Welcome to the Resource Page
Is the blog not good enough for you? Huh? HUH?!
No worries. There’s no way I can ever talk about everything I want to. Besides, there are already lots of books and resources out there that do a better job than I ever could. So go ahead, find a useful link below and leave my website. It’s fine. Really, I’m not mad. It’s totally fine.
There are three main sections to consider. Focused on Fiction gives summaries and links to a number of books, series, and authors that I recommend reading. The Writing Resources section is written for, you guessed it, writers. There I have a list of my favorite podcasts, some great writing books, and a few other miscellaneous things. After that there is Everything Else in the World. There is so much cool stuff that I don’t have time to talk about at length, unless you ask really nice, so here are some links to a number of books and such that I have enjoyed and found useful.
Disclosure: this webpage does contain affiliate links. As such, authormedia.com may receive a small commission at no extra expense to you. I am not an employee for any of these authors, companies, or product producers. Everything here is presented based on the value they have served me personally as a user, reader, and listener.
Do you need some good fiction to get your brain going? No need to look further. Here are some of my favorite books and authors
If you read the post “So… Where’s the Magic” you know that I went several years without reading. It wasn’t until a friend gave me a book that I started up again. In point of fact, it was this book right here: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I’m sure you will love it just as much as I do.
Well known for his popular urban-fantasy series The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher certainly is a talented writer. I didn’t begin to understand just how talented until I picked up this book. After taking a bet to combine the ideas of Pokemon and The Lost Roman Legion (a story confirmed by the author), Butcher churned out this amazing six book series.
What? Another Jim Butcher book? You Better believe it. While similar in some ways to his previous works, The Aeronaut’s Windlass is a fresh and exciting new series that hijacked my brain and took it for a joyride. When I finally managed to liberate my mind from the twisting plot and endearing characters, I immediately picked it back up and read it again.
I first stumbled upon Dan Wells while listening to my favorite podcast Writing Excuses, but more on that later. I Am Not a Serial Killer is a great book. John Cleaver, a teenage sociopath, has developed a series of rules to maintain the appearance of normality. When bodies start turning up in the quite town of Clayton, he must decide between his rules and protecting the people of his town. I read the first book and immediately read the other two. Great book.
This section is tailor made for… wait for it… WRITERS!!!
You- You don’t seem surprised. Fine then. Be that way. After all the work I went to gathering information on my favorite podcasts, some of the best books for writers, and other resources that will revolutionize your writing, you could at least pretend. I guess you should just scroll down and take in some of the wonderful information these sections have to offer.
As far as I know, all of these podcasts are available on iTunes and most podcast apps you can download. There are a lot of good writing podcasts out there, but these six are my favorite. They have withstood the test of time and remained on my weekly playlist despite everything else. If you can only make the time for two podcasts, I would recommend Writing Excuses and Helping Writers Become Authors.
This is my absolutely favorite podcast. Hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, and Mary Robinette Kowal (each of them rank in my top 10 authors), this podcast is all about the craft of writing; they cover everything from world building to story structure.
With only fifteen minutes these guys cut right to the core of every topic they discuss. The episodes are informative, interesting, and well structured, leaving you with a clear idea of how to proceed. They even strip away your last excuse by recommending books to read and leaving you with writing prompts, exercises, and more. More than anything else, this podcast is what showed me I could be a writer.
Check it out. It’s the best out there!
K. M. Weiland is another author after my own heart. Her logical and methodical approach to solving the many difficulties of writing appeals to me on a fundamental level. Her website has a plethora of outstanding resources for any author. If the podcast doesn’t give you enough, her blog is very active, and she has several books on structuring and plotting. Her massive archives can be a bit daunting to look at, but she has already gone to the trouble to isolate some of her most important content.
Please, check out her series on structuring stories, scenes, and characters. Once you’re done with that, do yourself a favor and subscribe to her podcast. You won’t regret it.
Whether you are just starting writing or a seasoned pro, Helping Writers Become Authors is another must-have to put on your list
Believe it or not, writing has always been a challenge for me. Grammar in particular plagues my mind, swirling about and coalescing into this looming monstrosity that I can’t escape. I’m not going to pretend that Grammar Girl turned me into a grammar expert, but she certainly helped me tame the beast. With episodes that are short and to the point, it is easy to find time during the day for Grammar Girl. I don’t understand how, but she makes learning about grammar fun and interesting.
