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On this page will be an accumulated list of links to valuable resources and articles to assist a fledgling writer in developing their craft through all of the stages from designing, plotting, drafting, editing, shopping, publishing, and marketing their work.

Disclaimer: We don't get any compensation from any of the links below for placing their links here. They either show up here because we've used them, or researched them a bit and gotten some positive feedback about them from writers, editors, artists, etc. in the business that we rub shoulders with.

Support Groups
I don't know if writing is an addiction, but if it is, there are certainly a lot of support groups available for the addicts. see the links below for good communities for writers.
Science Fiction Writers of America
Writer Beware
The Lost Genre Guild

There are generally seven phases to creating a novel. If you are on this page, you've probably already taken some of these steps, perhaps even all of these steps more than once. Those phases are:
Designing, Plotting, Drafting, Editing, Formatting/Artwork, Publishing, and Marketing.

I go into much more detail on these phases, from a Christian Writer's perspective, on my Write Advice blog, which is currently a WIP.

How and what you publish determines how those stages get split out. The Average Aspiring Author thinks the writing journey plays out a little bit like the following:

Notice that the majority of the time involved is spent in Drafting the work. I've spoken with some aspiring authors who thought on the front end, that if they participated in NaNoWriMo they would have a book others would buy on Dec 1.

However, it usually goes like THIS for Traditional publishing:

In Traditional publishing, note that it takes about three times as long, or longer, to edit your work as it does to write it, if you did a significant amount of groundwork designing and plotting. And even longer to get the work published. I spent one month writing my first 100,000 word novel, and two years editing and revising. Then I spent about five years pursuing traditional publishing. Granted, I wasn't very aggressive.

It goes about like THIS for self-publishing:

You still spend about three times as long editing as writing. Cleaning up the draft, revising, checking for inconsistencies, evaluating pacing, attribution, POV. Grammar problems. Getting Beta Readers. There is a LOT that goes into editing, if you want your book to be a good experience. More about that on the Editing pointers page.

Note that in Self-Publishing, you have to handle your own artwork, or get it jobbed out. (Cover Art, at least). And marketing. Lots of that.

Below are links and separate pages to give you information on each of those stages. If you happen to know of other links that need to be here, send an email to chris [dot] solaas [at] yahoo [dot] com with a link, and an explanation as to where it fits in this list, and why.

In this stage you are just trying to get your head around what it is you want to say, who you want to say it to, and how you want to say it. The link below will help take you from a basic premise to main plot points to a fully plotted book.
Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method

After you have the basic premise, and the major plot line, it's a good idea to organize your plot linearly, landing eventually in a chapter-by-chapter outline, with a character sheet for each major character (Main Character(MC) or Protagonist, and Antagonist/Villain, supporting cast).
I do this using Excel. I create a worksheet for my main plot points, then a second one for character information, then a third tab that works out to a chapter-by-chapter plot. (I also have additional tabs for languages, settings, scenery, etc.

If you are looking for some pointers from a recognized expert check out James Scott Bell's book below. I've read it and it did help me some.
Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

The premier site to force you to write a book in a month. The book-in-a-month club.

Just because you self-publish your book is no excuse for it not being a quality piece of work (that wasn't tongue in cheek, by the way). The draft version of your book is a far cry from being ready to sell, or even give away. I'd recommend you self edit your book first, then get a fellow author you trust to recommend whether it needs some 'professional help.'

Preditors and Editors -
The Editorial Freelancers Association publishes a chart of going editorial rates. It is a good place to join if you are a Freelance Editor, and a good place to shop for an individual to edit your work.

This is a good site that gives you information on sending out query letters, publishers to beware of, etc.

Here is a site that gives you other options to get your book reviewed. It's a comprehensive list of websites that review indie books.
Here are some Christian Review Sites that sometimes accept Indie authors. They do accept well-written secular (i.e. not CBA) material (Note, MG/YA only)


  1. Thanks for this as I hone my writing skills. I found writers Digest quite helpful also. I am hoping to be an Indie reviewer shortly.

    1. Thanks Eleanor! Glad it was helpful. I also have another blog, that I'm blogging more in detail on this process for a Christian Writer.

  2. Is there any source for finding beta readers or plotting experts? I am in the middle of writing my second novel, a Christian family-life fiction. Thank you.