Where do you begin to learn how to write? Where can you find out what other people think of what you write? Can you learn from other people's mistakes?
Online Courses | Critique Groups | Writing Resources
Book Reviewers | Articles on Writing | Sample Forms
Writing a novel can seem like a huge task, and it is, if done properly, but like all projects and goals, approach it with a sense of organisation and a knowledge of where to find information, and suddenly it's like eating an elephant - easy if you do it in bite-sized chunks!
If you feel nervous about putting pen to paper and could do with a little guidance, why not try online courses?
Maybe you feel confident enough to begin writing on your own, but you'd really like some feedback on what you're doing. I used to be a member of a fanfic group, where people write short stories about their fictional heroes. There were around a thousand people on the list and I posted my first story with much trepidation, having had it 'looked over' by someone who is still a good e-friend to me. The response I got was staggering and really pushed me to write more.
Within this list I found good writers who became mentors and would read my work before I submitted it to the group. They were invaluable in my writing career and I would heartily recommend critique groups to any of you. Do make sure the group has a mediator and that only constructive criticism is allowed. Most groups are set up like this, but it's worth checking.
Other people's experiences and mistakes are great pointers along the way when it comes to writing and we have some fantastic contributors to this website such as Laura Backes, Laraine Ann Barker and Angela Adair-Hoy. Find out how to write outside the box; learn tips for dealing with rejection; learn how to write a synopsis; character POV lists; character biographies and much, much more.
The e-Writer's Place Workshops for Writers
Low cost and free e-mail courses on creative writing and memoir writing. Take DAILY WRITES, its most popular e-mail course... over 2,500 writers worldwide have taken it since its introduction in February 2002.
Tips and Tricks For Writing Success
A free e-mail writing course designed to help people with everday writing tasks including: personal letters, business letters, resumes, cvs, term and research papers, essays, reports and more. Thousands of people from all over the world have taken this course and the rave reviews keep coming in every day.
Creative Writing Course run by Craig Lock
WritersCollege.com offers sixty cheap and convenient online courses.
Barnes and Noble's free University
Free online Digital Writing Workshop
Short Story Writing Course run by Jacqui Bennett
Writers News Home Study, lots of different courses - go take a look
Short Story Writers Critique Group
The Authors Almanac
For those aspiring authors who are having trouble getting publishers
The Compulsive Reader
Great site for reviews of books
Freelance Writing by Kim Ripley
Expert advice for all prospective freelancers. Especially encouraging to those starting out a little later in life!
Need photos for that book cover? Steve Frazeur has 5000 of them
History & Lovers
For the romantic in all of us!
The Importance of Book Reviews
Brilliant site for book reviews e.g., where to place them.
National Association of Women Writers
Punctuation Made Simple
An award winning digital journal of speculative fiction, poetry and artwork.
Twilight Times Books
Publisher of fine speculative fiction; promoting excellence in writing and great literature.
The reviewer's Bible - find a reviewer for anything here
Articles on Writing
Character Biographies | Character List
Query Letter | Character Point of View List
Write a few paragraphs on what your character is like, how he/she handles situations, whether he/she is the life and soul of the party, or a recluse. Add other things to the list above when they pop into your head. Try doing one for yourself first.
5' 6", grey eyes, balding, glasses, not very fashion conscious.
Children: Deborah, Samuel
This is a shortened version of the Character Bio and is a requirement of some publishers that you send this along with your sample chapters. Use it as a landscape form.
Karen Taylor Richman
6th Floor, 300 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017, USA
Dear Ms Taylor Richman
DARK SECRETS - 80,000 words - Special Edition imprint
Please find enclosed a synopsis of the above novel for consideration under your Special Edition imprint. If I had to sum up the story in one paragraph, it would be the following:
"All of them have a secret to keep, but none is quite so dark and lonely as Scott's; his jealous wife, forbidding him to share the knowledge of his impending death with Louise, a close friend. When, eventually, he falls into Louise's waiting arms and realises his feelings for her, he has a choice of coping alone, still married to Sara, or making the ultimate sacrifice of his baby daughter to achieve some short-lived happiness."
I believe what sets this novel apart is how the main romance is subtly, yet cleverly woven into a well-paced, interesting plot with characters emotions being explored deeply. The main characters tackle issues of divorce, custody, unrequited love, impending death and death itself, as well as tender, intimate bedroom scenes and sizzling sex. The central thread of the novel is Scott and Louise's deep, intimate friendship and the tightrope of emotions they walk when they realise they want more than that.
The full manuscript is finished and has been critiqued by Jenny Hewitt, editor and published author, her comments being very favourable.
A once-avid reader of Danielle Steele and one-time member of the Mills & Boon Romance Bookclub, my latest author of preference is Diana Gabaldon.
I enclose a self-addressed envelope, together with international reply coupons and very much look forward to hearing from you.
Character Point of View List
Hook: wife going the right way about pushing him into someone else's arms
- He has a life-threatening illness
- His wife is unsympathetic
- He's possibly involved with someone else