Resources

Writers In The Storm does not take advertising, paid or otherwise.

We only recommend a few writer resources that we have used, and know are good from personal experience.

Atmosphere Websites  Websites for authors and writers. Because Sierra and Mike are awesome! If you like our site, you know what quality work they do!

Chuck Sambuchino  WITS contributor, and author of the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog.

Elizabeth Spann Craig Creator of the Writer’s Knowledge Base and an excellent writing resource.

Jami Gold Fantastic resource and creator of fantastic “beat sheet templates.”

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University  Great resource for writing tips and advice.

Jennifer Cruisie  NYT bestselling author, and funny lady! She’s got some great writing craft posts as well.

Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell  Our own Jenny has a personal blog. Lots of laughter and raucousness over there!

Kristen Lamb’s Blog  Author and Founder of WANA (We Are Not Alone) – a great resource for platform building, social media skills  and marketing for writers.

Lawson Writer’s Academy – If you’ve never heard of Margie Lawson, all you need to do is search her posts here to see what a wonderful writing teacher she is. All the WITS bloggers have taken her courses, and several are ‘immersion grads’. Laura brags that Margie took her, ‘from good to sold!’ Do your writing a favor, and check her out.

Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson’s blog with helpful articles for improving plots.

Preditors & Editors DO NOT query an editor/agent without researching them here first!

Publisher’s Marketplace  A great resource when querying.

Shannon Donnelly’s website  A WITS contributor, author, and teacher of writing craft.

Brenda Hiatt’s Show Me the Money  Brenda keeps up to date reports of submitted advance numbers by Publisher.

Susan Spann’s website A WITS contributor, author, literary attorney and the creator of #PubLaw.

Tall Poppy Writers A great site for booklovers.

Tasha Seegmiller is a WITS contributor, women’s fiction author, and managing editor at the blog Thinking Through our Fingers.

TechSurgeons Founder Jay Donovan is our tech guru here at WITS. He loves helping authors.

The Passive Voice Intelligent, up-to-the-minute articles on the writing industry.

Women’s Fiction Writers Association  An inclusive organization of writers who create stories about a woman’s emotional journey.

Writer’s Digest  Articles, webinars, craft books, writing events – all around great resource for writers.

Writers Helping Writers®: a hub for writers to find deep craft articles (especially on all things description and character), as well as descriptive thesaurus collections, writing tools, helpful handouts and more.

Writer Unboxed A wonderful resource about anything writing related.

Craft Books we recommend:

Story Genius

Story Genius

It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don’t work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think). In Story Genius Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft. More info →
Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

A powerful secret and a fresh approach to writing bestselling fiction! What's the best way to write a "next level" novel? Some writers start at the beginning and let the story unfold without a plan. They are called "pantsers," because they write by the "seat of the pants." Other writers plan and outline and know the ending before they start. These are the "plotters." The two sides never seem to agree with each other on the best approach. But what if it's not the beginning or the end that is the key to a successful book? What if, amazing as it may seem, the place to begin writing your novel is in the very middle of the story? According to #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell, that's exactly where you'll find your story's heart and heat. Bell's "Mirror Moment" is the secret, and its power is available to any writer, at any stage of the writing process. Bringing together years of craft study and personal discovery, Bell presents a truly unique approach to writing a novel, one that will stand the test of time and serve you all your writing life. "I need three things before I tackle a new novel: Diet Coke, a laptop, and my dog-eared copies of James Scott Bell's books on writing craft!" - Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times & International Bestselling author More info →
We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media

We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media

Forward written by NY Times Best-Selling Author and Co-Creator of Who Dares Wins Publishing Bob Mayer "I wished there had been a step-by-step guide for writers on how to not only do it technically, but do it content-wise. This book is the answer to that wish." Social Media is more popular than ever. As society becomes more and more technologically advanced, people are seeking new ways to interact. Humans are social creatures. Relationships and community are vital to our survival and our mental and emotional health. Writers, published and unpublished, fiction and non-fiction are hearing words like platform and brand with increasing frequency as the publishing paradigm shifts into the 21st century. The world around us is changing faster than ever, and publishing is certainly not immune. There are more opportunities for a new author today than there has been in the entirety of human history. Yet, the flip side of that reality is, with thousands and thousands of authors with books and blogs, how can a writer ever hope to stand apart let alone succeed? This book will show you how. There are countless social media experts, but Kristen's system is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a writer. Take charge of your future today. You have great books to write, and don't have time for rookie mistakes that can cost you years of rebuilding your name, brand, and platform. Kristen's method is simple, effective, and helps you harness that same creativity you apply to your writing and harness it to build you social media platform. Best part is you don't even have to be a computer expert or know anything about sales. This system is designed to change the writer's approach, not the writer's personality. And the best part is you have help. Remember, We Are Not Alone. More info →
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition

