Writing is both an art and a science. Below are tools, blog posts, and resources for improving craft, finding motivation, and polishing your work.
Articles on Writing Craft:
3 Ways to Set Yourself Apart in the Slush
Narrowing Your Focus: Rule #5 of Pixar Storytelling
A Plotting Tool (With Good News for Your Query and Synopsis): Pixar Rule #4
Allowing Theme To Develop Itself: #3 of Pixar Storytelling
Pixar 22: Rule 2- Flings vs. Soulmates
Pixar 22: Rule 1- Character Struggle
My New Favorite Plotting Tool: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook
Struggling with Writer’s Block?
The Basics of Character Development
Marathoning a Novel. Have you ever wanted to fast-draft a novel? I wrote the first draft of my YA contemporary in 40 days with a full-time job. Try it!
AutoCrit Editing Wizard
: This tool is brilliant. There are both paid and free versions, but the paid version is cheap and totally worth it. Why? Hold on to your hats. I copy-paste a chapter into the box, and within seconds it generates a report showing passive verbs, filter words, empty words, adverbs, and adjectives. It gives me a word count and visual for the length of my sentences, lists any clichés and dialogue tags I used, highlights words and phrases I use repeatedly, and gives me a list of phrases I use that could be cut to a word or two. AutoCrit also marks homonyms so I can make sure I didn’t slip up, and it evaluates the reading level of my writing based on 12 major tests. Last but certainly not least, it compares all those highlighted things with a massive database of published writing and lets me know how many more passive verbs (for example) are in my writing versus the writing in their database.
In short, AutoCrit is editing genius. I no longer have to strain my eyes picking through sentence after sentence. I have everything highlighted neatly in a several reader-friendly reports. It’s not a human, but it’s remarkable anyway. Plus, it pays me compliments if my writing comes up clean. How much better can it get?
The free version requires no sign-up, but you’re limited to 400 words three times per day- and you only get the top three reports. Definitely try the free version to see if you like it, but I recommend at least the gold membership ($47/year). You can enter up to 1000 words unlimited times, and you receive access to every report.