Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

Blog / Resources for Writers

Resources for writers

Okay, first, a day or so ago Martha Wells mentioned she has this page on Twitter, and I went and looked at it and I think it is helpful. It’s a bunch of links to posts that ought to be useful for new writers. If you go to her website, you can get to this page by clicking on “Resources” over on the sidebar, but I thought I would provide the direct link here.

One of my personal favorites is “Being good can be a shortcut. There is no shortcut to being good” by Scott Lynch. I will say that I do not get approached by people wanting The Secret Handshake all that often, but it does happen. I like snarky posts, so I enjoyed Scott Lynch’s post.

And it’s too bad I didn’t know about Jim Hines’ First Novel Survey until it was over, because I wouldn’t have minded being a data point. It’s a survey on how over 200 published writers made their first novel sale. I will just add here that 1) I made my first novel sale with zero short fiction credits; 2) I made my first novel sale with zero contacts with agents and editors; and 3) I have never participated in critique groups or writers’ groups. You can add me to all the appropriate categories.

While on the subject of websites that are good resources for writers, another one I really like is Marie Brennen’s website, Swan Tower. If you click under “essays,” you will find many excellent posts on the craft, business, and philosophy of writing. These essays are well worth checking out, though as far as I know Marie does not update them very often. There are really too many good essays to pick out any in particular. I tried just now, but then I gave up. Just click over and scan through the topics yourself.

When people ask me for websites that offer good information for writers, I still recommend Janet Reid’s website, which as you may know is mostly about the query process, but does have posts on other topics fairly frequently.

For information about one author’s success via self-publishing, I like Lindsay Buroker’s website. She is very upfront about what she has done to promote her books, what pricing strategies she has tried, all that stuff.

I will add, I think posts about How to Write — How to do worldbuilding, how to create strong characters, how to plot, all that — are essentially useless. It is mildly interesting to hear about how someone else does it, but everyone is so different, whatever they suggest is not likely to relate in any way to how you personally write. So I have no links to that sort of post. There sure are a lot of such links on Twitter, though, at least if you follow a lot of writers, so I guess many people like writing How to Write posts. Me, I need to start following more dog people or home bakers, because at the moment my twitter stream is a perhaps a little top heavy with writing tweets and book recommendations.

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