Writing Tips

This post is a collection of writing tips, common errors and resource links to improve writing confidence. Basically, work your craft to make clean, coherent sentences and tell the story. You can plot out charts and graphs, and I do, but the passion and liveliness of the characters comes from inspiration just beyond our fingertips. How to find it? Write. Write and read.

Holt Uncensored: The Ten Mistakes Pat Holt gives a no-holds-barred ‘slapdown’ on some “professional” writing mistakes. A good read in order to think objectively about self-critique. Note: A couple paras didn’t word wrap; most else is fairly succinct.

From her bio: “Pat Holt began her publishing career in the New York office of Houghton Mifflin Company in 1969 and was later promoted to the company’s Boston office, where she worked as publicity manager. In the mid-1970s, she was senior editor and publicity director for the San Francisco Book Company, and in 1978 she became Publishers Weekly’s first full-time Western Correspondent, where her territory ranged from the Rockies to Australia and Mexico to Alaska.

She was book editor and critic at The San Francisco Chronicle for 16 years (1982-1998) and was named a board member of The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in 1984. Her proposal that 1987 be declared “The Year of the Reader” was adopted by the Library of Congress, approved by Congress and signed by the President as Public Law 90-494 in 1986. Her second proposal, that 1989 be declared “The Year of the Young Reader,” was similarly adopted and signed into law in 1988. From 1986 through 1989 she formed and raised funds for the San Francisco office of The Year of the Reader.”

Writer’s Digest: 17 Writing Secrets An informative article by Steven Goldsberry shares seventeen great tips on making writing projects effective. From ‘don’t save your best until last…’ to ‘there are no rules for good writing…’ this list of pointers can help novices and seasoned writers alike.

Writer’s Resources: 50 Open Source Tools Job Profiles lists fifty open source programs for writing, editing and project development. If you are looking for the perfect word processing program to maximize your output and minimize effort—consider these text resources.

Writer’s Digest: 101 Best Sites for Writers From the article: “Whether you’re looking for quotes, advice, markets, critiques—or just a place to meet other writers online—we’ve got you covered. Our annual roundup of websites is here, so grab your computer and start surfing.” Brian A. Klems, “Here’s our 10th-annual listing of the 101 best websites for writers. We sifted through more than 2,100 nominations and chose the 101 most valuable. This year, we’ve added a “jobs” category and have expanded the “genres/niches” category to better fit your needs. The list has been divided into nine sections: general resources, challenges/creativity, publishing resources, jobs, writing groups and communities, genres/niches, agent blogs, protect yourself and just for fun.”

Writing White Papers: 10 Blogs for Writers Michael Stelzner recommends ten writer blogs full of tips, tricks, and advice for breaking into writer markets. The blogs are by established authors who lend their perspective on writing confidently and effectively.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: Articles on Writing Peruse the table of contents on this extensive resource for fiction writers. From ‘The Basics’ to ‘Manuscript Preparation’ to ‘Workshops’, this site offers detailed articles on the craft, business and profession of fiction. If you are frustrated with your progress breaking into the writing trade, this is an excellent source to gain insight.

New media. Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, blogger, and advocate of new media discusses writing in the electronic age. This informal Youtube interview may offer some perspective on the new era of story writing.

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There are many more good sites and when I have a chance to offer a review, I’ll add them. Feel free to add some favorites of your own in comments.

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