I’m in the thick of multiple writing projects this week, so instead of doing a proper blogpost myself today, I thought I’d share with you some blogs (and books) that I read. Some of these I first encountered years ago, others within the last few months. But each of these websites, curricula, or writing craft books have deepened my understanding of how stories work, and I know you’ll find them helpful too if you’re an aspiring writer or a reader who wants an “inside look” into the craft of storytelling.
Daniel Schwabauer’s high school writing curriculum One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) must come first because it was so formative for me as a young person. He breaks down the writing of a novel into its essential parts and walks you through the process of creating a meaningful story.
I would recommend OYAN to any teen interested in creative writing, and honestly it would be a great introduction for adults wanting to write fiction as well. Dan Schwabauer has developed other writing classes too, and the one I’m familiar with—Other Worlds, an expansion on OYAN centered on science fiction and fantasy writing—I’d equally endorse. He is an excellent teacher and writer!
Go Teen Writers is another resource I ran across as a fledgling writer in my early teens, and I can confirm that they’ve been publishing great content for the last nine years! Currently, three Christian novelists run the blog together, and they cover all kinds of writing topics: plot structure, character development, editing techniques, and much, much more. An awesome resource, especially for young writers.
Writer and educator Jonathan Rogers has published several novels and teaches writing classes, but I’ve been learning from him simply through his free weekly email newsletter, The Habit. Rogers explains the meaning behind grammar rules and sentence structure and reflects with great wisdom on the writing process. His books and classes must be fantastic, considering how clear, perceptive, and relevant his emails are! I wholeheartedly encourage you to sign up for his free newsletter, whether you’re interested in writing advice or life advice, because his wisdom applies to both. (Did I mention this email is free?)
I’ve only discovered K. M. Weiland’s blog and books in the last year or so, but, wow, have I learned a lot from her already! I love her way of approaching story structure and the writing process, and she has a treasury of insightful instruction in the years of archived posts on her website. Weiland has also published a few writing craft books, including Structuring Your Novel, Outlining Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. Highly recommend!
Jeff Gerke is an award-winning author, editor, artist, and teacher and has published several books about writing, including The Irresistible Novel, The First 50 Pages, and (the one I’m most familiar with) Plot Versus Character. Plot Versus Character examines how plot and character intertwine in good stories and takes you step by step through the process of creating a unified story from these two elements. This book has been enlightening for me, especially with regard to creating good characters, and I have no doubt Gerke’s other craft books are similarly helpful.
There you are! While there are scores upon scores of other websites and books out there that teach principles of good writing, these are a few of the resources that I personally have found useful. I hope you can use them as well!