WRITING RESOURCES

HOT LINKS NAVIGATION: 

Send me a list of your favorite writing, editing and publishing resources with their links, and I will include them here.

Click the link below to send email to us:
firstdraftwriters01@gmail.com

 

** Writer’s Digest Courses **

 

Writing Resources

 

3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

By Stephen James — Writer’sDigest — How to tell a story worth hearing with author Steven James’ three secrets to great storytelling.

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3 Ways to Introduce Your Main Character

By Les Edgerton — Writer’sDigest University — One of the biggest bugaboos in manuscript submissions is when the author doesn’t properly introduce the protagonist within the first chapter. 

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5 ScreenwritingTips from Amy Sherman-Palladino

There’s plenty to learn from the creator of Gilmore GirlsBunheads, and, most recently, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, about crafting the most important elements of story, creating compelling characters, and believing in your own writing. 

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5 Famous Authors Talk About Writing

By Amber Lee Starfire — Writing Through Life — 5 videos of famous authors talking about their lives, processes, and ideas about the craft of writing. 

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5 Ways to Generate Great Story Ideas

By Brian Klems — Writer’s Digest — Here are five ways that will help pump up your creativity muscle and build story ideas that will keep you writing for hours on end.

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction

By Dana Stabenow — Writer’s Digest

“I only wish I’d had this list when I began writing, but 37 novels later, I do have a few things figured out.”

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7 Questions for an Espionage Pro

By Piper Bayard — Writers In The Storm

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8 Best TED Talks for Writers

By SCRIBENDIINC

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10 Self-Editing Tips

By Ellen Buikema — Writers In The Storm

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12 Writers Discuss Writing

By Richard Nordquist — ThoughtCo

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14 Cozy Library Fireplaces We’d Love to Come Home To

By Shana Murphy — BookBub

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15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

By Zachary Petit — Writers Digest University — Based on interviews with authors over the years, conferences, editing dozens of issues of Writer’s Digest, and my own occasional literary forays and flails, here are some points of consensus and observations: 15 of them, things anyone who lives by the pen (or seeks to) might consider. 

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50 FREE Online Writing Courses

Learn something new every week

By Reedsy Learning

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50 of the Best Kindle Unlimited Books

By Silvana Reyes Lopez

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90 FREE Online Courses to Improve Your Writing Skills

By Dhawal Shah — A variety of FREE online courses for all types of writers to improve their writing skills

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Anatomy of a Book Layout

By My Word Publishing — Download a FREE PDF.

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Archetypal Character Arcs

By K.M. Weiland

  • Part 1 — A New Series — Archetypal stories are stories that transcend themselves. Archetypes speak to something larger. They are larger than life. They are impossible—but ring with probability. They utilize a seeming representation of the finite as a mirror through which to glimpse infinitude.
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  • Part 2 — The Maiden Arc — The First Act of the human experience — roughly the first thirty years — may be thought of as a period of Initiation. It is a period of integrating the parts of one’s self.
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  • Part 3 — The Hero Arc — Ah, the hero. Heroic stories are so important and so prevalent throughout the history of storytelling that the word “hero” itself has become all but synonymous with that of “protagonist.” That the Hero Arc is in fact but one of many important archetypal character arcs does not lessen its importance within the cycle.
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Armed and Dangerous

A Writer’s Guide to Weapons

By Michael Newton — This book is your comprehensive source for information.

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The Art of Fiction

By Joan Didion

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The Art of Fiction

Notes on Craft for Young Writers

By John Gardner —This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will continue to do so for many years to come.  

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The Authors Guild

Guide to Self-Publishing

This up-to-the minute guide tells you everything you need to get started. 

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Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published

By Sam Blum

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Becoming a Writer

By Junot Diaz — OPRAH.COM

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James Scott Bell

James Scott Bell is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award and the author of the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure (Writer’s Digest Books).

