Writing is an interesting process. If we were to break it down into oversimplified steps, it would look like this: 1) We normally begin with an idea or with planning, and 2) We then proceed to the action, to the actual writing.
“But it’s not that simple!” you and the voice in my head may say. And you’ve got that right, of course it isn’t that simple, and that’s why we think, plan, and learn in order to write the best story we can. Personally, I find myself stuck at the first step of the oversimplified writing process shown above. Reasons for this include procrastination and perfectionism, which are possibly the two Ps that dominate many aspects of our lives.
While stuck in the first step, I have looked through numerous resources from a variety of sources, including the likes of Tumblr and Pinterest, which are handy places to look for all kinds of writing advice. There are also plenty of helpful resources online that you can find by typing along the lines of “the best writing websites” in the search bar. Here, you need not worry about the login window popping up at inconvenient times when browsing through these platforms where you may not have an account.
The three websites I’ve shared below are the ones I have found particularly helpful in some of my writing adventures, though there are many resources out there that are too many to effectively name in a single post.
Helping Writers Become Authors
It is very likely that you have encountered K.M. Weiland and her information-packed website that aims to, as the URL and website title says, help writers become authors. Helping Writers Become Authors covers a wide range of writing topics, including characters and story structure. This resource is a gold mine, with many insightful articles accompanied with their audio versions in the form of a podcast. I’ve had the chance to read some of K.M. Weiland’s writing books, such as Outlining Your Novel and Creating Character Arcs among others. Although the blog articles are already very helpful, the books are more in-depth and are full with helpful explanations and examples that I found made the previous ideas and concepts brought up in the articles clearer and easier to understand.
A word to describe Helping Writers Become Authors would be expansive. I believe it’d be better to begin with the Start Here! page before going further down the rabbit hole.
Well-Storied, formerly known as She’s Novel, is run by Kristen Kieffer. Well-Storied is an easy on the eyes website filled with an extensive blog classified into a few categories, including storytelling, writing process, authorship, and writing life. These categories are then further broken down into subcategories such as characterisation and story structure for easy navigation. There is also, like in the case of Helping Writers Become Authors, the Well-Storied podcast where the articles are brought to life through audio and filled with actionable information and insights. It is a nice choice to listen to even when you’re busy around the house or on the way to work, as is the case with most podcasts. Besides, Kristen provides workbooks on a variety of topics, though they are paid resources.
I especially enjoyed the posts An Introduction to World-Building and Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You.
E.A. Deverell is the creator of the One Page Novel, where a story can be plotted on a single piece of paper. The Article Index is an overview of all the articles on the site, which can be great navigation when looking for something specific. Many detailed worksheets are provided. I would suggest joining the Coterie to gain access to workbooks of compiled worksheets and more interesting printables. There are so many interesting articles on this site, and the site itself is just as interesting to navigate and it reminds me of being in a rose garden with the prospect of tea waiting for me in a gazebo lit by gentle sunlight.
I love that besides the standard writing fare, E.A. Deverell also delves into mythology, such as in her article The Night-Sea Journey & How to Use It In Your Story. I also enjoyed the “technical” articles on the site, like the article The Ultimate Guide to Google Docs For Writers.
Notion Book Template
And now to move on to the Notion template! Some may know that one of my goals this year is to make an attempt to be more organised than I have ever been before through the use of Notion, which is an app that gained a lot of popularity just recently for its great suite of organisation tools and its minimalistic yet appealing appearance.
The template I’ve created has a simple layout so you can easily look for the information you want and switch between pages easily. Notion can be huge and overwhelming when you are not used to it, so this template is meant to be easy to use and consist of the main page and four other subpages. The main page contains the Overview for the book, including spaces for you to put down the book title, the author’s name, genre, and synopsis. The contents can also be found on this page. They lead to the four other subpages, which are Chapters, Characters, Locations and Miscellaneous Notes.
Each subpage/section comes with short notes to help you figure out how to fill them in so you can make a simple plan or overview for your story.
For those who are unfamiliar with how Notion works, this is a step-by-step guide for duplicating a Notion template for your personal use:
- Login to your Notion account on a Web browser
- Click on this link (which will lead you to the Notion template)!
- Click on “Duplicate”, which you can find between the search bar and Notion icon on the top right of the page
- The template should be duplicated to your Notion workspace and should appear as a page at the sidebar
This book/writing template was partly inspired by Tris @atelierwriting‘s Notion templates. It is meant to be a way to plan your story I’ve found that Rebecca Mix’s Notion templates look bright, colourful and lovely, so here’s a link to her templates!
Do you have any favourite resources for writing information and advice? If you have set up a writing resource, it’d be lovely if you could share! Do you use Notion? How do you use it/Do you have any templates or features you favour?