In my first Best of the Best post, I tackled agent blogs, but this time around I’ve focused on writing websites that consistently provide essential information, advice, and inspiration for writers at all levels. Upcoming Best of the Best posts will focus on YA, Science Fiction, and Romance resources, so stay tuned.
The sites I’ve compiled here (in alphabetical order) are all ones that I follow regularly and are highly visible in the writing world. If you aren’t paying attention to them, you are truly missing out.
Author, Jody Hedlund [http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/] – Represented by Rachelle Gardner, Jody Hedlund (@JodyHedlund) writes inspirational historical romance, but her blog is a great example of how to build an author platform before the release of your novels. Her posts offer great insights into the writing life, craft, and the publishing process. Also be sure to check out her helpful Character Worksheet.
Guide to Literary Agents [http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/] – Editor of Writer Digest’s annual Guide to Literary Agents, Chuck Sambuchino (@ChuckSambuchino) posts essential information about the publishing process. Series like New Agent Alert, Agent Advice, How I Got My Agent, and the newer 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far are hugely informative for those of you seriously pursuing publication.
Miss Snark’s First Victim [http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/] – Authoress (@AuthoressAnon), a self-proclaimed victim of the now-defunct Miss Snark, has created a supportive space for aspiring writers through her blog. Monthly Secret Agent Contests – where an unnamed, rotating agent chairs a contest for the best opening – are the biggest highlight, along with smaller contests where people can submit their work and be assured of honest, usually constructive feedback. A must, especially if you are writing YA, MG, SF/F, or Woman’s Fiction.
Mystery Writing is Murder [http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/] – Elizabeth Spann Craig (@elizabethscraig), unsurprisingly, writes mysteries, and her blog is a wonderful resource for writers at all levels. She provides practical writing advice, poses thoughtful questions about the writing process, and keeps tabs on what’s going on in the writing blogosphere thanks to her twitter updates and a weekly roundup – her series of posts labeled “Twitterific.” Follow her and stay informed.
Plot to Punctuation [http://www.plottopunctuation.com/blog] – Freelance editor Jason Black (@p2p_editor) blogs primarily about the nuances of character development, in an in-depth, thought-provoking manner. If you struggle in bringing your characters to life, like I do, you should keep an eye on this blog. Black’s not as prolific as other bloggers, but the quality content is worth the wait.
The Bookshelf Muse [http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/] – Angela Ackerman (@AngelaAckerman) writes kid lit of all kinds, but the true value of her blog is the Emotion Thesaurus, where she provides a list of actions that show (not tell) a character experiencing that emotion. She also has thesaurus posts on setting and color, texture, and shape. Also, be sure to check out her recent compilation of writing blogs you can’t live without.
There Are No Rules [http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/] – Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) is the Strategic Director for Writer’s Digest, and her blog delves into publishing trends that authors need to stay abreast of. As her blog title’s suggests, Friedman believes there are no rules anymore when it comes to publishing because of the rise of digital media. Her take on issues can be controversial and run counter to traditional publishing models, but if you want to succeed in the ever-changing publishing landscape, you should at least be aware of what she has to say.
Wordplay [http://wordplay-kmweiland.blogspot.com/] – A writer of historical fiction, K. M. Weiland (@KMWeiland) blogs about craft and the writing life. Her posts are informative and thoughtful, and she also has a video series exploring a specific aspect of writing each week. Be sure to download her free ebook Crafting Unforgettable Characters.
Writer Unboxed [http://writerunboxed.com/] – One of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites since 2007 (and for good reason), Writer Unboxed provides posts full of inspiration and tips on a near daily basis from writing professionals from a variety of backgrounds. The Writer Unboxed bloggers also post author interviews, highlighting different writing journeys.
If you have across other writing websites that provide essential information and quality content related to craft and business of writing, please share in the comments. Thanks!