Information on the Resources (books, podcasts, software) I enjoy.
Including Snowflake Method, Wonderbook, Writers Toolbox, Fiction Unboxed, Writing Excuses Podcast, Self Publishing Podcast, Scrivener, Nanowrimo,
Over the years I have tried out many different writing Methods including:
Snowflake Method—a battle-tested series of ten steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story. All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down on paper.
In this book, you’ll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her—turning her into a stronger, more courageous person.
I find this an interesting method and I can see how it helps to grow a plot from a small idea all the way through to more detail. I also like that this book tells you through a story rather than simply telling you how to do things.
Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction
This all-new definitive guide to writing imaginative fiction takes a completely novel approach and fully exploits the visual nature of fantasy through original drawings, maps, renderings, and exercises to create a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring object. Employing an accessible, example-rich approach, Wonderbook energizes and motivates while also providing practical, nuts-and-bolts information needed to improve as a writer. Aimed at aspiring and intermediate-level writers, Wonderbook includes helpful sidebars and essays from some of the biggest names in fantasy today, such as George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente, and Karen Joy Fowler, to name a few.
This also comes with a companion website, offering more learning outside of the book.
This is a brilliant book. The advise is very visual, making it easier to understand and follow. Advise ranges from how to layout a story, creating indepth characters, world building and much more.
Designed by a longtime creative writing teacher, this innovative kit includes a 64 page booklet with exercises and instructions that focus on a ‘right brain’ approach to writing. Sixty exercise sticks will get stories off the ground, 60 cards fuel creative descriptions and four spinner palettes will ignite unexpected plot twists. For an aspiring writer this kit is the perfect first step on the path to literary greatness!
This is great for getting into the swing of things, plenty of exercises to use and work through. Very enjoyable.
Fiction Unboxed / Self Publishing Podcast
An intimate peek into the process of writing a novel, from A to Z, with nothing held back.
Part hero’s journey, part crash course in storytelling by the modern mavericks of indie publishing, and the bestselling authors of Write. Publish. Repeat., Fiction Unboxed offers something that’s never been offered before: a naked look into two writer’s process as they wrote and published a book in 30 days, from scratch, in front of the world.
In 2013 Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant wrote and published 1.5 million words (a Harry Potter series and a half’s worth of fiction). The next year they showed the world how they did it.
In May 2014, Johnny and Sean, along with their third partner David Wright, launched a Kickstarter campaign to see if their fans wanted to see how they wrote behind closed doors. They promised to start their newest project without knowing their story, characters, or even their genre, and publish the final draft before their 30 days were up. They promised to capture every email, every story meeting, and every word from every draft. They promised to show every molecule of their process, warts and all.
They had 30 days for their fans to green light the campaign. It fully funded in 11 hours. Fiction Unboxed is as revealing as it is inspiring, engendering new levels of creativity in and empowering readers and writers as much as it will entertain them. With actionable advice that will benefit any writer, this book is a true gem for anyone who loves a well told story.
A great book, which followed a couple of the self publishing podcast guys on a journey. The same journey many authors face. You can find out more about the Self Publishing podcast by going to the Sterling and Stone website.
Writing Excuses Podcast
Writing Excuses began in 2008 with three hosts – Sanderson, Tayler, and Wells – accompanied by Brandon’s brother, Jordan Sanderson, who serves as producer. The show aims to cover a single writing-related topic in each podcast, in a format short enough to be listened to on a morning commute or during a lunch break.
The single topic is discussed in a back-and-forth by the hosts for fifteen minutes. Halfway through the podcast the hosts introduce a book of the week, either a favourite of the hosts or one of their own works. Writing Excuses has been sponsored by Audible since October 2009. On numerous occasions, often at conventions, the hosts invite guest authors and industry professionals on board for podcast episodes.
After making a number of guest appearances, Mary Robinette Kowal joined the permanent cast as a new host at the beginning of season 6.
The short podcasts are just a nice length, the full transcripts are available online and their master classes are good and build gradually.
Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
Writing a novel, research paper, script or any long-form text involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done. Collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure—most writing software is fired up only after much of the hard work is over. Enter Scrivener: a word processor and project management tool that stays with you from that first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. Outline and structure your ideas, take notes, view research alongside your writing and compose the constituent pieces of your text in isolation or in context. Scrivener won’t tell you how to write—it just makes all the tools you have scattered around your desk available in one application.
Scrivener puts everything you need for structuring, writing and editing long documents at your fingertips. On the left of the window, the “binder” allows you to navigate between the different parts of your manuscript, your notes, and research materials, with ease. Break your text into pieces as small or large as you want—so you can forget wrestling with one long document. Restructuring your draft is as simple as drag and drop. Select a single document to edit a section of your manuscript in isolation, or use “Scrivenings” mode to work on multiple sections as though they were one: Scrivener makes it easy to switch between focussing on the details and stepping back to get a wider view of your composition.
With access to a powerful underlying text engine, you can add tables, bullet points, images and mark up your text with comments and footnotes. Format as you go using the format bar at the top of the page, or use any font you want for the writing and let Scrivener reformat your manuscript after you’re done—allowing you to concentrate on the words rather than their presentation.
Scrivener is a comprehensive program, great to have everything in one place. They always offer a generous 30 day free trial, but it’s well worth the money. If you take part in Nanowrimo or Camp Nanowrimo you can often get 50% off the price too.