Resources For Writers

Writers Resources

This section is compiled of information I have received from my courses at Southern New Hampshire University. All of these are resources that professors have given us in order to further our careers in creative writing, whether it was as editors or writers, or a combination of both. I hope these resources help you, as much as they helped me!

Basic Information

Outline

Story Outline

Knowing Your Genre

Website: Fiction Genre Definitions

This website provides basic definitions for major fiction genres and subgenres.

Choosing Point of View and Staying Consistent

Third person omniscient vs. limited vs. head jumping

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OMNISCIENT POV AND HEAD HOPPING

Complete Guide to Different Types of Point of View: Examples of Point of View in Writing

Head-Hopping Gives Readers Whiplash

Point of View and Head Hopping

Building Characters

Article: Character Questionnaires

This article from Gotham Writers provides authors with numerous questions to ask and answer about their characters before beginning to write a story.

Article: Character Personality Chart

This article provides a character questionnaire with particularly personal and intimate questions.

Writing Action Scenes

Article: The 5 Immutable Laws of Writing a Good Action Scene

This article discusses how to avoid writing poorly-constructed action scenes.

Here are some general videos about writing action scenes.

How to write a good fight scene. Nice list of verbs in this one.

Brandon Sanderson’s Three Rules for Fight Scenes.

Article: Writing Powerful Descriptions

Article: Point of View Guide

This article discusses point of views. 

Writing Dialogue

From the Creative Pen. Writing Fiction. Improve Your Dialogue With James Scott Bell

10 traits of faulty dialogue – Robert McKee (Part 1) – There are 10 parts if you find McKee helpful

Article: Punctuation in Dialogue

This article discusses how to punctuate dialogue, which is notoriously difficult to punctuate realistically.

Article: Seven Keys to Writing Good Dialogue

This article provides practical tips on how to create great dialogue.

Writing Fantasy

Article: Seven Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding

This article discusses seven pitfalls in world building that commonly lead to failed stories and characters.

PDF: World Building Basic Worksheet

This worksheet helps authors consider all major aspects of world building.

Video: The Hero’s Journey – Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Wizard of Oz (9:40)

This video explains the Hero’s Journey with examples from Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Wizard of Oz.

Video: What Makes a Hero? (4:33)

This video discusses the “crucial events that make or break a hero.”

Students may experience varying amounts of time for this resource to load, depending on the speed of their internet connection.

Interview: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘The Hero’s Adventure’

This is a transcript from a portion of the 1988 PBS documentary “The Power of Myth” that discusses forming personal journeys.

Self-Editing Before Submitting

Whether you are submitting your work to a traditional publishing company or self-publishing, your work must be professionally edited. Before you even submit to an editor, it is proper etiquette to give your work a self-edit. 

Article: Stories We’ve Seen Too Often

This article is Strange Horizons “hard sell list”—in this case a list of “bad stories,” clichés, and types that the magazine specifically requests writers do not send in.

Article: Five Ways to Jumpstart a Revision

This article provides Christina Baker Kline’s list of tips that her students have found most helpful in revising their work.

Article: Revising, Editing, and Polishing Your Novel

This article is Jodie Renner’s “logical, workable approach to the revision process that produces good results.”

Article: Choosing a Writing Critique Group

This article is Writer’s Digest’s guide to determining what kind of writing critique group is best for you.

Are These Bad Habits Creeping Into Your Writing?

Advice from an editor at Random House Publishing. He talks about cliches in writing that should be avoided at all cost and yes, holding a breath I didn’t know I was holding is on there. 

Fiction is most often written in past tense. Present tense works also, sometimes giving a sense of more immediacy. But whichever tense you decide on, stick with it. Don’t change verb tense unless the time reference really changes.

Here are a few articles and videos:

From Purdue Online Writing Lab

Grammarly

Verb Tense Consistency in a Sentence

Simple Past vs. Past Progressive

This document explains when to use simple past (She sat down) and when to use progressive past (she was sitting down) in your writing.

Numbers in Writing

This is a link explaining when to spell out numbers and went to use numerals. 

Knows of Publishing Traditionally

How to Write a Novel Synopsis

Website: Critters Writing Workshop

This website helps writers to understand the difference between legitimate publishing offers and scams.

Article: How to Write a Cover Letter

This article is the Strange Horizons (speculative fiction magazine) guide to writing a cover letter.

Article: The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests

This article helps writers to compose query letters to “seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work.”

Knows of Publishing (Self)

How to Self-Publish a Book: 7 Simple Steps to Success

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing

Marketing Yourself

Article: 15 Must-Have Website Essentials

This article is Molly Greene’s guide to some of the more technical, but necessary, aspects of building an effective author website.

Article: Write Tip: 12 Essentials for a Successful Author Website

This article is Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s guide to some of the more content-based aspects of building an effective author website.

How to write a strong synopsis. 

Here something from Reedsy

Margaret Atwood’s Master Class

Jane Friedman’s advice

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