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The Best Free Creative Writing Courses Online

For Creative Writers, Fiction and Nonfiction

By Hayley Milliman — ProWritingAid — Luckily, there are a ton of great courses you can take online.

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The Best Free Online Writing Courses

For Creative Writers, Fiction and Nonfiction

By Tom Corson-Knowles — TCK Publishing

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Bird By Bird

Some Instructions on Writing and Life

By Anne Lamott

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Blackdoge Books

Available Author Services:
  • Paperback and ebook publishing
  • Document design and formatting
  • Editing and proofing
  • Typesetting
  • Ebook conversion
  • Distribution assistance
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Book Marketing Update

By Frances CaballoSocial Media Just for Writers

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Book Riot

Book Recommendations

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Book’s Theme Songs

BY Wouldn’t it be cool if we could also click on an audio file to listen to the book’s theme song?

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Ellen Brock

Professional Editor

Whether you need a full novel edit or just an hour of mentoring, I’d love to work with you! Together we will give your novel its best chance at traditional or self-publishing success.

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The Business of Being a Writer

Writing Is Also A Business 

By Jane Friedman — To have a productive full- or part-time writing career,  you need to understand the basic business principles underlying the industry.

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Frances Caballo

Frances Caballo is a social media consultant for authors. As someone who worked as a journalist and in public relations, she understands how media – including online media – works.

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Captivate Your Readers

An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction

By Jodie Renner — Are you looking for techniques to really bring your fiction to life for the readers, so they feel they’re right there, on the edge of their seats, struggling with the hero or heroine? This award-winning editor’s guide to writing compelling fiction provides specific advice, with examples, for captivating readers and immersing them in your story world.

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Contracts 101:

The Grant of Right Clause

By Jane Friedman — The legalize writers need to understand to protect their long-term earning potential.

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Creating Unforgettable Characters

By Linda Seger — How to create strong, multidimensional characters in fiction, covering everything from research to character block. 

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The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn is a podcaster, international speaker, and award-winning creative entrepreneur. This site is regularly voted one of the Top 100 blogs for writers by Writers Digest. Most of the information on this site is free for you to read, watch or listen to.

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CrimeReads

Check it out. Sign up for their weekly newsletter.

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Deciding to Become a Writer

By Shane Everitt

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A Dialogue on Writing

By Mitzi Rapkin — A series of interesting podcasts

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Joan Didion on Storytelling, the Economy of Words, and Facing Rejection

By Maria Popova — “Short stories demand a certain awareness of one’s own intentions, a certain narrowing of the focus.”

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Early Bird Books

Early Bird Books brings you free and bargain ebooks that match your interests. You can sign up for free, read the books on any device, and the books are yours to keep.

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Les Edgerton

On Writing

Les Edgerton teaches creative writing on the university level and does private coaching of writers on various on-line venues. He writes in a variety of forms: novels, short stories, nonfiction books and screenplays.

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The Elements of Style

By Strunk and White — Details eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, “a few matters of form”, and a list of commonly misused words and expressions.

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Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

“If it sounds like writing … rewrite it.”
TEN RULES:

 

The Emotional Craft of Fiction

How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface

By Donald Maass — If you want to write strong fiction, you must make your readers feel. The reader’s experience must be an emotional journey of its own, one as involving as your characters’ struggles, discoveries, and triumphs are for you.

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Ereader News Today

Choose your genres, enter your email and start reading your new books today. Our service is always free to use – no strings attached!

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Famous Writers Pick

The Best Books on Writing and the Writing Process

By Writing Routines — What happens when a great writer sits down and starts to reflect on the art and craft of writing? Simple: they leave behind a totem for the rest of us, a message in a bottle to anyone who is looking to do creative work.

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Famous Writers Talk About Writing

By Joey — The Writing Center

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Famous Writers Talk Ideas!

Stephen King, John Irving and Alan Hollinghurst reveal their secrets

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Finding Your Voice

By Les Edgerton — Developing a voice of your own, one that rises above the literary din because of its individuality, not in spite of it!

