I have been sent so many links and things, that it’s becoming overwhelming. But, needless to say, I have read them all, and so shall share some here.
Techniques for Overcoming Writer’s Block by Steve Rossiter (an editor who has taken a punt on me, so I recommend him heartily) gives 3 bits of advice for overcoming that dread block. But the best bits are the 2 pieces of advice to stop it before it starts:
* Finish mid-scene (I’ve since tried it and this works!); and
* Use a timer (I’ve not yet tried this).
It’s not a long read, and worth giving a go.
Plot Is The Back-Bone of All Page Turners by April Henry (and posted by Steve Rossiter) seems basic at first, but looking at a few of the stories I’ve had rejected, I can see where she’s coming from. Again, not a long read, but well worth it.
10 Writing “Rules” We Wish More Science Fiction And Fantasy Authors Would Break by Charlie Jane Anders was a blog post I went into with some trepidation, but by the end I was nodding in agreement to everything she said. So I have now set myself to write a space opera without Faster Than Light Travel, and, damn, but it’s hard. I also notice that my writing falls into many of these “rules” otherwise (though not the one about fantasy not being standalone, as I really find it hard to expand upon my world… and even then, Voyage Home is deliberately left open for just this reason… and obviously not the one about women writers… me being male and all…) and it looks like fun to try to write outside of these conventions.
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Horror by Chuck Wendig is probably the most comprehensive list of writing horror things out there. A few crop up in my own How to Write Horror blog post from other sources, but to see them all in once place is an amazingly invaluable resource. Check it out.
How To Write A Novel: 7 Tips Everyone Can Use by Jennifer McMahon (posted by Chuck Sambuchino) is a brief list, and it seems logical, but so many people seem to not follow them. I have been given novel excerpts and synopses to read lately where it seems at least 2 of these 7 rules (or 6, really, considering the last one) have been broken and made it unreadable. However, especially in literary fiction, it seems that her rule 4 “Make things happen!” is ignored completely and still these things get published. Oh well. Still, a good list.
5 Tips For YA Writing by Nicola Morgan is a blog I wish I had used when I first returned to writing Voyage Home this year. The main rule I think I wish I had used was the first – Keep Adults… Powerless. I didn’t actually define an age for Hawk, but he was an adult to the main character’s teenager and he definitely was not powerless, and even operated as a deus ex machina at least once. *Sigh!*
And finally, one from one of my favourite websites Cracked.com: 5 Writing Exercises That Will Make You More Creative by Robert Brockway. This is the longest one here, and all 5 of his ideas actually work. (By the way, NSFW language here… or for kids. Be warned.) The one I have used most successfully is the #1 idea – steal someone else’s story. In my case, I take the story and just translate it to Australia, which adds a whole new dynamic to it. But I have unashamedly stolen, yes…
So, a whole bunch of links. Happy reading and, hopefully, happy writing!