For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice —"it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind." This new edition, which marks almost twenty years since the original book's publication, includes a new preface in which Goldberg expresses her trademark enthusiasm for writing practice, as well as a depth of appreciation for the process that has come with time and experience. Also included is an interview with the author in which she reflects on the relationship between Zen sitting practice and writing, the importance of place, and the power of memory. More info →
Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within

In her fifteen years of teaching, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has found that the biggest stumbling block for aspiring writers (especially women) is not fear of the blank page but frustration with the lack of time. What woman doesn't have too much to do and too little time? Finding an hour free of work, children, or obligations can seem impossible. But anyone can find fifteen minutes, whether you're sitting in traffic, waiting at a child's soccer practice, or watching the coffee drip. DeMarco-Barrett has created a practical, inspirational guide for fitting serious writing into those stolen moments. She offers writing exercises and techniques for generating ideas, as well as pragmatic advice from the well-known authors who appear on her radio show. With fifteen minutes a day, she can help you to ignite your pen and become the writer you have always wanted to be. More info →
Write Away: One Writer’s Approach to the Novel

Write Away: One Writer’s Approach to the Novel

Bestselling author Elizabeth George has spent years teaching writing, and in Write Away she shares her knowledge of the creative process. George combines clear, intelligent, and functional advice on fiction writing with anecdotes from her own life, the story of her journey to publication, and inside information on how she meticulously researches and writes her novels. George's solid understanding of craft is conveyed in the enticing manner of a true storyteller, making Write Away not only a marvelous, interesting, and informative book but also a glimpse inside the world of a beloved writer. More info →
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" More info →
On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told. More info →
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

11 Writers Guild of America Awards 17 Academy Awards™ 79 Emmy AwardsFor more than 15 years, Robert McKee's students have been taking Hollywood's top honors. His "Story Structure" is the world's ultimate seminar for screenwriters and filmmakers. Now, Robert McKee's Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting reveals the award-winning methods of the man universally regarded as the world1s premier screenwriting teacher. With Hollywood paying record sums for great stories, and audiences clamoring for originality, McKee's Story gives you the strategies you need to win the war on clichés. Story is about form, not formula. McKee's insights cut to the hidden sources of storytelling, the decisive difference between mediocrity and excellence. This audio goes well beyond the essential mechanics of screenwriting, packed with examples from such film classics as "Casablanca" and "Chinatown." Then, scene by sequence by act, he illuminates the principles of story design that take a writer's vision to brilliant realization. Story elevates the craft of screenwriting to an art form. Read by the author. Take it from the pros: if you're serious about your writing, this is the audio that will help you to get your story from page to screen. More info →
Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction) (Volume 1)

Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction) (Volume 1)

Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure takes you step-by-step through finding and developing ideas, brainstorming stories, and crafting a solid plan for your novel—including a one-sentence pitch, summary hook blurb, and working synopsis. Over 100 different exercises lead you through the novel-planning process, with ten workshops that build upon each other to flesh out your idea as much or as little as you need to do to start writing. Find Exercises On: -Creating Characters -Choosing Point of View -Determining the Conflict -Finding Your Process -Developing Your Plot -And So Much More! Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure is an easy-to-follow guide to planning your novel, as well as a handy tool for revising a first draft, or fixing a novel that isn’t quite working. More info →
Writing the Breakout Novel

Writing the Breakout Novel

Take your fiction to the next level! Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you 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. Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share - regardless of genre - then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace. You'll learn to: establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors - including novelist Anne Perry - Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You'll capture the eye of an agent, generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career. More info →
Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling

Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling

Capture the minds, hearts, and imaginations of 21st century readers! Whether you're a commercial storyteller or a literary novelist, whether your goal is to write a best-selling novel or captivate readers with a satisfying, beautifully written story, the key to success is the same: high-impact fiction. Writing 21st Century Fiction will help you write a novel for today's readers and market, filled with rich characters, compelling plots, and resonant themes. Author and literary agent Donald Maass shows you how to: Create fiction that transcends genre, conjures characters who look and feel more "real" than real people, and shows readers the work around them in new ways. Infuse every page with an electric current of emotional appeal and micro-tension. Harness the power of parallels, symbols, metaphors, and more to illuminate your novel in a lasting way. Develop a personalized method of writing that works for you. With an arsenal of thought-provoking prompts and questions, plus plenty of examples from best-selling titles, Writing 21st Century Fiction will strip away your preconceived notions about writing in today's world and give you the essential tools you need to create fiction that will leave both readers and critics in awe. More info →