So you think you have to spend thousands of dollars on books and classes in order to learn how to write? Well, you probably will over the years, but there are also some great free resources you can use right now to either get yourself writing kick-started for the first or 400th time. Here’s a selection of some awesome free writing resources I’ve found:
Writer’s Digest Free Downloads: http://www.writersdigest.com/free
Including blogging to setting deadlines to plagiarism to grammar rules for novelists, there’s a lot of great information here, for FREE. Most of these are excerpts from Writer’s Digest books on writing, but they’ve got some excellent books on writing so jump right in!
10 Universities Offering Free Writing Classes: http://education-portal.com/articles/10_Universities_Offering_Free_Writing_Courses_Online.html
Note: A lot of these are geared towards academic writing, but there are some fiction courses here. Some of these are youtube videos of classes while others seem to be online classes. I haven’t tried any of these, but it looks pretty neat. If you have done any of these courses, please let me know what you thought in the comments.
My only caveat for any and all classes is try out new techniques and approaches, but don’t take anything as gospel. Otherwise you end up like me when I first began writing, starting every fiction piece with a dead body on the floor because that’s how you hook the reader… One of my favorite writing professors often says (paraphrased), “There are no rules for writing. There only the rules you find for yourself, but every writer, once finding her rules will then cheerfully and from the best place work to hammer them into everyone as though they are ‘the rules.’”
10 Amazing Free Writing Courses: http://freelancefolder.com/10-amazing-free-online-writing-courses/
These are geared to the freelance writer, which you might be doing as you work on your great fiction opus, so it’s worth taking a look at.
And a grab-bag of daily writing prompts:
30 Sci-Fi Writing Prompts: http://www.justinmclachlan.com/684/sci-fi-writing-prompts/
Creative Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers: http://www.writingforward.com/writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts-for-sci-fi-fantasy-lovers
Daily Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Prompts: http://www.promptinspiration.com/category/writing-prompts/science-fictionfantasy/
Writing Prompts That Don’t Suck: http://awesomewritingprompts.tumblr.com/
And here’s my personal favorite:
I’ve been doing Nanowrimo almost every year (I took a year off in Japan) since I read Chris Baty’s Book “No Plot, No Problem” years ago (I don’t remember how many, but at least six). The best thing about Nanowrimo is you can do it any month of the year (though in November, you get the fun of doing it with a whole world of writers). Not only have I written four and a half novels through Nanowrimo, it has really given me a different relationship with my prose. I’m not so wedded to creating the perfect sentence or even chapter, but instead I understand that the book has to be finished before you can edit it. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if you’re in a rut, it’s a fun, high intensity way to kick yourself out of it. Most of Nanowrimo is volunteer organized with forums and local events in your area. I’ve met some wonderful friends all over the world doing Nanowrimo. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it, and all it costs is time and a clean house :)
So here’s some weapons for your arsenal! Check it out, put your butt in the chair and get that writing in gear!