I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month this year when I’ll write the first draft of Where the Light Enters. I’m excited to craft the story of my heroine, Emerson Page. I love a good plan so as I do my preparation research, I hunted around online for resources to help me plan my novel. I’m incredibly surprised (and grateful!) for all of the resources and generous advice on planning. If you’re writing a novel, here is a list of the resources that are helping me during this exciting time. I hope they help you, too!:
- Your Novel Blue Print – Author Kevin T Johns wrote a free ebook titled 12 Common Mistakes Rookie Authors Make (& How to Avoid Them!) to describe 12 of the lessons he learned the hard way when writing his first books. It’s like a map that shows you all the places not to go when writing a book. And couldn’t we all use that kind of advice?
- Story Plan Checklist – Writing instructor Karen Wiesner wrote an incredible thorough post for Writer’s Digest that outlines all of the key considerations necessary to craft a cohesive, compelling story. Again, totally free and actionable! This is the plan I’ll be working on for the next two months.
- Bill Holland’s HubPage – Author and teacher William D. Holland discusses many of the main points that Karen Wiesner makes though it’s a more condensed version and he throws in a few extra bits of wisdom. For example, all of the agents and publishers he’s worked with over the past several decades have told him you have about 10 seconds to grab their attention when introducing your book. I’ve heard of elevator pitches in the business world, but in the writing world, time is even more precious.
- How to Write Killer Fiction – Author Carolyn Wheat wrote this book to describe her four-arc system to outline a novel. The beauty of her system is that you can either use it to plan your novel, or use it to rework your draft into a tighter draft before querying agents and publishers. I also love that she diligently emphasizes the importance of the end of a book. So many authors start from the beginning and then fall apart somewhere in the middle. If we start at the ending, we have a better shot at delivering a work that will stick with readers long after they close the book. Though not free, it’s worth the investment.
Writing a novel is grueling work, and we could all use a little help. Luckily for us, there’s plenty of it to go around. The writing world is a generous world.
Did I miss any resources that you’ve found particularly helpful? Please share in the comments below!