Writing Tools

Tools I was asked by a friend of mine, who’s interested in upping his writing game, if I had anything like a creative writing course syllabus. I had to answer in the negative. I’ve never taken a creative writing course. I’m largely self taught. Instead, I sent him some links to tools that I use. I figured that was better than a kick in the shins. They’re all tools/approaches that I’ve used in the past. Since I’d love it if everyone who touched pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards, would use them I’ll share them with you. Please leave any of your favorites in the comments.

Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet isn’t as dirty as it sounds. It breaks the traditional three act structure into manageable pieces. This link takes you to a site explaining it. There is also a link to a book by Blake Snyder that I’ve heard good things about.

EshoStClaireCvr-CSThe Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot is a formula for writing a 6,000 word pulp short story. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A formula? But no one says you have to follow it word for word. I used the essence of it for The Casebook of Esho St. Claire.

The Snowflake Method is something I’ve used for years. You don’t have to follow it religiously, but for those of you who would like to learn how to build an outline for a novel, this is probably the easiest way I’ve seen to do so.

Here are some blogs and podcasts that I use as well. Listening to and reading about how other authors do it is invaluable.

The Blood Red Pencil
Business Rusch
Killing Sacred Cows series by Dean Wesley Smith

I Should Be Writing
The Dead Robots’ Society (Full disclosure, I’m on this one.)
Get Published


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2 thoughts on “Writing Tools”

  1. Hey Scott. Thank you for mentioning Get Published. I’m glad you consider it valuable. 🙂

    I would also suggest the Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html). When you, as a writer, are stumped on the proper way to format or use something (like an ellipsis for example), it can help you along your path.

    If you are looking for actual writing tools, my go to for the actual writing is Scrivner. Cannot wait until the IOS version is (finally) available.


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