Resources for Writers

Ah, writing. The thrill of characters coming to life in your head; the excitement of figuring out how to resolve a thorny plot problem; the rush of elation when the first draft is finished; the deep satisfaction when at last you have an edited and polished novel...

Yeah, and then you decide to try and get published. Rejection, nail-biting waits, seemingly endless flaming hoops to jump through...if you're not careful, you can end up feeling like this:

But much like mountain climbing, if you're stubborn enough to keep trudging onward, the elusive goal gets ever closer. And when you do get a request off a query, or an email asking for a full manuscript, or that offer of representation from an agent...then you feel more like this:

But for those battling in the trenches, here are some links I found helpful and/or inspirational along the way:

Links for the Aspiring Author

  • Absolute Write Forums
    These are the best and most active forums for writers that I've yet found on the net. A great site for everyone from the total newbie to the published pro.
  • Backspace
    You have to pay a minimal fee to access the Backspace forums, but they are an excellent source of information. Lots of great posts from members on the submission process, how they got their agents, how to publicize your book, etc.
  • Agent Query
    Want to find out which agents represent your genre, and how they prefer to be queried? This is your site.
  • Query Tracker
    Want to find out how fast agents are responding to queries and/or submissions? This site collects and displays statistics about response times, in addition to providing all kinds of neat services like query tracking. I've found the user comments on each agent's main page very useful and interesting, as well. You have join to see all this stuff, but it's free.
  • Agent Turn Around LJ Community
    Another great way to find out agent response times.
  • Author! Author! (Anne Mini's Blog)
    Anne's posts tend to run long and not all of her advice is applicable to genre writing, but she covers topics related to agent hunting and the publishing process in great detail.
  • Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
    I attended the RMFW Colorado Gold conference in September 2008 and had a great experience. I learned a lot and it was really inspiring to meet so many other writers. I also was lucky enough to get hooked up with an awesome critique group. You know how people say feedback from a serious critique group is more precious than gold? They are so right. I can't believe how helpful it's been, and how much I've already learned from the critique process.

Agent Blogs

Agents who blog deserve a special place in heaven. It makes the query process so much easier when you can read all about them and find out their likes/dislikes. Better yet, many of them give excellent advice on querying and the entire publication process. There are many agent blogs out there, but these are the ones I've found most useful and interesting: