FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/09/13

5 GREAT WRITING SITES: NONFICTION FINDS

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Hello, Gentle Reader.

This week on FRIDAY FORAGE I’d like to focus on the fiction that isn’t–the world of nonfiction. While I have written nonfiction in the past, this blog included, my focus is primarily writing fiction. However, my fiction has benefited from the countless writing references that guide me in the craft. My renewed love for nonfiction about anything on how the brain works is also fascinating.

Nonfiction tells stories in a different way. There’s still a beginning, middle, and end. It can be anything from a memoir to a textbook, a biography to a newspaper. Thanks to Patti Hall who gave me the idea of getting to this important round-up sooner than later. The FRIDAY FORAGE series is all about writing, inspiration, and all things creative. Nonfiction definitely has a home here. Patti, this blog post is dedicated to you and all other writers who also write nonfiction. 🙂

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1) BellaOnline: The Voice of Women

To all the guys, don’t be swayed by the header. The resource list is extensive and even has subcategories. Under Specific Topics, for example, they have links for Journalism, Radio & Television, Speechwriting, and Technical Writing. Under the General writing section, there are links to specific sites or topics, including travel writing.

The site is easy to peruse and a great place to start, especially if you know exactly what type of nonfiction you’re writing. Good stuff.

2) George Mason University’s Nonfiction Universe

Rather than regurgitating a list, I’ll just include what’s on their front page. (Mea culpa on the formatting. It wouldn’t budge.)

This site includes “links to current online publications in these nonfiction writing genres: autobiography, biographybusiness writing, essaysinterviewsjournalismliterary analysisreportsreviewsrhetorical criticismspeechestechnical writing, and weblogs(blogs). [Our] resources provide writers and writing teachers with links to writing guides, style guides, reference books online, places to publish, and writing contests.”

They also have information on their undergraduate and graduate programs at the University. Huge range of resources. I like the added feature of places to publish and writing contests. It’s like a one-stop nonfiction writing shop, without having to buy anything!

3) The DIY Blogger Net

This site is huge in the blogverse. Dino Dogan, the founder of Triberr, built this thriving community that covers the gamut of blogging life. I have to add blogging to this list because it’s such a huge part of social media and global connectivity. The fact that you’re reading this blog right now is proof. There’s so much to dig into at this site. You’re just going to have to explore it. Trust me, you’ll be there awhile.

After a few moments of clicking, you’ll realize how big this industry is. I think it is definitely fair to call blogging an industry. It’s come a long way.

4) Wayback Machine

Speaking of. Not get all 1984 on you but this is an amazing resource to have for all kinds of writers. It’s not an exaggeration to say you practically have the world at your fingertips. According to the site, they have over 240 billion web pages in the archive since 1996. That’s billion with a B. It goes as recently as a few months ago. Check back to this site in a year. Just imagine how big that number will be then. The world just got a whole lot smaller. And yet…

5) Write Nonfiction in November

If you’ve known about my writing life longer than five minutes, you know that I love all things WriMo. When I saw this site, I had to add it to the list, just ‘cuz.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. While Camp NaNo and other incarnations of WriMo show up through the year, it seems that November is prime real estate on the calendar. Well, nonfiction writers rejoice! This one’s for you. Write a nonfiction piece in the month of November and have a writing community that will take the journey with you.

What’s cool about this site is the WNFIN 10-Month Training, held from January to October. Even though it’s too late to start from the beginning (unless you like to cram), this is something to plan for next year’s challenge. Writing prompts are given out on an M-W-F schedule. Who doesn’t love prompts? Some of the best work comes from the most unexpected places.

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Alrighty. Thanks for tuning into another instalment of FRIDAY FORAGE. Writer, meet tip of iceberg. There’s so much info out there. Within each link there are loads more links. It’s Linkception!

I hope this helps all our nonfiction writers out there. Some sites you might know, some might be a welcomed surprise. All I know is that we can all benefit from sites like these.

Have a great weekend!

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FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/09/06

5 GREAT WRITING SITES: A CORNUCOPIA OF RESOURCES

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Happy September, everyone. Today we officially kick off the FRIDAY FORAGE Series with five of my go-to writing sites for a plethora of information and inspiration. These are five of many but these sites and the people who run them are simply aces!

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1) Helping Writers Become Authors

I’m a huge fan of K.M. Weiland. Both her writing reference books and fiction are great reads. Her site has an excellent collection of articles and podcasts on the craft and business of writing. She’s active in social media, as well. I’ve enjoyed and participated in her Writing Question of the Day threads on Twitter. #WQOTD gets the community talking about things like POV, voice, protagonists strengths and weaknesses. It’s a nice way to see what other writers are up to in 140 characters or less.

Her latest reference book Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story is an excellent follow-up and complementary offering to Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to SuccessI was fortunate enough to receive an ARC for the book and a review is forthcoming–my first book review for FRIDAY FORAGE. I’m just slightly under the weather at the moment dealing with a new allergy-shot regimen that leaves my eyes looking flirtatious to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or more accurately, what’s left of the losing contender in an MMA match.

K.M. Weiland is a great teacher and listener. I love authors that forge relationships with their readers. It’s something I hope to do someday soon. Excellent site and info.

2) Jordan McCollum

Jordan McCollum is another author that gives back to the writing community and she does it in a big way. She has several blog series covering different aspects of writing and also gives away free writing guides. Now, we all love free goodies, right? But this is so much better because it’s chock full of useful nuggets of writing wisdom that we can put into practice straight away. Doesn’t that just scream Double Rainbow?

She’s also great on Twitter and connecting with other writers. She shares more than just her writing life (and her recently published first novel, I, Spy. Congrats again!). It’s nice to know that writers are people, too. <<Gasp!>> I find it inspiring when I learn what other writers struggle with and celebrate on a daily basis.

3) Moody Writing

What have I called info that’s entertaining? Yes. Infotainment. When you head over to Moody Writing, you’ll understand why it was a winner for 2012 Top Ten Blogs for Writers. This site was definitely in good company. In fact, I’ve visited all of those sites at one point or another.

I know I’m not the only person who will look up a topic such as, say, character motivation, and look up at least five different sources on the topic. That is, different opinions, approaches, perspectives on the staples of storytelling. Hands-down, Moody Writing is always on that list.

4) The Other Side of the Story

Janice Hardy provides the world with a comprehensive treasure trove of writing tips and articles that run the gamut of the writing process, from conception to publication. Everything is organized for easy reference. There’s an endless supply of info, you’ll be clicking for days.

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of information. It might seem daunting at first, but once you get your bearings, it’s like having a complete writer’s manual at your clickable fingertips.

5) Savvy Authors

It’s no secret that Savvy is my virtual home away from home. I’ve shared my love for this writing community since I first began this blog back at the end of March. Workshops? Check. Articles? Check. Blog posts? Check. Forums? Check. The support and camaraderie at Savvy Authors makes it a mainstay in my writing life. I can’t say enough good things about them.

I don’t think there’s been a week that I haven’t had an ongoing workshop since I dove in back in late November last year. I’m going to wear out an old saying but seriously, my writing? Leaps and bounds. Leaps and countless bounds of improvement. One thing I can say is the writing journey never ends and you’re constantly learning. There are great people here that will help nurture your craft and help you grow as a writer.

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There you have it. Just five of my favorite writing finds. It’s a nice way to start off what I hope to be a great blog series.

If you haven’t already, I hope you take a look at each site and maybe stay awhile. Then put all that awesome knowledge back into your WIPs. You’re writing will thank you for it.

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