Inside, you’ll learn:
  • How to make any piece you write unmistakably yours and yours alone
  • What agents and editors really think about using your own voice
  • How to write better by ignoring the rules
  • The keys to getting your voice and personality on the page
  • How to get back the unique voice you may have lost by trying to write like someone else

Whether you write fiction, non-fiction or poetry, Finding Your Voice is a must for your personal library.

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The Fire in Fiction

By Donald Maass — How to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion.

The book features techniques for:
  • Capturing a special time and place
  • Creating characters whose lives matter
  • Nailing multiple-impact plot turns
  • Making the supernatural real
  • Infusing issues into fiction
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Fire Up Your Fiction

By Jodie Renner — If you’re looking to hone your style, bring your scenes to life, tighten up your writing, add tension, pick up the pace, and develop a more authentic, appealing voice, this guide to the indispensable style elements of writing a popular novel is for you. 

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The First Draft — What It Takes

By Shawn Coyne — When writing a first draft of anything, take the advice of Satchel Paige: “Don’t look back.”

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FREE Online Writing Courses

By Creative Writing Now — The creative writing classes and FREE online writing courses that we are currently offering.

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FREE Online Writing Courses

By Study.com — See our list of universities that offer FREE online writing courses. Learn about what college writing classes are available and what topics they cover to find the course that’s right for you.

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Freebooksy — Free Kindle Books

We love free ebooks. We help you find them.

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Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. In 2019, Jane was awarded Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World; her newsletter was awarded Media Outlet of the Year in 2020.

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The Fussy Librarian

FREE Ebooks

With millions of ebooks out there, it can be time consuming to find the good stuff. We can help!

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John Gardner

John Gardner was a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson.

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Great Resources for Connecting with Other Writers

By Ellen Buikema — Writers In The Storm

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Helping Writers Become Authors

By K.M. Weiland — This blog is devoted to mentoring other authors.

Start by reading her four-core series:
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HOWDUNIT

A Masterclass in Crime Writing

Edited By Martin Edwards

Exciting topics include:
  • Openings
  • Making Characters Believable
  • Let the Story Be the Driver
  • Writing Scenes
  • The Face in the Mirror
  • Action Scenes
  • Impostor Syndrome

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How to Choose Your Novel’s Point-Of-View & Tense

By Kristen Kieffer

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How to Edit Your Book’s Content for Print

By Gorham Printing

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How to Get a Book Published

The Five Options You Have

The publishing world has changed dramatically in recent years. Self-publishing has disrupted the publishing industry and caused all sectors to reconsider how to publish a book in this new book market.

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How to Market a Book

By Ricardo Fayet

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How to Market a Book

By Joanna Penn

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How to Publish a Book

By Nathan Bransford

Whether you’re pursuing a book deal with a Big 5 publisher or trying your hand at DIY self-publishing, this guide has all my best advice on how to navigate the publishing process and choose the path that’s right for you.

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How to Revise a First Draft?

By Emma Darwin

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How to Sell Books by the Truckload

On AMAZON

By Penny C. Sansevieri

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How to Start A Podcast On YouTube

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How to Write a Fast and Fearless First Draft

By Ivy B. Grey — Director of Business Strategy for WordRake

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How to Write a Novel

By Nathan Bransford

My guide to writing a novel has all my secrets for creating killer plots, fleshing out your first ideas, crafting compelling characters, and staying sane in the process.

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How to Write a Novel

According to 10 Really Good Novelists

By Miranda Collinge and Tom Nicholson — “Just write something and see where you go.”

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How to Write Like a Writer

By Claudia Casper

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An Insider’s Guide To Becoming A

New York Times Bestselle — FREE

By Bob Eagar

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Jumpstart Author Ads

FREE Video Training

By Matthew J. Holmes — Build and launch your first profitable Facebook AdsAmazon Ads and BookBub Ads to help you sell more books and grow your readership.

