Skip to main content

Writing Craft Database

True Story: I didn't know there was a craft to writing, but there IS!

I tried to write my first story in 2004. It was fascinating for pages, but quickly became linear and went no-where. I figured I must not have what it takes and gave up.

Later, I had a thought. Musicians must learn the notes, chords, and structure of music before they can improvise. Artists spend years with technique and craft before they impress us and make it look easy. I wonder if there's a craft to this creative writing stuff?

Well... there is! It's learnable. Here are some of the best Links, Books, Authors, Teachers, Podcasts, Articles, Tools, and anything else I've found helpful to my own writing all in one central link-database.
Enjoy, Learn, Grow, Study, Write!

WRITING CRAFT LESSONS/EDUCATION


Articles by me:
  • Article: Writing Craft: Show / Don't Tell
    • I build a single sentence using show / don't tell. Building layer on layer, showing how you can take the thought you had in the draft, and build it into the final version.
  • Article: Writing Craft: Getting UnStuck
    • Several people have asked me to help them get unstuck. Here's one (of many) possible lessons along those lines.


Books, Articles, Authors, Authorities, Podcasts, and more (that are not me):


See Also,

    WRITING CRAFT TOOLS


    Research It!
    • Microsoft OneNote (Best Notes Tool Ever!)
      • This is my favorite! I've used Evernote and GNotes, but this just works best for me. It sinks from my Android Phone to my Windows Computer seemlessly. It stores all the notes I could ever want, with links. I wrote the entire first rough draft of my first novel in One Note before moving all of that later to Scrivener. 
      • Writing: I keep research, ideas, plot line ideas, character bios, links to the thousand little things I wanted to put into the story, random ideas, all of it here. It's my digital brain. 

    Write It!

    • Scrivener, by Literature & Latte - $40 
      • Michael Hyatt (here) first turned me on to this program. It is absolutely the best thing I've seen for writers who want to publish any book Fiction or Non-fiction. He even uses it for publishing blog posts, and other content. 
      • This program allows me to write my scenes in any order they come to my mind. When it comes to Story Structure, I'm a Pantser or Edit-As-You-Go, not an Outliner. So this tool allows me to move scenes around, re-organize whole sections and see the story through corkboards at every level 1 inch view and 10,000-foot view. 
      • Thanks to Michael Hyatt (and his Affiliate Code: MICHAELHYATT) I got it at a discount.
    • yWriter 5 - Free (switched to Scrivener, but this got me started)
      • This program pretty much does what Scrivener does, but for free. But being free, it's a bit less User-Friendly. Think "Open Office vs Microsoft Word". They both get the job done, but the user experience is way different. I used yWriter happily until I could afford Scrivener. 
      • This program also has one feature I didn't find in Scrivener (maybe it's there, but I didn't find it), a timeline broken down by POV. 
      • yWriter is a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, helping you keep track of your work while leaving your mind free to create. It will not write your novel for you, suggest plot ideas or perform creative tasks of any kind. yWriter was designed by an author, not a salesman! 

    Edit It!
    • Grammarly - Free and Paid/Month 
      • The free version is MORE than I need right now, but in the future, I may start using the paid version. That depends on how much I'm writing, and how much it's paying me. 
      • This is an App/Extension that checks your grammar, in outstanding ways. 
      • There is a Chrome Extension, that checks your grammar from within your browser, no matter what site you are typing on (Facebook Twitter, Comments, Etc.,). 
      • There is a Microsoft Extension for Word and Outlook. I'm using it right now to edit my first novel. I'm seriously considering publishing my first novel without an Editor thanks to Grammarly.
    • Worthy Mentions:
      • Ginger - They have a free Chrome Extension. I'm trying it out now.
      • AutoCrit - You can paste it into the website for free, but you buy the software. Haven't tried it, but it came recommended by a Writers Group.
      • Hemingway Editor - Also came recommended by a Writers Group. Costs. Haven't tried it yet.
      • Hemingway App - Same company, just the online version. Paste the text in online and look for errors. 

    Publish It!
    • CreateSpace - is where I self-publish my paperback novels. 
      • Printed Copies: However, to be honest, I just love them for printing edit copies too. Ordering a "proof copy" of your novel fully bound from CreateSpace is actually cheaper than printing them on your own paper or using FedEx Office (formerly Kinkos) or Staples. So even if I'm just editing, this is where I go for printed copies.
      • Self-Publishing: CreateSpace is a printer. You are your own publisher if you go this route. However, they will create an ISBN, publish to Amazon, and make it available for larger places (bookstores, those that are left) to order if they so choose. Since the publishers make you do your own platform building and marketing now, why do we still need them?
    • Kindle Direct Publishing - is where I publish the Kindle copy of the book.
      • You can upload a word document and it will format it for you. However, it's not quite right that way. Learn a bit about formatting, (Scrivner helps there too) and then upload it. This site puts it into Kindle directly.


