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Authorship Fiction Marketing Nonfiction Time Management Writing

Your Author Tool Kit

A collection of books to help you prep, begin, or enhance your writing project.


If you’re one of those people who has been talking about writing a book, but never started, there is a new collection available that’s got your name on it! This set of works can event guide you as you start or if you’re in the middle of your literary project.

The Author Tool Kit is a collection of works by experienced literary professionals like myself who want to help you transition into the world of being a writer as smoothly as possible. 

The main thing most new authors are lacking is knowledge. They have the desire, they have the drive, they’ll make the time, and they have the hardware (keyboard, laptop, tablet, etc.) and software (word processor) to get their book done. They just need the insights of someone who has been through it all before to help them with some of the details. 

Included in this collection: 

  • Ditch the Fear and Just Write It!
  • The Newbie’s Guide to Book Development
  • The Indie Writer’s Handbook
  • Do Less, Write More
  • Time Management for Writers
  • Top Ten Tips for Enhancing Your Creativity 
  • Writing as a Business: Production, Distribution, and Marketing
  • Pantsers Plotting and Planning Workbook
  • Writing Day In and Day Out
  • Write Like a Boss

and twelve more helpful pieces on everything from following the “show, don’t tell” rule to writing sex scenes. 

Take a look at the collection now and choose your buys based on where you are in your writing journey! 

Categories
Authorship Fiction Nonfiction Writing

5 Simple Sources for Content

Not sure what your next screenplay or book should be about? The five ideas can help your figure it out.


Variations on a Theme

One of the easiest ways to come up with an idea for your next piece is to borrow the core of another one and make it your own. This could be a classic tale like Jack and the Beanstalk or Snow White or something a little more modern like The Hunger Games or The Notebook. Choose a film or book that you like and break it down into its central components. What would its premise be? What would its slim, basic, or detailed outline look like?

Once you have all the pieces dissected, start swapping things out. For example, instead of a galaxy far, far away from Earth, make the setting an island far, far away from the United States. Instead of a human man reliving the same day over and over again, make the setup a country reliving the same atrocity over and over again. This method of switching out key components of the story or content and then writing it in your own style can help you create your next new piece. This is the process described in comparative statements made when people are pitching manuscripts and screenplays to acquisitions editors and film producers: “It’s like [insert bestseller / or blockbuster] meets [insert bestseller / blockbuster]”.

You are taking the same theme (the damsel in distress saved by a prince, the underdog overthrowing a tyrant, the financial glutton falling into poverty, etc.) and creating a variation of it that’s all your own.

No Longer Unsolved Mysteries

Watching a news report about an unsolved crime is another great place to find a new source of ideas. Take it upon yourself to speculate on what happened to the little girl whose body was found ten miles from her home in the middle of a school day. Give us the play-by-play for how a man who appears to have been caught red-handed is actually innocent of extortion. Sniff out all those cases that just don’t seem to make sense and have confounded local detectives and federal agents alike.

The Problem (and The Solution)

Especially useful for self-help and documentaries, consider some of the biggest problems in the world right now and what some solutions are. Do you have a stellar method for organizing the mountain of syllabuses that students are emailed at the beginning of each semester? Do you know the perfect way to explain to people why we see the sky as blue during the day instead of green, yellow, or some other color? Do you know that one secret that people need to understand about personal finance that will increase their net worth by 40% within the next three years? Even if you don’t have answers to these questions, if you know there is an answer (and that answer is one that people are desperately searching for) turn your research skills into your next literary venture. Put all the research together and give the people what they want!

The Mirror

Tell your own story, with a dash of creative license thrown in! Many people don’t write their autobiography or memoir because they have been fortunate enough not to experience any major, life-changing challenges. They haven’t had most of their limbs amputated, they haven’t survived civil war, they haven’t been to prison, they haven’t battled severe mental illness. In their minds, there is nothing about their lives worth reading, let alone writing about. If this is how you feel, that’s okay! First of all, it’s awesome that you don’t have some major drama or trauma going on for someone to be interested in reading. That just means you got lucky to have a life less stressful and painful than most people’s.

But you can always jazz it up (figuratively, of course) by exploring something that’s never happened to you and what your reaction would be to it. Never punched your supervisor in the face while he was man-splaining something? Write that scene! What happens next? How do you handle the consequences? Most important of all—was it worth it? Why? What did that moment teach you about your alter-ego?

Answering questions like this means you’ll start building a plot in no time, all by using all the experiences you already have available to you.

