Writer Resources

As a writer, I’ve drawn on many resources over the years, ranging from perusing websites geared towards writers to finding techniques in novels. While what helps or motivates will range from one person to another, these are my go-to resources:

Books on Writing:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft–This is Stephen King’s book about the process, where he weaves in stories of his own experiences as a writer and how his books came to be. Stephen King will always be my favorite writer, so I would have read and loved this even if it was terrible, but since he is a GENIUS it is great and really helpful. He also has a list of his own favorite books at the end.

Strunk and White’s Elements of Style–All about form and composition, this is mandatory for rewrites and checking for grammar issues. It’s also broken down really simply and easy to navigate.

Films on Writing:

First of all, acknowledging these are very specific to me, I found this great article on the best movies for writers to watch. The reason I chose to include this article instead of others is because it gives a one-liner on each film’s plot and where to find it.

Second of all, for me, there are only two must-watch films for writers. I love Misery as much as any King fan, but it’s not one of those films that GETS to me, you know? (Fun fact–Misery was supposed to be a short story but turned into a full-fledged novel when, while penning it, King realized his main character was more resourceful than he’d expected and WOULDN’T end up dead and with his skin used as the cover of the very last Misery novel).

Throw Mama From the Train–I talk about this one in my very first blog post. Starring Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito, Throw Mama From the Train is about a writer, Larry (Crystal), suffering writer’s block. His creative writing student, Owen (DeVito), misunderstands a conversation about writing motive as Larry’s request to kill his ex-wife in exchange for Larry offing Owen’s mother. Inspired by Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, this dark comedy is made great by the relationship that develops between Larry and Owen and the exploration of a stymied writer’s psyche. It has quotes I still use to this day: “The night was humid.” “Class dismissed. I have an enormous headache in my eye.” And, of course, “A writer writes . . . always!” Watch it. Watch it now!

Stuck in Love–I first saw this movie after watching garbage television on for the sound during a mindless task. I switched to Stuck in Love when it was over because the display image on Netflix was Kristen Bell and who doesn’t love Kristen Bell? Halfway through I realized Stuck in Love wasn’t garbage television follow-up and an actually stellar movie. About a family of writers in North Carolina, Stuck in Love focuses on the relationships between its characters (all of whom have their own issues). Rusty, who plays the son, is obsessed with Stephen King, and as I was sitting there contemplating whether Stuck in Love was better than Throw Mama from the Train, Stephen King called Rusty in a voice cameo. I almost died.

Online Writing Resources:

QueryTracker.net–Don’t be fooled by the use of the .net; this is a terrific resources for connecting with other writers. I found my longest-running writing partner this way. They used to have a forum which was subdivided into many interesting topics and where you could upload writing samples for critique, but it’s been removed. Still, if you need to find an agent, they maintain a database that can help you find every agent who represents your genre and includes a submission tracking means. I also understand the forum is undergoing maintenance and will be back up in the fall of 2023, but in the interim it’s still worth the $25 a year to be a “premium” member.

BookBub–While this website is geared towards readers, offering posts with “best of” lists and sending curated lists of Amazon deals to your email (based on genres chosen), BookBub also has resources on promoting your book through social media and other helpful tips for writers looking for exposure.

MeetUp–MeetUp is fun because there are plenty of local groups of writers looking to connect and exchange pages. The value you get really comes from the group you find, but if you know what you need as a writer/critique partner, that helps.