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KDP University Webinars

Watch recorded webinars and read the most frequently asked questions from the Q&A sessions.

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The Kill Zone (TKZ)

The Kill Zone is home to 11 top suspense writers and publishing professionals. The daily discussions cover the publishing biz, marketing how-to’s, and the craft of writing. Each day, they open the doorway into the world of the working writer.

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Layering Your Scene

The Five Key Elements

By Lori Freeland — Writers In The Storm

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Let Me Tell You What I Mean

By Joan Didion 

From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion’s subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.

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Los Angeles Review of Books — LARB

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Donald Maass

Literary Agent

Donald Maass represents dozens of novelists in the SF, fantasy, crime, mystery, romance and thriller categories. 

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Ian McEwan on His Writing Process

Ian McEwan, author of ‘Solar’ describes his writing process, how he schedule’s his day and about his homemade desks.

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Missoula Writing Collaborative

The Missoula Writing Collaborative teaches literary competence, critical thinking, cultural awareness, and artistic joy through creative writing. Our writers are published professionals with a number of books and many honors among them. 

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Montana Resources for Writers

By Write By Night

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Narrative Mode: Point of View

By Glen C. Strathy — Choosing the right narrative mode for your story is a decision that determines the perspective or point-of-view from which your reader experiences the story, as well as the perspective the main character has on the story events.

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Narrative Voice

By Two Brothers Press — A discussion of point of view and verb tense and how these elements affect the story

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NOIR AT THE BAR

Author Interviews on YouTube

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Online Creative Writing Classes

By SkillShare  — Find what fascinates you as you explore these creative writing classes. Get started for FREE!

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Online Level 1 Courses

By The Writers Studio — an invigorating class that brings together students from all over the U.S. and the world to explore the myriad possibilities of narration in fiction and poetry.

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Online Writing Classes

By The Writers Workshop — Transform Your Life Through Online Writing Classes

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On Writing

By Stephen King — Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

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The Passive Voice:

A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

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Plot & Structure

By James Scott Bell — How does plot influence story structure? What’s the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that’s gone off course? With Plot & Structure, you’ll discover the answers to these questions and more.

Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidance, Plot & Structure gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro.

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The Plot Whisperer

Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

By Martha Alderson — When it comes to writing bestsellers, it’s all about the plot. Trouble is, plot is where most writers fall down–but you don’t have to be one of them. With this book, you’ll learn how to create stories that build suspense, reveal character, and engage readers–one scene at a time.

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The Real Book Spy

Editorial Services

Are you a new or struggling author looking for professional editorial services to take your writing to the next level? Good news, we can help! On top of line editing and copy editing, we can also help with query letters and pitches. So, whatever you need help with, we’ve got your back!

Ryan Steck can be reached via email at Ryan@TheRealBookSpy.com

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Jodie Renner

Professional Editor

I specialize in editing fast-paced, popular fiction. I’m the award-winning author of three Editor’s Guides to Writing Compelling Fiction, Captivate Your ReadersFire up Your Fiction, and Writing a Killer Thriller, available in print and e-book formats. These books are all reader-friendly, with lots of bolded subtitles and before-and-after examples. They’re designed to help busy writers get in, find what they want, and get back to their writing, quickly and effortlessly.

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Revision and Self-Editing for Publication

By James Scott Bell — Designed to eliminate the intimidation factor that comes with revision and self-editing. Bell gives you the tools and advice you need to transform your first draft into a finished manuscript that agents and editors will fight for.

