Writing Resources and Groups

Well, this has been an exciting week, and I know I am posting this a day late, but, hey, at least I’m posting.  I’m sorry there was no post on Wednesday.  That’s a harder one to make happen, but I’m not giving up.  I’ll keep working on it.

Anyway, this week I joined American Christian Fiction Writers.  I am so excited!  They have so much to offer, and I just found out a few days ago that they now have a PA state chapter and I know the Area Coordinator, so I joined that as well!  This gives me many great writing resources, including writing classes for no additional fee, and connections to even more writers than I have already connected with through LCW.  They have lots of wonderful online resources including a critique group, and now with a State Chapter, access to others via Skype as well.  I’m so excited to be a part of this great organization!

In addition to that, I ordered some wonderful writing resources online, and they arrived on Tuesday.  I now own  The Emotion Thesaurus:  A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.  I found out about this resource from my friend Donna on her blog Donna L. H. Smith.  I have already read the parts that are for reading and have looked at many of the thesaurus entries and believe this will be a valuable asset and tool to my writing.  The other six items I purchased are all by the same author, James Scott Bell, who is known as one of the best writing coaches.  He has written many great books on writing that have become bestsellers.  The ones I purchased are:  Write Your Novel From the Middle:  A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in BetweenSuper Structure; The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story; How to Write Dazzling Dialogue:  The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript; Conflict & Suspense; and Plot & Structure:  Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish.  I also purchased his book, How to Make a Living as a Writer, and this is the one I have begun to dig into.  It has a lot of great information and suggestions.  I have many parts already highlighted and several pages dog-eared, yes, I said, “Dog-eared”.  I NEVER dog-ear book pages, and it took me a very long time to even get comfortable highlighting and underlining parts in books because I was taught that books are something you treat with care and respect.  They are not to be written in and pages are not to be bent, folded, wrinkled or dog-eared — Use a Bookmark.

However, I read the following quote on the back of Write Your Novel from the Middle:  “I need three things before I tackle a new novel:  Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell’s books on writing craft!”  — Kami Garcia, #1 NY Times & International bestselling writer.  That quote seemed to strike a chord with me, and even though, I have never dog-eared pages before, in my life, I realized it was a great way to be able to find the information I considered, most important, quickly and easily.  So my James Scott Bell writing resources will be the first books I have dog-eared (although I did dog-ear just a couple of pages in The Emotion Thesaurus.

As I dig into these resources and put the lessons into practice, I will let you know what I think of them and whether or not I would suggest them to others.  I am already quite sure I would recommend How to Make a Living as a Writer by James Scott Bell, even though I am only three chapters finished — it’s that good!

How about you?  Do you have some resources that you think are extremely valuable, that you rely on?  I’d love to know what they are.  Please leave a comment and share.  It’s important that no matter how long and successfully we write, we need to continue to study our craft.

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