Welcome back! For those who didn’t get a chance to read part 1 of this post. Click here. For everyone else, let me remind you that we just walked through our first doorway from Act 1 into Act 2. We’ve made a choice to learn writing craft whether through podcasts, writing conferences, online, through reading books or articles, by dissecting the novels we’re reading –hopefully ones in the genre we plan to write in–or by hiring a coach or joining a writing school or group.
As you can see, possibilities are varied and abundant. Many of these cost money. “But I have no money,” you might say. To that I reply, “I completely understand.” My early choices were based on that fact. ACFW (click to read a post about how I found ACFW) was a yearly fee and not high for all the benefits they brought me. One of which is connection with a local group where I got plugged in with other writers and was able to surround myself with their encouragement to keep going.
There are many other writing organizations out there as well. If you write fantasy or speculative fiction, sci-fi, paranormal and all other related genres, and make spiritual growth a priority, check out Realm Makers. The list is endless. If you Google “Writer’s organizations” you will receive a list that includes nearly every imaginable genre. The important thing is to find your tribe and connect.
Whichever group you choose, be sure they are positive, encouraging, and helpful. Don’t get stuck in a group that sucks the life, and motivation to create, out of you.
Another connection and learning option are online writing schools. I belong to Novel Academy, the brainchild of multi-published, multi-award-winning author, Susan May Warren. There is a free blog, howtowriteanovel.com where you can go to get writing advice, but the largest learning tools are reserved for members of Novel Academy. I’ve learned so much in the little over a year I’ve belonged!
Once a week online PepTalks provide instruction on plotting, character, scene, and story seed development, writer self-care, finding and organizing ideas, plot and scene structure, tension, conflict, marketing, and so much more. Small groups called Huddles bring an even closer connection and support. Writing critiques and advice occur usually once a month on Hot Seats where members submit writing samples and questions for experts to answer. I highly recommend this group.
Serious Writer is another group that provides instruction and other benefits to members including access to agents and editors for pitching purposes.
James L Rubart and his son, Taylor, host two in-person Rubart Writing Academies in Seattle, Washington each fall, in October and November, for those wishing to catapult their writing careers or launch them. I plan to attend in October and am ecstatic to have the opportunity. This is a small group, in-person, personalized atmosphere where I’ll learn about writing, but also about branding, marketing, and all the other tedious things that sell books. Since Jim is one of my favorite authors, meeting him will be a bonus. He’s also one of the most encouraging people I know, so I’m sure the experience will be incredible.
This is just a drop in the bucket. Also, many of these resources lean toward Christian beliefs. If you seek more secular approaches, these exist as well. I am just not as familiar with them. Again, Google is your friend. The important thing is to find somewhere to learn.
First, I chose to write. Writing is its own teacher, but second, chose to study the craft of writing. Until I learned the rules, I didn’t know I was breaking them. I’m a proponent of breaking rules and forging one’s own way, but it’s still best to do these things on purpose. Otherwise, we won’t even know how unique our own writing is.
We’re slogging through the muddled middle of Act 2 and will soon reach the Black Moment Event–the point at which we come up against our do or die moment. How we handle this pushes us closer into the climax and sets up the ending. Hang with me while I tell you my story!
Join me in two weeks for a discussion of podcasts, online sources, conferences, and writing books available as well as timing and growing platforms as we write. We’ll eventually hit on the importance and place of contests and crit groups and/or craft partners to grow our writing.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this and know someone else who might enjoy it also, please forward and share. If you’d like more detailed information on the progress of my writing/publishing journey as well as book recommendations and a free short story, subscribe to my newsletter here.
To be continued…