Inside you’ll find:
  • Self-editing techniques for plot, structure, character, theme, voice, and more that can be applied as you’re writing to reduce your revision workload.
  • Methods for fine-tuning your first draft into a tight, well-developed piece of literature.
  • The Ultimate Revision Checklist, which seamlessly guides you through the revision process, step by step.
  • Exercises and techniques for “deepening” your work to engage and excite readers like never before.
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Scene Coherence . . . from the Reader’s Perspective

By Barbara Linn Probst — Writers In The Storm

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Self-Publishing GuideFREE

By J.J. Hebert — MindStir Media

  • How to Publish a Book
  • Our Process
  • Pricing and More
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Self-Publishing Success Stories

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Six Principles for Writing a Better First Draft Faster

By Martina — Writing Scientist

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Six Self-Publishing Considerations

By John Peragine — Writers In The Storm

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Smalltime

A Story of My Family and the Mob

By Russell Shorto — Family secrets emerge as a best-selling author dives into the history of the mob in small-town America. One of Newsweek‘s Most Highly Anticipated New Books of 2021

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Social Media Just For Writers

Helping Authors Get Discovered Online

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Stein on Writing

By Sol Stein — “This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions– how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place.”

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The Story Course

By Sarah Selechy Writing School —The Story Course guides you to step into your true identity as a writer. It teaches you how to access that mysterious place with presence and consistency. And it teaches you how to honor your stories with technique and craft.

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Successful Self-Publishing

By Joanna Penn — “I’ve learned the most effective way to publish and market your books. In this book, I’ll share everything with you.”

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Talking About Detective Fiction

By P.D. James

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Top FREE Writing Courses and Tutorials

Free learning on Udemy

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Top Websites for Writers:

10 Online Writing Communities

By Jess Zafarris — Writer’s Digest

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Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories

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Ways of Seeing, Ways of Writing

By Barbara Linn Probst — Writers In The Storm

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Ways to Organize Your Thoughts for Writing

By Ellen Buikema — Writers In The Storm

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K.M. Weiland

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. When she’s not making things up, she’s busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning blog HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com. She makes her home in western Nebraska.

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What Is A First Draft?

By Amanda Patterson

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What Reading Slowly Taught Me About Writing

By Jacqueline Woodson

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Why I Write Science Fiction

By Steve McEllistrem

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Why Self-Publish Your Book?

By Nancy J. Cohen

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Women’s Fiction Writers Association

Become A Member

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The Women Pushing Espionage Fiction Into New Territories

A Roundtable Discussion

By Lisa Levy — CrimeReadsSpy fiction is undergoing a revolution, and women authors are using it to challenge notions about identity, power, and trust.

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WriteIntoPrint — How To Sell Your Book

By Stef Mcdaid

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Write It Right: Tips For Authors

By Mary Deal

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Writer’s Digest

Every issue of Writer’s Digest is devoted to helping writers develop their craft and offering expert advice on how to get published. This magazine is full of pertinent tips on writing queries, writers’ rights, new markets, submission guidelines and competitions.

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Writer’s Digest Courses

Writer’s Digest online writing workshops cover every aspect of writing, from how to get started all the way to getting your project published

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Writer’s Relief

Writer’s Relief offers a complete array of services to facilitate every step of an author’s path to publishing.

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A Writer’s Secrets to Catching Creative Ideas

By Brad Herzog

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Write Your Novel From The Middle

By James Scott Bell

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Writing a First Draft

By John Tagg 

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Writing a Killer Thriller

By Jodie Renner — Whether you’re planning your first novel or revising your fourth, you’ll discover lots of concrete ideas here for taking your fiction up a level or two, captivating readers, and gaining fans. 

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Writing Talk Podcast

By Michael Campling

 

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Writing the Breakout Novel

By Donald Maass — How to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel – one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.

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Writing the Cozy Mystery

By Nancy J. Cohen

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Writing Down the Bones

Freeing the Writer Within

By Natalie Goldberg

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Writing the First Draft and Submitting to the Editor

A Series of Video Lectures

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Writing Talk Podcast

FREE Listen

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You Talkin’ to Me?:  How to Write Great Dialogue

By Dr. Linda Seger and John Winston Rainey — Unlike the chitchat of everyday life, dialogue in stories must express character, advance the story, suggest a theme, and include a few memorable lines that audiences will be quoting for decades to come.

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