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I thought it might be helpful to highlight some posts for you guys, depending on your specific writing needs. So here we go.
Brainstorming & Plotting
Are you a plotter or a pantser? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but assuming you're a plotter, once you have an idea you’d like to explore, it’s time to turn that idea into a plot. One option is to try writing a synopsis before the first draft—which is less terrifying that it sounds (I know! I was surprised too). Otherwise, I vlogged about how I plot my WIPs, and before that I blogged about it. You may also want to check out Scrivener’s cork board, which I love forever for plotting and brainstorming.
Not sure what plot points you hit? I haven’t covered them all (yet!) but here are some plot essentials you want to make sure you include.
If you’re not a plotter but you still want something to work off of, you may want to try plotting without plotting (not a typo!).
Eventually! It’ll be time to dive into your first draft. Remember that you don’t have to know everything before you start drafting, whether you’re a plotter or pantser. Also good to keep in mind that usually, the first draft sucks (really, but it's okay), and you don’t have to get it right the first time. Not even close.
If you want to get through your first draft quickly, you may want to try fast-drafting. And while you don’t have to think too hard about getting things right when first drafting, you may find it helpful to think about how to write strong supporting characters and awesome face-smooshing—excuse me, kissing—scenes.
So you’ve written your first draft! YAY! Before you dive into editing, you’ll want to let your manuscript cool a little so that you can read your writing a little more objectively.
But then the time will come to dive into your manuscript again! Which can be a little scary, but not to fear—here are some tips on how not to get overwhelmed with revisions. Remember not to be afraid to make big changes, and while you’re at it here’s how to use what ifs while revising and how to use brainstorming to edit.
When you reach the time to line edit, don’t forget to hunt down those filter phrases.
You’ll also need critique partners in this stage (and remember—critiquing others helps you, too!). If you don’t have any, here are five places to find critique partners, and how to choose the right CPs.
Finally, if you have Scrivener for Mac and you like pretty colors and seeing the changes you’ve made, here’s how to use Scrivener’s version of track changes.
So you’ve polished your manuscript to a beautiful gleam with the help of critique partners! Yay! Now, assuming you want to get traditionally published, is time to prepare to query agents. First thing you’ll want to do is finally get the dreaded synopsis out of the way (I know, I know).
Next you’ll want to think about what genre and category your novel is in before you start researching agents so you know who to target. Now sure where to start? Here’s how to determine your WIP’s genre—and the vlog version if you prefer. (Hint: YA is not a genre) and here’s part one and part two of my basic genre index, for an overview.
Know how to categorize your novel? Have your synopsis ready? Awesome. Time to start researching agents—and here are extra researching resources. While you’re researching, here are some red flags to look out for. Ultimately, not every agent will be the right agent for you, so here are some tips on choosing the right agent for you.
Now some tough love: you’re going to get rejected. A lot. And even after you get agented and published, rejection doesn’t stop. But here are some tips to help you get through the query wars, and here are some encouraging stats for the querying writer. Ultimately, I think hope is the best remedy for rejection, so try to remember this is just part of the process and all writers go through it.
And finally, if it ever starts to feel like too much and you’re thinking about giving up on your writing dream altogether, please read this first.
Did I miss any resources you especially like? What tips would you add to the roundup?
Looking for writerly resources and pub tips? @Ava_Jae rounds up helpful posts for every stage of the writing process. (Click to tweet)