#WritingResources

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Amongst the many writing resources available, some of my favorite come from none other than K.M Weiland of Helping Writers Become Authors. Straight forward and easy to understand content, the book and the accompanying workbook are well worth the investment.

Structuring Your Novel is one of three (also, Outlining Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs), and possibly my favorite. (Really though, they’re all three great). Ever been confused about where exactly to place certain scenes in your story? This book will help you understand how to start the story, what the midpoint should consist of, and how to bring it to that tense climax. Plus, it hits some of the smaller points along the way so that your story doesn’t do that ‘lag in the middle’ business that can cause a reader to put down the book and not pick it back up.

I highly recommend K.M. Weiland’s series on writing a novel. I’ve seen an improvement in the strength of my plot already!

What are some of your favorite writing resources? 

– Melinda

The What-If: NaNoWriMo Prep

My NaNoWriMo novel idea is all wrong.

That’s the revelation I’ve had in the last twenty-four hours. Twelve days before November 1st, with pages of planning already under way, it struck me that while the story I was plotting was a good story in itself, it’s the wrong story with which to wrap up my series. Hence, all wrong for NaNoWriMo 2017 since my goal is to have a complete series written by November 30th.

The plotter/planner in me is freaking out. The panster in me is excited for the challenge. So with only eleven days until go-time, what do I do? The only thing I can do: grab my favorite drink, find a back seat in my favorite cafe, and create a whole list of ‘what-if’ scenarios.

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The ‘What-If’ writing tool is great for the third book in a series (or really, any book), because in the case of a series you can draw ideas off of the material you already have instead of pulling them out of thin air. Since a writer wants to have threads carry from one book to the next in a series, the ‘What-If’ can assist greatly in this endeavor. To start my ‘What-If’ thread I asked one simple question based off my first book…

“What if my main characters buried a treasure somewhere around town that they thought no one else knew about?”

This one simple question has already lead to five other ‘what-if’ questions, and I know more are soon to follow. New ideas for book three are floating around in my imagination, and my plotting side is starting to feel the excitement of my panster side. 🙂

So while my previous idea for the third novel was all wrong, and November 1st is lurking around the corner, there’s no need to panic. Armed with an effective writing tool, and some really good chai latte in a Hobbit-esque mug, it’s time to let the ideas flow.

What writing tools do you use when you need to start from scratch? How do you handle panic when something in your writing doesn’t seem to go ‘right’? What’s your favorite place to write?

– Melinda