It’s more than just grammar on this podcast too. Some of my favorite segments are where she explores the origin of certain words and word roots. Grammar Girl is the perfect unguent for the painful sore that grammar inflicts on many of us.
Hands down the most essential, non-craft oriented writing podcast out there. These guys enter the game dedicated to help you master the often ignored subject of marketing. They talk about finding the right editor or agent, ways to advertise on social media as well as your website, and even delve into the data of running sales on your books all so you can progress toward becoming a best selling author. Even if you haven’t gotten to those stages yet, this podcast will introduce the important concepts the keep spinning in the back of your head as you march toward your impending victory.
I love this podcast. They manage to strike the perfect combination of information, direction, and inspiration all in less than thirty minutes an episode. This podcast can make even the most monumental of tasks seem manageable and exciting.
I Should Be Writing is a podcast about the journey of a wanna-be writer becoming a pro. Brought to you by Mur Lafferty, award winning author and all around awesome person, no matter what she thinks of herself. This podcast focuses on helping the rest of us wanna-be’s, giving advice, answering questions, and being open about her own struggles.
Ditch Diggers is where the gloves come off and the profanity buzzer retreats to the corner and cries. This podcast is brought to you by Mur Lafferty and her co-host Matt Wallace. In this show, the dig into the grit and grime of being a professional writer. This is where you worry about paying the bills and meeting the deadline. All this and more brought to you with humor, swearing, and no small amount of hosting from Morgan Freeman.
While these podcasts aren’t as frequent as many of the others I follow, I can always count on getting at least one of the two every month. While they cover lots of great information in these shows, what really draws me in is how readily they focus on their personal and emotional struggles. I deeply respect Mur for putting herself out there for the world to see like this. It is a tremendous source of inspiration to know that I am not alone in these challenges and, while they can’t be ignored, they can be overcome.
There are so many books out there on writing, it can be difficult to narrow down the field. Let me help with that. I’m nowhere close to having read all the books on writing. I haven’t even read all the books that I own about writing. But from the ones I have read, the few listed below still are nearly indispensable tools in my tool belt. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as I make my way through more books on the craft.
As I said in my post “So… Where’s the Magic,” this was the first book on writing I ever read. If it isn’t immediately obvious from the rest of my posts and this website as a whole, I tend to take a very analytical approach with nearly everything I do. Before reading Writing Fiction for Dummies, I never considered the fact that I might be able to make stories of my own.
This book just lined everything up for me, showing that the process could be broken down and examined in a fashion more to my liking. This book was the spark I needed that, once combined with the pile of tinder of a good writing group, started a fire that is likely to burn hot for the rest of my life. (For you concerned individuals: it’s just a metaphor. I’m not actually lighting anyone on fire, at least not that I am going to admit to.)
I’m not exaggerating when I say this book is an absolute game changer for writers. “Show Don’t Tell,” is quite possibly the most common line of feedback received by new authors– maybe even experienced ones, I don’t know– and it is also one of the hardest to implement.
I’m not going to lie and say this book will solve all of your “telling” problems, but it is certainly a start. With this book in hand you can stop with the emotional descriptors and build them in a far more pleasing and “Showy” fashion.
Personally, I love the structured layout of this book. I don’t always know exactly what emotion I am looking for, but some time with the thesaurus always helps me get it sorted out. It can be a time-consuming effort, but my prose have always been better because of it.
As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to discuss these two separately. I agree with the authors, each topic deserved its own book, but they are two sides of the same coin and should be discussed as such. The previous thesaurus was all about taking your characters emotions and describing them in more vivid, useful, and revealing ways.
Let’s face it, that last one isn’t going to do you much good if there’s nothing about your character to reveal.
Angela and Becca did an outstanding job with these books. They take the time at the beginning of each book to explain the importance of the different traits in who your character is, how they act, what they want, and how their traits will influence their chances of success of failure in the plot you have lined up.
These are far more than a collection of character traits with brief descriptions defined Wikipedia style. They are your guides to better, more realistic characters. Put these two books together and you have a veritable bible for turnig your characters into people. I could write pages about how wonderful these books are, but I think it would be better if you just go check them out.
Angela and Becca have done it again, providing us with another set of unbelievably useful books. Some writers, especially myself, occasionally fall to something called “white-box syndrome” where the events of our story unfold before a blank background. No longer!
In these books, conveniently divided into rural and urban settings, they delve into dozens of settings exploring the critical sensory details available in each location. This alone makes the books valuable beyond my affordable range, but of course that isn’t all these two wonderful writers give us. They dive into all the reasons you should describe your scenes. It turns out the setting is more than just the background for your character’s actions and can do so much more for you as a writer.
