RESOURCES FOR WRITERS
One of the things that tripped me up when I first started out on my writing journey, was that I had no idea where to go to get help with my writing. I didn't know any writers, I didn't know anyone in the publishing industry. I was utterly clueless about the publishing process and even how to write my stories in an entertaining way. So one of the things I'm really big on now is sharing with others any knowledge I have that could be helpful to them. If you've been reading my page or following me on social media you might have noticed that I include links where I know people or organizations that are important to me that might be helpful to others. I hope to start putting some blog posts together that include writing craft information from my years of study. But I also wanted to put together a page of reference links that I use in my daily writing.
If you write romance, or even if you don't this organization is one of the best in New Zealand for help in all areas of writing. Don't be shy, they are the most diverse and welcoming bunch of people I know, and they're all human and love to help other writers no matter what stage of the writing journey you are at.
I completed my Level 5 and then 6 through Northtec, it's done online so your studies can fit in around your lifestyle, the tutors are friendly and encouraging. The level 5 teaches you how to write in engaging ways and Level 6 goes deeper into the craft but also in the business of writing, they'll take you through the publishing process from A to Z. I've learned so much from them, I'm even going back to do my Level 7 in which I'll get to work on completing a full-length novel from start to finish with guidance from a mentor and assessor.
This web-based program is created for writers, particularly fiction writers. I decided to give it a whirl and plugged some of my writing into it, in a matter of minutes I had reports and guides to all the areas within my manuscript that could be improved based around the language I was using. It covers everything from 'show don't tell' to generic descriptions that reduce the impact you could be having. It's super easy to use and navigate and they're improving it all the time. If you want to know where you can improve your writing, make this one of your first stops. It covers a lot of what I learned about writing craft in my early studies.
The choices for editors are overwhelming, I read so many webpages about everything that different editors could offer me. Lesley was a tutor in my Level 5 on a general writing paper, and she also teaches the editing paper which is invite-only through NorthTec. I knew she was friendly and helpful, so in the end, when I became so confused I decided to go with someone I had worked under and knew to be good at what she does. I never regretted that decision. Lesley gave my manuscript a really deep edit and gave me developmental help. She was worth every dollar if you can afford a decent developmental edit (and I recommend this as a priority step especially for first releases), she's well worth checking out. I plan to use her for the rest of the Kiwi Falls series.
I used Robyn for the copy-edit of Take Down. I'll happily continue to use her services which covered checks and corrections in grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation, as well as editing for consistent style (e.g. The Chicago Manual of Style), and correct usage of US English. For those that don't understand the various editing services, my manuscript went through Lesley Marshall first and only once I had completed that round of editing and revisions with a beta reader did I move on to Robyn. A copy-editor takes a manuscript that has already undergone substantive editing (i.e. they will be focusing on the details, rather than the 'big picture' content such as plot) and polishes it up.
I discovered Judy L Mohr from Black Wolf Editing Services while working on a business paper and researching editors. While I have not used her as an editor, I have read her book Hidden Traps which I highly recommend anyone reading when they are thinking about their online platform. I muddled through the setup and wish I'd had this book on hand before I started, it's a really good guide to setting up websites and social media. I'm still fixing up all my mistakes and discovering how much more I can do and understanding what an Author Platform really means. She also runs a blog that covers both craft and online platform topics. I followed her for months before I met her at the last RWNZ conference. P.S if you write suspense, thriller or crime, that's right up her ally too!
I wish I'd heard this name mentioned earlier on in my career, just about every writer I know now, knows of Joanna Penn. She covers everything from writing to business and everything in between. She also interviews some of the most amazing people an author can know. This is an excellent place to start for any writing information and links to everything you need to know as a writer and as a business because writing is a business and knowing how to write well is as important as knowing how to run your writing business well.
Detective Adam Richardson is a police detective in California and he's set up a weekly PodCast to help writers get the technical side of crime writing right. He also runs a Facebook page and sends out monthly newsletters packed full of useful links and information. I came across him in an interview by Joanna Penn and one podcast was enough to hook me in. I write Romantic Suspense, so crime plays a huge role in my writing and my own research only got me so far. While his advice is based on California and USA legal systems, much of his general information can be applied to any crime writing. If you have police procedure questions check out his site. You won't regret it.