The Vision

We’ve all got fancy ideas about a paradise, the perfect spouse, or the best job in the world. In order to turn that vision of wonder into a book or screenplay that someone wants to read or make, we just need to add some conflict and resolve it. What’s the catch to living in this paradise? What one flaw does this near-perfect spouse have or how does their perfection harm you or those around you? The best job in the world really would be so if it weren’t for the fact that…what? And is that downside worth quitting or not?


If you’re like many people who love to write but don’t always have a steady stream of new ideas, these can at the very least help get your creative synapses firing so you can start dreaming up your next big project. Have some other ideas for new ideas? Share with your fellow members in the comments!

Categories
Authorship Nonfiction Writing

5 Best Books On Writing SFF


Writing speculative fiction is a little bit different than writing an essay or a romance. For starters, you have to create multiple major world or character elements from scratch. Fortunately, there are plenty of books on writing genres like science fiction and fantasy out there to help you. Here are some of the best of 2020.

On Writing by Stephen King


Stephen King’s writing book is a memoir-reference hybrid and contains some fantastic words of wisdom for writers. King’s success means he must be doing something right, so who better to teach you how to write horror (or anything else for that matter)? You are bound to pick up some gems reading On Writing. Anything by Stephen King is an excellent read for screenwriters as well because his books translate so well to movies and TV.

Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror


Containing all your favorite SFF authors, Now Write’s fifth volume is a compendium of SFF
writing prompts and exercises. There is endless fodder for your imagination and lots of advice
on how to do things like build worlds from scratch and create riveting characters. You can use this book as a jumping-off point for your writing sessions each day.

The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans


Philip Athans’ book covers all areas of fantasy and science fiction, and it even includes an
original story by R. A. Salvatore, a famous author in the fantasy genre. Reading a story by one of the masters, alongside excellent advice, is the best way to learn how to write well. Philip Athans is an editor at Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Dungeons and Dragons, so he has a lot of experience in both the genre and the industry.

Putting the Science in Fiction by Dan Koboldt


Dan Koboldt’s book is a treasury of in-depth articles written by scientists who are also writers. The book includes things like ant sociology and takes a look at how to apply this to a science fiction story. The best science fiction doesn’t shy away from real science, and Dan Koboldt’s book (and associated blog) will show you how to do this too.

Get Started in Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy by Adam Roberts


The Teach Yourself series produces excellent guides for everything you can imagine, and their
writing books are no exception. Get Started covers all aspects of the SFF genre, including
children’s books and young adult fiction.

Reading books like the ones listed here has several benefits:


● You can take advice from successful, popular authors
● They usually include exercises or prompts that can help spark new ideas
● If you’re new to the genre, books like these can help you navigate the genre-specific writing
challenges
● You’ll pick up a lot of general writing advice that you can apply anywhere in your career

If you’re interested in writing SFF or horror, any one of these books is a great place to start.
They are also fantastic sources of guidance and inspiration for the more experienced SFF writer.

Categories
Fiction Nonfiction Writing

Your Magnetic Masterpiece

Melanie Jayne Ashford
Melanie Jayne Ashford

Melanie is a freelance writer from Wales, UK. She has studied Literature, Business and Media, and has a Professional Diploma in Copy Editing and Proofreading. Melanie is passionate about poetry and genre fiction.

Magnetic words might seem like the kind of things your kids play with, but they can be a priceless tool for your writing career too. Order a set for yourself on Amazon or grab a box from your local bookstore. These printed words with magnetized backs come in a variety of editions such as “expletives” and “zen.” Choose one that best fits your genre or idea. You can expand your choices with a new pack every so often. All you need are the words themselves and a magnetic surface, perhaps a small whiteboard or your refrigerator.

Magnetic Words for Poets

Many poets use magnetic words to develop their poems. You can get some great stanzas started by experimenting with word kits that match a theme you want to write about.

  • Pull out the words that catch your eye first. Depending on the idea you’re holding in your head, the mood you’re in at the time, and which words are facing upward, you can get a nice, random variety of starting language.
  • Group the words. Start putting your selected magnets together to create phrases of 2 -4 words. Don’t worry about the phrases making sense at the moment, just follow your gut.
  • Review and revise. Now that you have some phrases to work with, you can start putting your poem together to reflect your theme or express your sentiment. Start by free-writing about some of the word combinations you came up with.

Magnetic Words for Copy Writers

Using random words can help copy writers come up with powerful hooks for products, services, and events. Magnetic words can also help with finding variable ways to write about a specific product.

