External Resources

Jim Butcher’s Writing Blog

Jim Butcher knows what he’s talking about.  With 20+ novels published he’s made quite a name for himself.  This is a link to his Livejournal which covers a lot of the basics of the craft.  I’m mostly borrowing from his framework, but I think I have a few nuances to cover that he does not.

 

Film Crit Hulk

This guy got his start writing massive reviews on movies, TV, whatever in all caps (hence the name), but generally he takes the time to break down precisely what he views as wrong (or right) with the particular work and these can be helpful for improving your own work.  He also has a series of “how to write” posts should you wish for more information.

 

Brandon Sanderson’s Fiction Class  (youtube series)

Sanderson is a disgustingly prolific author who continuously comes up with new and interesting “magic systems” for his fantasy worlds.  This link is to someone recording him giving a fiction writing class, and he definitely knows what he’s talking about.

 

Larry Correia’s Blog

Larry Correia is a guy that knows what he likes and most likely WILL fight you if you try to tell him he’s wrong.  It happens that the things he likes are good old fashioned pulp fantasy, and guns…lots of guns.  This link is for his general author blog, where he talks about whatever strikes his fancy, but every so often has very good things to say about the writing craft.  His particular writing philosophy (short version: you are writing to GET PAID) has a no-nonsense bluntness that we here at Grinding Through Writer’s Block can get behind.

 

Spacebattles

One of the less scary places on the web, but still somewhat steeped in the culture.  Spacebattles is an infamous “let’s all argue about stuff” forum that boasts a robust creative writing section.  It’s better regulated than fanfiction.net and feedback is fast and probably more helpful.  You want to improve your craft?  Here’s the trial by fire.

 

Books:

Story, by Robert Mckee.

McKee’s Story is one of the first “How to Write” books I ever read.  True it’s based in screen writing, but most of the lessons transfer over to novels with ease.  McKee takes no guff and pulls no punches.  GTWB Approved!

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

Something of the antithesis to Story, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird handles the nuances of the writing craft with a very soft touch.  If the advice on this website doesn’t work for you, give her stuff a try.

On Writing, by Stephen King

Less a self-help book on writing than a personal look into how one particular writer does it, King’s book is best used as an examination of method.  Most of use don’t have six whole hours a day to focus on writing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things we can steal.

The Fantasy Fiction Formula, by Deborah Chester

The Jedi Master who instructed Jim Butcher put out a book on writing.  You bet I picked up a copy.  A lot of the exercises seem obtuse, but when Butcher followed them to letter…he wrote the first book in his main series, so hold your criticism until you’ve tried it.

Structuring You Novel, by K. M. Weiland

Basically a “how to outline” book built on as traditional a structure as you could hope for.  Weiland does not say much about the actual craft, but if you do not have this tool yet, you could do worse than to learn from her.