Writing resources! ʘ‿ʘ
To connect with other writers:
1. AbsoluteWrite. This forum is an awesome place to make your first connections with other writers. You can talk to writers in your genre, chat about anything from books to publishing to politics, and post your work or your query for critique (and you’ll get plenty of it) for free. It’s also a good place to find beta readers and critique partners.
2. Twitter. There’s a huge writing community on Twitter, and it’s easy to make friends who are writers. Just follow writers you think are interesting, or people who write in your genre, and try responding to their tweets.
1. National Novel Writing Month. Also known as NaNoWriMo, this is an event in November where lots of people try to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. You can make an account, track your progress, meet people on the forum, and go to writing events in your area. It can be really motivating to have a specific wordcount goal and plenty of people who are trying to achieve the same thing.
2. StayFocusd. This is a Chrome extension (I THINK they have it for Firefox and Safari too?) that can block certain sites for certain periods of time, certain days, or give you a time limit on the sites where you waste the most time – I love you Tumblr, but I would NEVER get around to writing if I didn’t have a time limit. Be sure to enable it in incognito mode and click yes where it asks if you want to have to complete a typing challenge every time you try to change your settings.
3. SelfControl. This is a free Mac program, simpler than StayFocusd, that blocks your internet connection for an amount of time of your choosing. I usually set it for a two-hour block whenever I start writing – it stops me from checking Tumblr every other sentence even if I haven’t reached my StayFocusd time limit.
1. QueryTracker. This is a website where you can put in a search for agents who represent your genre, create a list of agents you want to query for a particular project, and mark down whether or not they’ve replied, what they’ve requested, etc. You can also look at agents’ profiles and see what their request rates are, among other things.
2. AgentQuery. This site is helpful when it comes to learning the basics about querying, like what a query letter is, what an agent is, et cetera.
3. QueryShark. This blog is run by Janet Reid, an agent who takes submitted queries and revises them. You can submit your query for revision, but she gets a lot of submissions, so yours might not be picked. The best thing about QueryShark is going through the queries she’s taken apart and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
4. Publisher’s Marketplace. You have to pay for a subscription to this one, but it can be really useful when you’re querying – it shows all recent deals made by agents, their sales statistics, et cetera. If you get multiple offers of representation, this can help you decide which agent is best for you.
1. Typical wordcounts for each genre. An agent blogs about the range of words you should be aiming for if you’re writing a fantasy, if you’re writing a contemporary, etc.
2. Wordle. You can copy-paste your manuscript into a text box, and it’ll calculate the words you use the most and show them in a cool graphic. It’s a handy tool for figuring out what words you overuse.
Another YA author, Dahlia Adler, has a great (and long) list of resources for writers on her blog – check it out here. And, obviously, my Tumblr is separated into categories of writing questions.
Getting a publisher –
I answered a question about the general steps I took to get a traditional publisher here, and talked more specifically about what it took to get an agent (the first step to getting a publisher) over here. Other than that, though, it took a bunch of hard work, some luck, fab critique partners and 100x coffee.