For instance, if you’re writing copy for a car website, find ‘car’ in your box of words, and start adding other words underneath it. It doesn’t matter if you go way off track. Sometimes you find your best, most relevant ideas a million miles away from what you would expect. So, you might get the idea to write a blog post on shades of red in the car industry from placing words like ‘tomato’, ‘blood’ or ‘angry’ under the word ‘car.’ 

Magnetic Words for Authors

When you’re brainstorming ideas, magnetic words aid your thinking, which is useful when you’re trying to find the perfect opening for your novel or self-help book. They can help you think in a more unbridled, abstract fashion, which breaks the norm and gets your creativity moving. As an author, you probably find yourself trying to follow a lot of rules and standards (grammar, tropes, etc.), and you end up going down the same paths repeatedly. These industry guidelines can encourage you to rely less on creativity and more on your templates or conventions. Using magnetic words can help get you out of the box you’re thinking in, and open your mind to fresh ideas.

If you’re finding yourself stuck in your poetic, fiction, or nonfiction writing, try picking up a set of magnetic words the next time you go shopping. These tiny tools are a fantastic way to nurture your creative mind, flush any mental blocks, and have fun with language!

Categories
Fiction Nonfiction Time Management Writing

Should I create a book outline?

Now that you’ve come up with your book premise (see our post on this topic, if you haven’t), you may be wondering if an outline is your next step. You have a lot of options when it comes to creating a book outline (including not creating one at all). Here’s a quick overview of what an outline does and why you may or may not want to use one.

Point One: Outlines Take Time To Create

One downside of using an outline is that it adds to your book creation time. If you’re on an insanely tight schedule for some reason, you may shy away from creating an outline, especially if you’ve never done it before. But outlines can be created in as little as ten minutes, depending upon how detailed you want them to be. With the amount of benefits outlines have to offer, you’re likely to find that this small inconvenienceis worth the “trouble.”


Point Two: Outlines Help You Create a Cleaner First Draft


You create your book outline by considering the setting, characters, and plot points you want included in the piece. Because you have done this in list form, it is easier to see when something doesn’t make sense. An outline gives you a bird’s eye view of the plot. This allows you to recognize everything from plot holes to character inconsistencies before you even start creating the narrative. That means these mistakes never make it into your first draft (which means they won’t need to be edited out later).


Point Three: Outlines Help You Finish Your Manuscript More Quickly


When you’ve already charted the course of your writing before you get started, it becomes nearly impossible to get lost, write yourself into a corner, or feel stuck. When you remove these time-consuming issues from writing, it becomes a faster, easier, less-frustrating task. The idea of shaving hours, if not weeks, off of your writing schedule is nothing to sneeze at. You’re likely excited about the prospect of having your published book in your (and other people’s) hands. So getting to that point in the process more quickly, while increasing the quality of your work, is a win-win!

Point Four: Outlines and Synopses are BFFs

If you have created an outline for your book, you have everything you need for a summary or synopsis. Summaries and synopses are used all throughout the book promotion process, whether you’re submitting a query letter or creating a description for your product page. Because you have essentially done this up front, once you’re done writing the book, the blurb, summary, and synopsis (with a few adjustments to the wording) are pretty much complete.


In Conclusion: Should I Create a Book Outline?

The answer is “maybe.” If you’ve been finishing and publishing manuscripts at a steady pace that you’re satisfied with, as well as a level of quality that your readers appreciate, creating a book outline isn’t something that’s strictly necessary for you. If you have struggled to complete a manuscript (for example, you’ve been working on the same one for more than a year with little or no progress), I would encourage you to at least give outlining a shot. Other than taking a little extra time to develop, there’s no heinous downside to creating a book outline, and the benefits may be just what you need to finally finish your manuscript.

Categories
Books Books Fiction Nonfiction

How to Write a Book Premise

A book premise serves you throughout the writing process and works for just about any genre (a notable exclusion might be poetry).

In a single sentence you can outline the core of your book. This helps you focus on your central plot in fiction and stick to your main content in nonfiction. The formula is a simple one that works for memoirs, mysteries, self-help, children’s books, screenplays, and more: 

[somebody] wants [something] but, in order to get it, they have to overcome [some obstacle(s)].


For example:

[Red] wants [to deliver food and medicine to her grandmother’s house on the other side of the village] but in order to do that, she has to overcome [a wild, hungry wolf].

In this sentence, we know who are central character is, what they’re major goal is, and what’s standing between where they are now and where they want to be. 

