I was lucky enough to have a fantastic writing professor in my freshman year of college. Though he was technically teaching a class about how to write an essay, he offered lessons that I continue to implement in my fiction writing to this day. He taught me to strive for specificity in my writing, and how to tighten it to be concise as possible. I will always be grateful for all I was able to learn from him.
However, many of you writers out there are not as lucky. You never managed to get a great writing teacher in school, or perhaps you didn’t find your passion for writing until long after graduation. Fortunately, the Internet is full of websites that offer tons of great writing advice and lessons. Plenty of professional writers and coaches hand out tips and tricks for free that will help you to become a better writer.
Well-Storied is a blog founded by fantasy author, Kristen Kieffer. Her blog posts offer great advice about story structure, character development, publishing, and more, both from her own experiences and those of several guest authors. She also translates all her articles to audio, so you can listen to the Well-Storied Podcast on the go.
Recent posts include: “How to Craft Impactful Character Deaths” and “The Must-Have Foundation for Any Strong Writing Routine”
Horror author Peter Rey offers personal writing advice and reflections in a personable voice that is easy to relate to. He tells stories about his own life often and explains what these experiences taught him about writing. He also shares his pet peeves when it comes to writing and advice about revising your novel.
Recent posts include: “Why Perfectionism Is a Problem – What to Do About It” and “Writing Ideas and the Impostor Syndrome”
Authors Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman founded Writers Helping Writers as a resource for new and seasoned writers alike. In addition to a blog full of fantastic writing tips, the site includes several printable handouts you can fill out to help you with your story planning and character development. Some of the PDFs available are a Career Assessment Tool and a Character Arc Progression Tool.
This blog’s creator, Chuck Wendig, is a prolific author of books, comics, and screenplays. The first book in his Star Wars trilogy, Aftermath, debuted at #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list. He has a snarky sense of humor and the writing advice he offers to aspiring authors on his blog is both brutally honest and incredibly helpful. He also features several guest authors who share the “five things” they learned while writing certain books.
Recent posts include: “Should Writers Write Every Day?” and “Blurbing A Book: What It Is, What It Means, And Other Questions”
C.S. Lakin is a novelist, copyeditor, and writing coach. She also has several online courses on writing, editing, and marketing and runs The Self Publisher, a website dedicated to self-publishing advice. She created Live Write Thrive to offer new writers support and guidance.
Like Lakin’s The Self Publisher, SelfPublishing.com is a website geared toward self-publishing advice. SelfPublishing.com also provides honest reviews of different self-publishing companies to help you decide who to choose. You can find plenty of writing wisdom on the site as well. One very useful blog post will take you through the book-writing process in just 12 simple steps.
Jeff Goins is the best-selling author of books like The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. On his blog he shares his musings on writing and creative work. You can also listen to his podcast, many episodes of which feature interviews with writers and other successful artists. You can get a free guide on growing your blog audience as well.
Writers in the Storm was established by a group of seasoned authors who all write different genres and each brings a unique perspective to the blog. Jenny Hansen writes memoir and women’s fiction, Julie Glover specializes in cozy mysteries and YA fiction, Barbara Linn Probst writes fiction and non-fiction, and John Peragine has authored 14 books and ghostwritten over 100 others. Their blog discusses author branding, juggling kids and a writing career, handling deadlines, and more.
Maggie Stiefvater is the bestselling author of fantasy books like the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races. In addition to writing, she is also an accomplished artist and musician. Her blog is full of tips for new writers and shows how easily the skills of one creative pursuit can lend themselves to another.
If you’re not in the mood to read a bunch of blog posts, never fear! There are plenty of writing lessons you can learn just by watching YouTube. Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson has made several of his lectures from his BYU creative writing class available online. These lectures are chock full of advice about writing science fiction and fantasy, and also writing in general.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 11 Writers: Advice to the Young includes tidbits of writerly wisdom from literary giants like Jonathan Franzen and Umberto Eco. The channel Outstanding Screenplays makes compilations writing tips from famous writers and directors, including Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. You can find many more helpful videos by searching “writing advice” in the search bar. It’s useful to sort the results by “View Count” since then you will see the most popular (and therefore likely the most useful) videos first.
So don’t worry if you don’t have the time or the money to take a creative writing course. There is so much wonderful writing advice out there online that you’ll be able to learn a ton right from your office chair.
Author’s Bio:- Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jill has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
She has done freelance writing as well for sites like Cracked.com, and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and funnyordie.com. Jill has also self-published two novels on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Karger/e/B07B894DNW).
Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at: https://www.fictionate.me.