"The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one's opportunities and make the most of one's resources." -Luc de Clapiers
Everyone needs resources.
I've had lots of help during this journey, in all different forms. Books, people, websites. There are a lot of resources available out there if you know where to look. Of course, not everyone knows where to look.
When I got started on my writing journey, I felt like I was adrift. I knew there were resources out there, but I didn't know where, and I didn't know who to ask or how to find them. I felt like I existed in a black hole, alone.
So on the last day of my Launch Week series, I've compiled this list. I've done a lot of legwork and found a lot of helpful resources. Here are some of my favorites, for everything from writing to editing to building a business to staying motivated. I hope they're as helpful to you guys as they have been to me.
No trade secrets among friends, right?
Sin and Syntax, by Constance Hale- grammar for the rest of us. Funny and brilliantly helpful.
U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook (online)- unless your main character is an heiress, she's going to need a job. Check out this site. Seriously, like, now.
The Emotion Thesaurus, by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman
Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey- an in-depth guide to the Meyers-Briggs personality types, and how your type influences your reactions to people, situations, etc. If you find you have difficulty creating breathing, realistic, well-rounded characters, this will really help you.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, by Robert Moore, Douglas Gillette- an invaluable tool for me when creating the hero of my book. A Jungian view of the various parts and archetypes of the male psyche.
Women's Anatomy of Arousal, by Sheri Winston CNM. RN. BSN. LMT- especially if you're planning on writing romances, it's helpful to know just what it is that gets women aroused, and what that arousal looks like. Men are pretty straightforward- women are slightly less so. This book does an excellent job of de-mystifying women's erotic responses.
How To Write Hot Sex, edited by Shoshanna Evers- an anthology of different topics related to writing sex in erotica or romance, plus a helpful little article on self-publishing in the back.
Be A Sex-Writing Strumpet, by Stacia Kane- originally a blog series, combined into a book. An incredibly detailed tutorial to writing sex scenes (which can be difficult, to say the least)
Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, Second Edition, by Renni Browne and Dave King- if you don't buy any other books on editing your novel, buy this one.
Revision and Self-Editing, by James Scott Bell
Successful Self-Publishing, edited by Shoshanna Evers- I love Shoshanna Evers (as I'm sure you can tell). She's incredibly nice, always helpful, and is brilliant at knowing what information new writers need to succeed. This anthology compiles some of the best self-pub advice out there. Definitely worth seeking out!
Becoming An Indie Author, by Zoe Winters- a funny, intimate, well-written guide for writers just stepping into the self-pub pool. Recommended by Shoshanna Evers in How To Write Hot Sex, which is good enough for me. The first book on self-publishing I bought, and still a favorite.
Twitter- if you're a writer, especially if you're planning to self-publish, you should be on Twitter. If you aren't, stop reading this, go over, and sign up. Now. Then say "hi" to me- I'm @writermama
World Literary Cafe- great resource for authors, readers, and bloggers. Lots of networking opportunities. Helps you find a support system and get in touch with the right people.
How To Build An Author House, by Matthew Turner (a.k.a. Turndog Millionaire)- easily the best, most complete resource on author branding/marketing I've found yet. Oh, yeah, and it's free!
What To Do Before Your Book Launch, by Randy Susan Meyers and M.J. Rose- originally meant for traditionally published authors, this book is a goldmine for the traditionally-published and the self-published alike.
Publicize Your Book, by Jacqueline Deval- referred to as the "marketing bible" in What To Do Before Your Book Launch. How do you ignore a plug like that?
Making A Literary Life, by Carolyn See- this book made me start to believe I could actually make a life and a living as a writer.
Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes- food for the soul; obviously geared towards women, but a good read for anyone interested in Jungian psychology and getting in touch with their inner curandera/curandero.
Miss A Day Or Two?
Day 1: Lessons From The Cave
Day 2: Set Your Compass
Day 3: Don't Schedule, Manage
Day 4: You Gotta Hustle
Day 5: Feed The Current
Day 6: The Zen Of Balance
Excerpt from All That Glitters:
Ava felt oddly jumpy as she headed back to the yurt, guitar in hand. Ethan would be looking for her. She hadn’t been prepared for the crushing desire that had taken over her thoughts. Her body. She didn’t know what to do about it.
She stepped into a small side alley, heart pounding. This was ridiculous. She needed to get a grip. She sagged against the side of a building and massaged her forehead. What had she been thinking?
“You realize I know all the good hiding places in this town, right?”
Ava jolted. Ethan stood at the front of the alley, a teasing grin on his face. She glared at him. “I wasn’t hiding.”
“Well, that’s a relief.” He sauntered closer, hands in his pockets. “Because the way I remember it, we have a gentleman’s agreement to settle.”
Ava stepped back. She needed to keep some distance between them. It was the only way she could think clearly. “I’m not a gentleman.”