Just in time, to save the day!
Until I became a serious writer, a lot of my goals in life were guided by those close to me, and here’s the reason why: they had already done it, so from watching their examples, I knew it could be done. My parents and older siblings haven’t ever done what I am setting out to do, and for me, that’s a daunting reality, as I have often looked to them for assurance that what I want to do will work. And yet, onward I write—I am the unlikely hero and writing is my quest. It’s the first thing I’ve truly done on my own, but even so, it hasn’t been completely on my own. Here are some of my favorite go-to resources for all things writing:
- Writers Write. Based out of South Africa, Writers Write offers practical, well-written, straight-forward and thought-challenging content written by intelligent authors who know their stuff. On several occasions they’ve helped me solve my many character-related issues by suggesting tricks and perspectives I hadn’t before encountered on other writing sites. I mean it when I say I would not be the writer I am today without this site. They offer writing courses, too! Check ’em out! Writers Write
- Stephen King’s “On Writing”. The most helpful tip I took away from Mr. King’s book for aspiring authors was this: “Kill your darlings”. I’ve written a good number of enthralling characters and exciting plot points that still, for whatever reason, just aren’t working for the story. It’s tough, but sometimes (frequently!) you have to make that cut. Once you free them from your brain, often your troubled story will fall into place, and if you believe in writer’s block, it could be those characters and plots you held so dearly were the causes behind it!
- Life, as is. Do not, oh please do not get your ideas solely from books, TV shows and films! Read other books to see what is deemed as publishable, but do not let your art imitate art. Let your art imitate life. (And if you do it right, you may just have life imitating your art.) You have a unique perspective on what makes a character a (memorable) character. Observe life as it is, around you. In my opinion, a good story is more about character than anything else. Go people-watching. Pay attention to mannerisms, facial expressions, quirky habits, reactions to stressful situations, the way they show love, the way they carry themselves…. Pay attention to who stands out to you, and write it down.
What are your go-to writing resources? What tips have you picked up that have really helped shape and change your writing for the better?