Some things were obvious, like creating a mood or even characterizing your characters through the words used in the description. Some things I had not considered were using the physical surroundings to influence the plot in subtle ways by setting it up to parallel a confrontation taking place, to build in reminders and gentle cues of incipient or recurring conflict, and even the ability to link smoothly into your characters deepest pains and backstory.
This is goldmine of information makes it easier than ever to bring across the background of your scenes without resorting to paragraphs of boring description.
Misc. (In Progress)
Allow me to introduce you to the best creation since birthday cake. Meet Scrivener. I should have warned you, but your writing experience is never going to be the same again.
The 7-Point Structure
What I’m about to share with you is another one of those resources that completely changed how I went about writing. There are a lot of different story structures out there; while none of them are any worse than the rest, this method resonates with me more than most.
It was a long fortuitous chain of events that led me to this plotting technique. Point is I eventually found my way to this video below of Dan Wells, co-host of the Writing Excuses podcast and an awesome writer to boot, explaining just what this structure is about. You can watch the first video below and find a link to the entire playlist here.
Is that great or what? Just recently, found this method combines beautifully with another. Whether it is the main arc, a side arc, or a character arc, I can determine what the concepts should be and the order they should come in with the 7-point structure. Even with all of this knowledge, I found myself getting bogged down as I wrote my scenes. I knew where I needed to go, but I was still having trouble getting there. This is where I make use of the “Scene-Sequel” format. You can read all about it in Writing Fiction for Dummies, or you can read K. M. Weiland’s series on How to Structure Your Scenes.
More Brandon Sanderson!!!
Listen, when I say that he is my favorite author, I F%&$ING MEAN IT!
Here’s a little something you might not know about Brandon, he actually teaches creative writing classes at BYU. A couple of years ago he allowed recordings of his classes to be placed online. Now their back with even more. I have personally have benefited a great deal from this wonderful resource on writing, and I hope you will to.
Here is the video and a link to the playlist on Youtube.
This is the section I have really been looking forward too. No restrictions. No Obligations. I can put up absolutely anything that I think is cool. I’m going to keep it simple for now, but be warned: this may become a rabbit hole of madness in the years to come.
The perfect resource for introducing yourself or someone else to just how this crazy world works. This book, in its several reincarnations, has been around for some time, and you know what, each one has been more useful than the last.
David Macaulay takes everything and breaks it down, making everything much easier to understand. Couple his top notch explanatory skills with the brilliant artwork and the ever-charming woolly mammoth and you have an educational book that is downright fun to read.
Honestly, this is the type of work I hope to emulate someday with my won efforts in explaining scientific concepts through the veil of magic and fiction. But enough about me. Go check it out.
This here book has done more to help me understand and appreciate our planet’s history more than anything in my life. No joke. I wish history had been this fascinating in school.
A large part of the draw for me here was its application to world building. Now you don’t have to be a writer or gamer or whatever in order to enjoy this book, but I could hardly make it two pages without new ideas hurling themselves against the confines of my skull.
Whether you want to learn about our history or understand the powers that shaped it to build your own, this is definitely a book worth reading.
If you are anything like me then there are approximately 300 items on your to-do list but only 12 hours to do them in. You have a couple of options if this is ever going to change.
Option 1: Go insane. Just keep pushing until your brain snaps under the strain of the impossible. It’s not so bad really. Once your crazy people expect less of you so your responsibilities will go way down. Plus you have the perfect excuse for all your idiosyncrasies.
Option 2: You can get organized. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, but something has to change. You can cut down on your commitments, plan your time better, and focus on the things that you really want.
Getting Things Done is a great place to start. David Allen has developed a simple, but awesome system to get organized, help manage your schedule, and free up your mind from the toil of remembering everything. The best part about his system is that it can easily be altered and adapted to match your lifestyle. You can manage everything with paper folders if you want, you can set up a system in a spread sheet, or you can use a variety of apps to solve different problems. However you choose to go about it, Getting Things Done is just the resource you have been missing.
Go check it out. If this doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always option one. I’m just saying.
Hobbies (In Progress)
- cali blacksmiths
- rocky mountain smiths
- knife makers?
- Contact Juggling and similar arts
- contact juggling .org
- contact staff
- other such performance arts
Software (In Progress)
- Pro Fantasy
- Campaign Cartographer
- Dungeon Maker
- City Creator
- Fractal Terrains