I love talking about building magic systems, but that’s only part of what you need.
Without a story, very few people will care about the magic system or world you created. Writing is the core skill of most storytelling, be it for novels, games, RPG modules, or screenplays. Fortunately, there are lots of outstanding resources in the world to help you develop your writing craft.
Because there are so many incredible writing resources out there, this page focuses on the few made the biggest impact on my journey as a writer. Don’t limit yourself to my suggestions alone, but you can’t go wrong picking up any of these resources for guidance.
There are a lot of reasons I started writing, but the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson showed me people might want to read what I write.
This lead me to the discovery of my 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.
If you want a place to start, I highly recommend Season 11: Elemental Genres. Check it out. It’s the best out there!
No, this isn’t an insult. This was the very first book I picked up on writing fiction and it is still my top recommendation for any beginning storyteller.
Writing Fiction for Dummies provides a wonderful overview of what it takes to write a novel and introduces the different stages of a writing carrier. Whether you end up as a plotter or discovery-writer, this book covers everything you need to know and will help you find what works for you.
K. M. Weiland is another author after my own heart. Her 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, help yourself by check out her series on structuring stories and structuring scenes. Once you’re done with that, do yourself a favor and subscribe to her podcast however you prefer. 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.
For a long time, the process of building compelling characters eluded me. My characters weren’t bad, but I was guided primarily by instinct… And then I found Getting Into Character.
Honestly, it’s worth buying this book for the first secret alone. On top of that, the way Brandilyn Collins explains the process made it easy for me to understand the process and begin replicating it on my own.
If you get one book on developing characters, this should be that book.
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 watch the entire playlist on Youtube.
Hands down the most essential, non-craft oriented writing podcast out there. The guys over at Novel Marketing enter the game dedicated to helping 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. Novel Marketing can make even the most monumental of tasks seem manageable and exciting.