Monday, August 12, 2013

Using Blog Posts as Resources

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
I usually do all of my link sharing on Sundays, but I thought what I’d do today is to share a couple of recent links I’ve found helpful…and also share some posts that I find myself coming back to often to re-read.
Porter Anderson in his Publishing Perspectives column last Tuesday, linked to a Tumblr post by Fight Club writer Chuck Palahniuk.  In it, Palahniuk pointed out that characters who think can be dangerous. :) Thinking words need a bit of the show-don’t-tell treatment.  Palahniuk also tells why solitude is bad for our characters. Check the links for more information.
I also came across another link I found interesting yesterday, on a similar topic. Self-Editing for Everyone Part 4: The Weakeners by Bridget McKenna. This post has a nice list of filler words (and other types of pitfalls) to look out for in our writing.  I’m always careful here to note that we don’t have to eliminate all of these—but it’s helpful to go through our writing and see if we’re using these words as crutches.
Here are some older posts that I frequently refer to. I liked these posts because they offered something a little different from most writing craft posts and because they got me thinking.  Other than that…the posts have very little in common.
Acting Out (a technique for breaking acts and then adding twists, plot direction) by Lilla Zuckerman for Save the Cat!
Logline Library compiled for The Script Lab.  I somehow find this site fascinating (probably says a lot about my state of mind.) I love seeing complex stories being successfully reduced to a few words.
What do you do with favorite posts that you want to refer back to?  I use the free version of Evernote to organize my favorite tips.  I usually do a pass through them right before editing or when I feel a bit stuck. The important thing, I think, is not to get immobilized by all the good ideas—but to have them there as reference when we need them.
And I’ve got to plug Mike Fleming’s and my search engine…if you don’t want to bookmark and you’d rather search a topic when you need it, you can pull up all the posts I’ve shared on .  It’s free.
Have you got favorite posts? How do you organize them?