More examples:

I wanted to become a doctor, but I had to overcome poverty, low academic achievement, and cancer in order to do so. [memoir]

Evelyn wants to solve her husband’s murder, but she’ll have to fight a corrupt judicial system, a two-faced detective, and her own inner demons to get his justice. [mystery / thriller]

Busy people want to write a book, but they have to manage their time, reset how they think about authorship, and bounce back from set backs if they’re ever going to succeed [self-help (The 12-Month Manuscript in specific! 😉)]

Lana wants to go on the school field trip, but she has to figure out how to get her parents’ permission since she forgot her permission slip at home and the bus leaves in ten minutes! [children’s book].



Once you’ve come up with a general idea of what you want to write about, this is the next step in solidifying your concept so you can start your outline / manuscript.

Can my book / screenplay premise involve more than one character, goal, or obstacle?

Absolutely. Some pieces are hyper-complex, to the point that if you start reading more than five pages in you’ll be completely confused. However, keep in mind that the more variables you put into play for the story, the more variables you have to manage. Increasing the number of characters, goals, and obstacles also increases the likelihood that you’ll develop plot holes. In most cases, having one of each is just fine and will be less headache for you as an author.



Can my book premise 
*gasp* CHANGE?!?!

Of course. It’s yours, after all. As you come up with new ideas, write yourself into a corner, etc. you’re able to make changes to everything from who the main character is to the kinds of obstacles standing between them and their goals. The premise is a living “document” in a sense.

If you keep up with your premise and update it as you make changes, you’ll have a carefully prepared tagline for your book that you can use on the back cover, at the top of your book description, or (if going the commercial publishing route) in your query letter. 

Categories
Nonfiction Resume

100 Essential Writer Keywords



Sorting through hundreds of resumes isn’t easy for anyone trying to fill a position. When you find yourself struggling to get hired for the jobs that you want, it helps to make sure that your best qualities are easy to find on your resume. Here are 100 words that can offer you some alternative language that may increase your chances of getting 2nd, or even 1st, interviews for writing positions.

Remember that you don’t have to try to cram all of these into your resume. Just make sure the ones that are relevant to the industry you want to work in (or the company you want to be employed by) are included. For example, if you are trying to get a job at an online retailer, you may not have an urgent need to include “Scrivener” or “press release” on your resume, though you’ll want to include words like “CTR” and “advertising” in many cases.

Academic

Accurate

Advertising

Article

Audible

Author

Balanced

Bestseller

Blog

Book

Characters

Clarity

Cloud

Comedy

Commercial

Conceptualization

Content

Copy

Copyright

Cover

Creative

CTR

Curricula

Description

Developmental

Digital

Dissertation

Documentation

.docx

Drama

DropBox

Edit

Epic

.epub

Essay

Evergreen

Facebook

Fact-based

Fact-checking

Font

Format

Google Docs

Guides

HTML

Ideation

IngramSpark

Inkitt

Insightful

Instructional

Journalism

Kindle

Lead Generation

Library of Congress

LinkedIn

Listicle

Lyrics

Magazine

Manual

Medium

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Word

.mobi

News

Newspaper

Novel

Novelette

Novella

Op-ed

Outline

Persuasive

Pitch

Playwright

POD

Poetry

Press Release

Print

Proofread

Publish

Reader

Research

Resume

Romance

Sales

Screenplay

Script

Scrivener

Self-Publishing

Short Story

Social Media

Story

Substantive

Succinct

Technical

Thesis

Topical

Twitter

Typeset

Website

WPM

Got some words you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Fiction Nonfiction

Welcome to Writerwerx

Writerwerx.com is growing every day and we want to make sure that you’re getting the knowledge and support you need to start and finish your written projects in less time, with less stress, and with more confidence.

Writerwerx Blog is where you are now. Here you will find articles about writing that will help support your craft. As a member, you will have access to the private blog posts that include more detailed information and instructions comparated to the previews, overviews, and more superficial articles available to the public.

Writerwerx University is our page for online courses to help you do everything from writing a novel to outline a self-help book to create a screenplay. We add new videos week after week, so be sure to check in regularly to see what’s new!

Writerwerx Library is our collection of files that we’ve found helpful for writers or that our members have written themselves. The text gallery offers you book samples, short stories, writing templates, and examples to help inspire and instruct you. The listening lounge provides full episodes of Author Answers as well as audio recordings of lectures and samples of audiobooks you may like. The reel room provides selected clips and supplemental videos.

Werx is our writing job board (though there is a sprinkling of other kinds of positions available as well). Here you can find a writing gig for yourself or even post a position so that you can get help for a writing project you’re working on.

Contests take place from January until September of each year and include contests for poetry, novels, and short stories. Cash prizes, award certificates and badges, and bragging rights are all on the line!

We’re glad you’re here and we hope you enjoy your membership!