Resources

Here are some useful links to writing topics around the web:

Books

Writing
  • Audiobook & Podcasts – great for commuting or doing chores
    • Writing Great Fiction Audiobook by James Hynes
      Includes writing and revision; tilted toward literary fiction. Highly recommended
    • How to Write Best-selling Fiction Audiobook by James Scott Bell
      Includes writing, revision, and publishing; tilted toward commercial fiction. Highly recommended.
      See also: 27 fiction writing blunders, which covers many of the topics in this audiobook.
    • Writing Excuses Podcast
      Over 700 episodes covering a variety of writing topics, hosted by published authors with various guest authors. You can listen on the website, or on your mobile device through Apple Podcasts (iphone) or on android a podcast app like Podcast Republic (one of the best, in my opinion, as it has all the old episodes of this podcast). If you’ve listened to the other two books above, this is a good resource, but the information is less efficiently communicated due to the podcast format.
  • Books (and audiobook if available)
Editing

Learning how to edit your work is crucial for revision, but also it helps build your skills so you write better first drafts.

  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
    A quick and easy read to get you started editing. Primary focus is fiction editing. Highly recommended.
  • Revising Fiction: A Handbook for Writers by David Madden
    A deep and thought-provoking guide to revising your work. Primary focus is literary fiction. Highly recommended.
  • A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker
    This is a college textbook on editing, and while a few sections aren’t relevant to fiction writing, most of them are. There is a ton of useful information in this book. I have the fifth edition, but they are on the ninth now. The best value is a used copy of the eighth edition, for about $10. This book focuses on grammar, punctuation, building effective sentences, and communicating effectively as a writer. It is like a much-expanded version of The Elements of Style by Strunk & White.
Process and philosophy of Writing

These books incorporate a lot of philosophy or biography, so while they are good reads, they are not practical manuals for how to write well that are easy to apply to your work. But if you like a looser form of instruction, then these are for you.

Grammar and Punctuation

Writing and Editing

Videos

Sounds and Music

Software

  • Google Docs – free cloud-based word processor, spreadsheets, and storage
  • Scrivener – popular paid writing app (for Windows and Mac)
  • yWriter – free Scrivener alternative (for Windows only)
  • Bibisco – free writing app for Windows, Mac, and Linux with paid upgraded version
  • Hemingway App – free online writing tool to analyze your prose, and also a paid downloadable version
  • Microsoft OneNote – free notetaking app
  • LibreOffice – a free word processor and spreadsheet program for desktop use

Hardware

  • Freewrite – a basic physical word processor for distraction-free writing ($500)
  • AlphaSmart Neo 2 – basically the same thing as the Freewrite but can be had used for about $30
  • If you’re looking for distraction-free writing, you can also use Google Docs, then press the F11 key on your keyboard to take your browser into full-screen mode.  You can then hide most of the Google Docs menus at the top and right side using the arrow icons. See our full tutorial here!