While writing my first novel, I consulted a myriad of writing books and websites, but certain ones stood
out. Below are my recommendations for the top five resources for a debut novelist.
The Writer’s League of Texas, https://writersleague.org. The WLT provides online classes and
seminars on a range of writing and publishing topics. Whether you are writing a literary piece, genre
fiction, poetry, or a memoir, the WLT offers reasonably priced, informative classes.
Bird by Bird; Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott. Bird by Bird was published in
1994, but all the instructions and comments are still relevant, perceptive and helpful. For overall
writing advice, this book is unsurpassed.
The Story Grid; What Good Editors Know, by Shawn Coyne. The Story Grid provides excellent
information on the underling structure of every component of a novel, especially the construction of
an effective scene.
Several short sentences about writing, by Verlyn Klinkenborg. Klinkenborg debunks the theory that,
if one is a good writer, good sentences will just “flow.” Instead, he explains how, through
perseverance and attention to detail, a writer crafts good sentences.
The Kill Zone, https://killzoneblog.com. The Kill Zone’s resource library is packed with information
about writing, publishing and marketing books. Its blog covers a variety of topics, including dialogue,
exposition, and opening-page critiques. The website focuses on mystery and thriller novels, but its
tips and information are useful to every writer.