and attend a national writer’s conference.
- Faith Hope & Love Christian Writers – Sometimes known as FHLCW, they provide support, education, and encouragement to published and unpublished Christian writers of romance and romantic women’s fiction. FHLCW’s purpose is: “To promote excellence in Christian fiction and/or fiction written from a Christian worldview. To help Christian writers establish their careers and to provide continuing support for writers within the fiction publishing industry.” We accomplish this stated purpose through our email groups, our online programs, our contests and awards, etc.
- Historical Christian Romance Writers – A newer paid community with membership benefits of immediate access to video recordings, handouts and additional resources, bi-weekly critique meetings, live training sessions with published authors and marketing experts, access to future summits and courses
- Novel.Academy is an online educational community with weekly Pep Talks focused on developing your writing craft. A monthly membership is required, but you have access to many courses. Lots are included, although specific courses can be purchased. I highly recommend the membership as well as the Build a Book Program. This program has helped me grow as a writer the most.
- The Young Writer -An interactive, online learning community for young Christian writers in their teens and early twenties. This is another paid community but geared strictly for young authors.
Writing Craft Books
*All links go to Amazon.com but many of these resources can be found elsewhere. These are NOT affliate links.
Any of the Writing Thesauri by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
- The Emotional Wound Thesaurus
- The Negative Trait Thesaurus
- The Positive Trait Thesaurus
- The Emotion Thesaurus
- The Urban Setting Thesaurus
- The Rural Setting Thesaurus
Body Beats by April W. Gardner – BODY BEATS TO BUILD ON is an emotion phrase book that provides the bones for fresh, vibrant content. Layer with a little imagination, mix and match, and voilà—endless, unique beats. No more pet phrases. No more wasting time in search of a different way to write “she blushed.” Just you and your manuscript climbing to the next level. This easy-to-navigate tool for novelists is a must-have for your fiction self-editing checklist.
Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland – By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.
Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Ross – Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it. A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing. This emotional thesaurus includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings. Genre fiction authors can use Emotional Beat as a feeling thesaurus and watch their writing take off!
Fight Like a Girl by Aiki Flinthart – Women are not men with mammaries. They don’t approach, handle, or react to violence in the same way. Aiki Flinthart is a long-time martial artist, archer, knife-thrower, assault-survivor, and author of 11+ novels – all with kick-butt heroines and heroes. In Fight Like a Girl, she brings her own experience, plus the results of extensive research and interviews, to the table for fellow authors. You should come away with an excellent understanding of the differences between males and females, how they fight, react, and think. What weapons and techniques work well for smaller physiques. How it feels to be involved in a fight.
Fight Write by Carla Hoch – In Fight Write you’ll learn practical tips, terminology, and the science behind crafting realistic fight scenes for your fiction. Broken up into “Rounds,” trained fighter and writer Carla Hoch guides you through the many factors you’ll need to consider when developing battles and brawls.
Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon – By far one of the best resources I have stumbled upon for developing my story and characters is Debra Dixon’s book GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict. It is a short read, understandable, filled with examples, and easy to apply. I bought the Kindle Version from Amazon.
How to Write Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson – In this book, you’ll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her—turning her into a stronger, more courageous person. Zany, Over the Top, and Just Plain Fun How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method is a “business parable”—a how-to guide written in story form. It’s zany. It’s over the top. It’s just plain fun. Most important, it’s effective, because it shows you, rather than telling you.
Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot by Jane K. Cleland – Suspense is one of the most powerful tools a writer has for captivating readers–but it isn’t just for thrillers. From mainstream fiction to memoir, suspense creates the emotional tension that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot is your hands-on guide to weaving suspense into your narrative. Award-winning author Jane K. Cleland teaches you how to navigate genre conventions, write for your audience, and build gripping tension to craft an irresistible page-turner.
Outlining Your Novel Box Set by K.M. Weiland – These bestselling guides will help you choose the right type of outline to unleash your creativity, guide you in brainstorming plot ideas, and aid you in discovering your characters.
Story Trumps Structure by Steven James – This is a great book to help you look at your story in a new light and to ask questions that really push your story to the next level. This is the first book I’ve seen that is really great for pansters, but it is also great for plotters.
The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes – This is a fantastic break down of 8 hero and 8 heroine archetypes, giving examples of their qualities, flaws, occupations, styles, and relationships with the other archetypes. I have begun using it during my initial character development process.
The Psychology Workbook for Writers by Darian Smith – Writers know that their characters and stories should be multi-layered and believable. Now here’s a simple workbook that uses the same knowledge that gives therapists insight into human behaviour to create fiction that hits the mark. Each chapter outlines an aspect of psychological theory as it can be used for writing and provides two worksheets to translate it into action – one to develop characters, one to develop the story. Darian Smith is a prize winning fiction writer with a degree in psychology, and is a member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. He combines these two sides of his background to provide simple, easy to follow tools that make use of established psychological theory to help writers develop fully rounded, interesting, realistic characters and inject conflict into their stories.
