Fiction Authors' Tools
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Every professional needs the best tools for the job and writers are no exception.
My advice to you is:
Get a good dictionary. You're going to want to make sure that you have a good, varied vocabulary and that the thesaurus has recommended the right alternative word.
If you are easily frustrated or liable to become flustered when you can't think of the word you want to use (like me), get a Reverse Dictionary -- these work by listing words associated with one searchable word; it's rather like a cross between a dictionary and thesaurus.
Look out for resource books on any subjects you want to include. If you don't have a library card, now is a good time to sign up for one, because a much less expensive alternative is a notebook, pen and information binge at your local library.
Consider purchasing an eReader -- eBooks tend to be less expensive than printed resource books and one eReader is much lighter and easier to carry around than multiple books.
The books I have found the most useful are...
The Compass Of Character by David Corbett: What makes a character good or evil? Why do they do what they do? This book will help you to make all characters much more realistic and believable; it also helps you to avoid unintentional stereotyping of a character.
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman: This book is so called because most readers -- and agents/publishers -- make their minds up about a book while reading those first five pages, which makes those pages crucial. Those first five pages need to be like the pilot episode of a new series on TV -- strong; giving a good impression and a promise of what is to come. Make it exciting or get the reader to fall in love with your world and main character -- above all, make it count. That is what reading this book will help you to do.
She Sat He Stood: What Do Your Characters Do While They Talk? by Ginger Hanson: A very helpful book if you are good at dialogue, but lose track of what the characters are doing while they speak.
Writing Into The Dark by Dean Wesley Smith: I think this book has helped me the most. If you find it hard to write; if you find that plotting ahead makes it harder to continue writing and your stories falter and die; read this book. Plotting isn't for everyone and this book will give you the confidence to work without it.
Author Level Up - Michael La Ronn has a wealth of knowledge and experience to impart on his YouTube channel. Click the link and see for yourself!
Fiction Technician - Jane Kalmes gives useful information on writing. Genres, sub-genres, plotting, utilising writing tools, etc.
Online courses supplied by other writers. I have signed up for a few and would recommend trying to find out what is being said about them first.
Joseph Michael has a lot on offer on his website; this is a good place to start looking.
What resources do you the most good? What would you recommend to a budding new writer, if you were asked?