During my graduate studies in editing and publishing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I participated in only one creative writing class. Taught by author Craig Nova, we studied the art of fiction by both reading about the process and practicing it together. It was both inspiring and terrifying. In retrospect, I should have paid attention to how alive the experience made me feel.
A thing that both inspires and terrifies is worth paying our full attention.
We had no formal textbooks. We read about the craft of writing from those doing it. Steven King. Anne Lamott. Neil Gaiman. (I highly recommend Nova’s Brook Trout and the Writing Life.) We read each others’ writing and talked about why it was good and how it could be better. I haven’t written much since that class, until a year and a half ago when I wrote Good Graces in 30 days.
It should be no surprise to me, then, that as I’m entering the author scene I’ve discovered the greatest wealth of knowledge, camaraderie and support among my fellow writers. Amateurs and seasoned writers alike are offering a tuition-free education for the taking. I’m learning invaluable lessons about plot development, character construction, tighter tension, grammar, building a platform, etc.
Here are a few helpful articles I’ve read recently as part of my ongoing education:
- Four Tips for Writing a Better Character Portrait by Monica M. Clark
- How Writers Can Be Storyshowers Instead of Storytellers by Rachel Starr Thomson on Live Write Thrive.
- Say What? Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage by C.S. Lakin
- One True Fan by Sara Ella on American Christian Fiction Writers’ Blog
What have you found helpful lately that you might share with us? What are your most frequented resources, favorite blogs, etc.?