The Story Equation by Susan May Warren – This has become the quintessential strategy for developing your story starting with character development. Before writing any story, I now start with the SEQ, or Story Equation. I promise there is no math involved, but it will propel you to write the absolute best story you can.
Trouble Shooting Your Novel by Steven James – In this hand-on, easy-to-use guide, award-winning author Steven James provides helpful techniques and checklists, timesaving tricks of the trade, and hundreds of questions for manuscript analysis and revision.
Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell – James Scott Bell has many wonderful resources, but this one is my favorite. It is a really short read and helps to really create a powerful story that follows the structure of good movies and books. I often pair it with Susie’s book above. The two create a powerful punch.
Writing from the Trenches: Tips and Techniques from Ten Award-Winning Authors – What I love about this resource is how easy it is to read. I simply read one entry a day/night and I glean so much information from this resource. I like to highlight, so a print version is what I prefer, but the e-book has links you can click within the book.
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass – This a great resource for working with a manuscript or story idea to really make it a standout novel. My writing group is currently working through the workbook and I have found it to be invaluable. The lessons are really short and have relevant exercises at the end of each lesson.
Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict by Cheryl St. John – Emotional impact shouldn’t be dropped into your novel as an afterthought or forced upon your story with a pair of pliers and an iron grip. It should be carefully sewn into the fabric of the story to create tension-filled moments that will keep readers turning pages. In Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict, you’ll learn how to layer emotional moments and deep connections to create a tapestry filled with conflict, pathos, and genuine feeling.
- Helping Writers Become Authors Podcast – Helping Writers Become Authors provides writers help in summoning inspiration, crafting solid characters, outlining and structuring novels, and polishing prose. Learn how to write a book and edit into a story agents will buy and readers will love.
- Write from the Deep – Encouragement, refreshment, and truth from writers for writers. Every writer, at some point, faces the deep places of crushing trials and struggles. But the Deep is also a place where we learn to abide in God as never before. This podcast reminds writers they’re not alone, and equips and helps them to embrace the deep, to discover their truest voice and message, and to share it with refined craft and renewed passion.
- Novel Marketing – This is the show for writers who hate marketing, but still, want to become bestselling authors. Our goal is to make book promotion fun and easy by connecting you with innovative marketing strategies that work.
- The Christian Publishing Show – The Christian Publishing Show is a podcast to help Christian authors change the world. We talk about how to improve in the craft of writing, how to get pubished, and how to market effectively. Get expert advice from industry insiders.
- The Quit Cast – The QuitCast for Writers is a weekly Youtube channel and podcast created around the content of Becca Syme’s “What to Quit, What to Keep, and What to Question” model of coaching writers. We feature three types of shows.
- Your Best Writing Life with Linda Goldfarb -Industry Experts Provide Weekly Tips And Strategies For Beginner To Bestselling Writers
Helpful Writing Blogs
- Seekerville is a Christian community of fiction writers will help you to grow your craft, help you connect with other writers at all levels, and will provide you with the encouragement and challenges needed to push your forward.
Helping Writers Become Authors – “My goal in running Helping Writers Become Authors and the awesomesauce community of Wordplayers that has grown up around it is to show you how to write your best story–change your life–and astound the world.” – K.M. Weiland
- Steve Laube Agency Blog – daily posts throughout the week from agents within the literary agency
- Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog – hosted by this fantastic conference, daily posts provide a plethora if information for writers of all walks.
- Books and Such Literary Agency Blog – a once a week blog from the agents of the literary agency
- The QuitCast Blog – How to write faster, better: personality and strength-based education for writers seeking a personalized approach to writing, editing, plotting, marketing, and more.
- The Write Conversation with Edie Melson – Daily blog posts about writing
- Jane Friedman – reports on the book publishing industry and helps authors understand the business
- How to Write a Novel – daily blog from Novel Academy
Facebook Writing Groups
A Seat at the Table – This is a Facebook Group where members mingle and discuss with friends of Christian Publishing – authors, editors, book reviewers, readers, agents, publishers, all are welcome here!
Editing Insiders – A Facebook community for writers to talk about books, editing, publishing, life, and all things book related. Moderated by Janyre Tromp and Sarah DeMey (two professional editors with more than 40 years combined experience with a traditional publisher). Janyre is a developmental editor and novelist who started in the marketing department of the publishing world more than 20 years go. And Sarah, who’s spent more than 25 years in the industry, is the utility player of the editorial team. She can do it all!
My Blog Posts About Writing
- Author Voice
- Prepping for a Writer’s Conference
- Researching Your Story
- How do you write a story that people find entertaining?
- How do you decide to start a story? (Plotters, Pantsers, Plansters)
- What is GMC?
- Character Goals
- Character Motivation
- Conflict: Make it Worse
- Male POV Part 1
- Male POV Part 2
- Male POV Part 3
- Character Voice
- Developing Well-Rounded Characters: Archetypes
- Developing Well-Rounded Characters: Traits
- Developing Well-Rounded Characters: Dark Moment Stories