Kyle Willey

Writing Tips

As a writer, I strive to encourage other writers as they develop. I’ve always found the writing community supportive, and giving back is one of the great joys in life. This is an index of writing tips I hope will help you as much as putting it together has helped me.

This section of my site focuses on two things:

  1. My writing that I think could help people with their writing practice.
  2. Books and other materials that I recommend to both novice writers and those developing mastery.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and my links to Amazon throughout this list are affiliate links I make a cut from.

I’ve divided these resources along the four domains that I use in Herding Your Cats, my upcoming book on writing. If you’ve found something interesting (or made something interesting) that you think I should add here, please contact me using my contact form or via email!

1. Motivation

What inspires people to write? How do you even get started?

That’s the goal here.

My Posts

“Can Your Writing Change the World?” is a pep talk: you can write, and you should write!

Outside Resources

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is a tremendous source of encouragement and motivation for writers. It’s more personal than other books on writing without going too deep into biographical weeds and also has some good writer skills components.

2. Craft

How do you develop your writing and make it shine?

That is the essence of craft. It’s about not just knowing how to get a string of sentences onto the page, but how to use them to evoke an experience in your readers. Master craft, and your pen (or keyboard) will sing as you write.

My Posts

“How to Write a Compelling Antagonist” looks at ways villains can pop out of the page and into the reader’s life.

“Bridging Craft and Practice” examines how you can elevate your everyday writing by incorporating craft.

Outside Resources

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (affiliate link) by Renni Browne and Dave King is my go-to book for craft for almost any occasion. Although it’s intended for revision, I found it to be my go-to while working on my first novel and its skills help during the writing stage too! If you get one book on writing, make it this one.

Plot Versus Character (affiliate link) by Jeff Gerke is one of the best books on craft to help with the planning stage of a novel. Highly recommend.

Troubleshooting Your Novel (affiliate link) is a great resource for a lot of the technical elements of storytelling that might otherwise be easy to miss. I’ve found it to be perhaps too encyclopedic, but the upshot of that is a very broad approach.

3. Writer Skills

What do you do with what you’ve written once it’s done? How does your book make its way into the world? How do you manage to write and eat?

My Posts

The Ten Commandments of Showing Off is my quick guide to promoting yourself on social media.

Outside Resources

Stephen King’s On Writing (affiliate link) could probably go in any category, but I think it’s as good for showing what the life of a writer entails (and the various non-writing bits of the profession) as any other book. He concentrates on this in the biographical introduction and the later sections of the book in particular.

4. Follow-Through

Follow-through is about making it all come together. It’s taking all the pieces and combining them so that you have a way to keep going.

The goal is to always be writing, always be a writer. You don’t want to be a former writer.

My Posts

Becoming a Content Creation Machine focuses on the practices you need to develop in order to produce high-quality content regularly.

Outside Resources

The Power of Habit (Amazon affiliate link) is one of my inspirations for setting up my writing regimen and has some excellent advice for harnessing conscious thought to support your goals.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (affiliate link) is a splendid book for many business and networking concerns you’ll need to deal with, and can help writers seeking to orient themselves toward both large projects and writing as a career.