Or: What to Expect when you Expect to be Writing
Ah curse my lackadaisical posting schedule. But I am genuinely excited because it looks like Part 2 of my novel might be getting finished a half month early. Also, I’ve been tracking my word counts and other stats, as has been advocated by the Self Publishing Podcast, so I wanted to share that with you!
Also, to all the blog subscribers, I hope you got the subscriber gift! For all new subscribers, once the order comes in, it will be “while supplies last” deal. Also, the blog has reached 5k Views! I will, idk, record a special Vlog when we reach over 9000 I guess! (Oh no, if anyone reads this and calls me out on it, I’m screwed)
How to capture your story ideas
Most perfect stories die in our heads. Not only because they are more wonderful and easier to dream of, but because if you never write it down, it’s perfection will never be marred by trying to realize it.
Evernote app – from Evernote.com
I’m actually writing this on the Evernote app right now. Web app. The great thing about Evernote is, well, everything. It cross syncs over multiple platforms, and dynamically saves your data, whether local or network. Get an idea? Write it down in evernote, tag it as a “Story Idea”, and go on with your merry way.
Moleskin notebook from Moleskin
Arg, it irks me to suggest a tool that seems to surround itself with such a pretentious image. BUT a Moleskin notebook is both pretentious and premium priced, but it is premium priced for a reason. The construction is solid, the binding takes a beating, and the paper is high quality. All three together mean that you have a well made notebook that you can carry anywhere, and inspires creativity each time you put pen or pencil to paper.
How to develop your story
Next you are going to want to develop the story, flesh out the world, get concrete facts, create characters. This means research! But, beware of Analysis Paralysis. You want to research only enough to have something to write, don’t get stuck trying to get all your facts and motifs straight, just get an outline running.
Factually: Wikipedia from Wikipedia.org
Wikipedia is great. It’s that easy to get to “I wonder how this works” resource. Roman legion formations? How to load a black powder musket? History of the Napoleon war? Right at your fingertips. But, be careful, don’t get distracted, get what you need, put it into your composition tool, and move on. Don’t get click-baited!
Visually: Pinterest from Pinterest.com
Pinterest is great tool for keeping pictures, but an even better tool for expanding on a common visual theme. Want to explore a dress style, time period art, images that evoke the same mood? Using the features “related pins” and “Also pinned on these boards” allows you to expand the search range and the interface is such that you can just keep clicking and pinning. Make a different board for each book, jot down quick notes like the character this pin represents or setting or just props to use in your world. When you have gathered enough, grab these visual resources and put them in your composition tool!
The Pinterest board of the Noble Affinity Cycle can be found here
Thematically: TVtropes from TvTropes.org
TVTropes is the Wikipedia of all that is Writing Themed. A Trope is a (over)used device, in this regards, to plot, character, and theme devices. Think of it as a short cut writing characters arcs, casting, plotting structure, etc. These can always be changed later, but provide some good starting points. Locate some you like, and then put them in your composition tool!
How to Compose your story
Scrivener, from Literature and Latte
Scrivener is, hands down, the best composition tool out there. Instead of trying to explain point by point why this should be your all in one composition tool, I will just save that for a later date. An, it’s free to try for 30 days! If you want to purchase Scrivener, I have provided an affiliate link below,
How to format your story
– The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
A lot of grammar books are dry as heck. It’s just the nature of grammar. What I like about White’s book, however, is that it focuses on the “what” of the rules (mechanics) and then the “why” of the rule (rhetoric). Often you will see that the rules are employed, not to make your life more difficult, but to make your writing more clear.
Honorable mention: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.
Witty, stylish, and hilarious.
How to develop Your story telling
I’ve mentioned before that Writers should also be reading. Reader the market, reading their genre, and reading for research. Podcasts and Audio books fulfill both.
BeyondPod, from BeyondPod.Mobi
I was using smart audio player, but recently switched to BeyondPod for several reason. Better UI, dynamic playlist building, and playback speed! I am currently at 1.4x speed, but I’ll be ramping that up soon. Consume media and information faster! Also, a great companion for your work commute, gym time, and chores.
Craft Podcasts: These podcasts give invaluable information for writers
Writing Excuses, from WritingExcuses.com
This Hugo award winning podcast is 15 minutes long, from four writers whom I admire, weekly writing prompts, and amazing entertaining. In their 10th season now, they are running podcast master classes. A year long writing prompt that takes you through the gamut of writing skills. Gives writing advice for both craft and market.
Helping Writers become Authors, from K.M. Weiland
This Writer’s Digest award winning podcast and book resource is run by the very helpful K.M. Weiland, who is both a IPPY and NIEA award winning Author. Read: She has won awards for both her Fiction AND Non-Fiction writing. As far as the non fiction goes, she is a multimedia threat (quadruple threat?): She offers the podcast, the blog, the video blog, and the books. Gives writing for craft.
Self Publishing Podcast, from Johnny, Sean, and Dave
Ran by the legendary Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt, and David W. Wright, this trio is an indie publishing power house, and this podcast is where they spend about an hour a week shooting the crap. Often irrelevant, and hardly ever staying on topic, SPP is a realistic look at writing for Indie Publishing both a craft and a business. If you are planning on being a Fiction Indie Author, this podcast and their book Write. Publish. Repeat., should be your bible. Gives writing advice for market and business.
Genre Podcasts: These podcasts let you read about the market and genre you are in, and also is a nice cross section of what’s out there
Escape Pod, from Escape Artists
The Science fiction podcast magazine. Comes in weekly, supported by donations, and runs the gamut from shorts to longer, almost novella length stories. Features amazing voice talents and award winning stories. And also a public forum at the end of every episode, giving critiques and thoughts on an earlier piece.
PodCastle, from Escape Artists
Like it’s sister podcast, Escape Pod, PodCastle is the “Fantasy” imprint of Escape Artists. Weekly releases, often previously published, sometimes award winning fantasy shorts.
How to Submit your story
*I am adding this as bonus content because, while I have heard many use it, I myself have not used it extensively
-The Grinder, from Diabolical Plots
There is nothing wrong with writing for self discovery. In fact, that should be at he heart of our writing. But, if we are writing for publication, that means eventually people will need to read it. That means writer’s groups, that means deadlines, and, possibly, submissions. The Grinder is great because it is extremely filterable and customizable. Genre, Word count, Electronic submission, if the market has any qualifications (SWFA, HUGO, Nebula) and much more. And the grinder let’s you build writer cred. If you want, start at the bottom. But really, if you have the time, start at the top and work you way down and see what is the highest venue that will take the piece.