    WEBSITE TOOLS

    • Domain.Com - is where I buy my domain names.
      • Someone said, can't recall who, that you shouldn't host the website where you bought your domain name. That way, if you end up in a dispute with the host of the site, you can start a new site (keep that site template saved on your personal cloud somewhere, GDrive?) and go point the domain name to the new site while you are fixing the dispute.
    • Blogger - This is where my website lives.
      • This service, offered by Google, will let you build a blog for FREE. It's hands-down the easiest to use. WordPress has a learning curve that is much steeper (and more restrictive) than Blogger.
      • Templates/Design: Blogger comes with some enhanced templates, but I prefer to use another site called BTemplates. I download a template I like from there and upload it to Blogger. Then, I personalize it. I then save a copy of that template to my cloud (GDrive or OneDrive) in case I need it later. 
      • ArticleHow to use Blogger.Com and Domain.Com to host your Top Level Domain Name for less than $10/Year. 
      • Article: Maybe I should write a post about the top (10?) things I'd do when starting a new Blogger Blog.
    • GUMROAD: - Sell products, name your own price! 
      • I can upload a PDF copy of my book and sell that direct from my website to consumers. I can name a price, or allow them to name their own.
    • IFTT 
      • Social Media tool mostly. Let's me automate "If Blogger post, Then Post to Facebook" or whatever I want it to do, it's got 1,000s of options.



    Grammarly



    Comments

    Sign Up

    Consider Supporting This Site: Become a Patron! Sign Up so you don't miss a post:

    Special Delivery

    * indicates required

    View previous campaigns.

    Powered by MailChimp

    Darrell's Reading List


    Here are some books I've been reading lately:
    • Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). The story of a young Hacker girl, who went on a wild adventure into the supernatural realm beyond trying to save her mom, but saved her self too in the process.
    • Saint: A Paradise Novel (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). He's an assassin, or is he? He finds a secret to his past that unlocks supernatural abilities, at a cost.
    • For a full list of all my book suggestions, see my Amazon Store.

    Popular posts from this blog

    Writing Craft: Getting UnStuck

    Getting UnStuck - Story Structure Guiding The Path It quite common, especially for Pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants with no real outline or plan ahead of time), to get stuck in your story. At some point, we hit a roadblock, writer's block, and can't think of what the story should be next.

    Story Structure Clues

    This is, in part, because we don't start with the outline that the stricture Outliners do. We can't even comprehend where the story will be going in order to outline.

    However, if we have an idea of the path (the skeleton of the structure), we can start to see a way through the hazy fog of the future. But even then, we can get stuck like I did last night.

    I'd written my way through and just couldn't imagine what needed to happen next. I know where the next major plot point is going to be and what (generally) will happen (Destiny is caught by the FBI but Ash escapes). But it's way to early to write that in the story timeline. If I wr…

    The W Story Structure - 4 Sequence Story Structure

    Out of everything I've ever read on story structure for fiction writing, the W-Story Structure makes the most sense to me. If you'd rather view these as Acts (3-Act or 4-Act) you can overlay that on this W and it still works.



    Glen C. Strathy writes (in much more detail here) in his article, The W-Plot vs. The Dramatica Model of Story Structure. There are four sequences for most stories. Each of the four legs of the W is comprised of a sequence of events that lead the story along to it's natural conclusion.

    Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)Sequence 2: recovering from the problem (new ideas, positive momentum)Sequence 3: deepening of the problemSequence 4: the resolution of the problem (new light or understanding)

    Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)
    The Inciting Event (the event that is at the heart of the reason this story happened) may have occurred before your story begins, and often does. In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), th…

    The Future of Work: Is being a writer (artist, musician, creative) an impractical career?

    In a writers group on Facebook, a young writer asked (edited):
    How do you respond to family members saying that being a writer is impractical? This is a great question. When I was going to college I stopped pursuing music and theater because it didn't seem to lead to a "practical career". I got bogged down in other things and eventually dropped out (after six years and 78 units). But times are changing and we're in a new type of revolution.

    So, what do you think?
    What is the future of work? How would you respond?
    What is impractical, what does that even mean?First, you reply:
    You said 'impractical' when I think you meant 'I'm Practical'. The root of Impractical is Practical, or to be "not-practical". The word practical is derived from the root word PRACTICE.
    practicale "of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied,"  All careers require a great deal of practice, hard work, study of the chosen field, and many small wins before th…

    Writing Craft: Show / Don't Tell

    Lessons I've learned about writing...

    In the world of creative writing, no phrase or lesson is more repeated than the famous:
    Show Don't Tell What does that mean, exactly? It means don't give me a fact but show it to me. Let the actions of the character tell me he's nervous. Let the characters actions and motives be so tied to the setting, that they direct what details I get to see.


    Read this:

    Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays. 
    Now read this:

    Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
    What's different?

    Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays.  Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
    We show him fidgeting and rotating his finger, this gives us more reason to talk about the inlays. But could this be better? Sure, there are a thousand ways to write this sent…

    Writing Prompt | Room and Bored

    At the Heart Writers group meeting tonight, led by Lauren Stinton, we did a short writing prompt.

    You have seven minutes to write (fiction or nonfiction) and it must include these three items/themes:

    Jesus is Lord of allPrincessCat
    Here is my result, with a bit of post-meeting editing and addition. Keep in mind, I wrote it in OneNote on my phone...

    *** Room and Bored The light amplified through the double glass window pane, despite the clawed dusty drapes, warming Princess' furry belly. She was Queen of this castle and she held the honor with dignity.

    Her human was a good servant. He brought her food at the appointed time. He changed her box. He performed his part admirably.

    Then her life shattered.

    Her human walked in the front door and laid a box on the table. "Princess, I have a surprise for you, " He said.

    She rolled off the couch back and sauntered over. The pawed the box. It moved. She jumped back, "Moew," she cried.

    A soft rumble came from the box.

    Her hu…

    Other sites I follow: