If you’d like to improve your writing, we’ve got you covered — from working on your craft to harnessing the power of the community.
Whether you’re counting words all the way to 50,000 for National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) or just blogging at your own pace, we know you have a story to tell. (Fiction? Nonfiction? Who cares — a good story’s a good story.) And we’re here to help. From neat, less-known features to time-tested writing advice, here are some writing resources you’ll find here at WordPress.com.
Prepare the perfect canvas
- Your site’s design sets the tone for your audience (so you might want to reconsider that baby-blue background for your neo-noir steampunk novel). Above all, though, your text needs to be easy to parse — so check out our recent posts on choosing the right font and maximizing your posts’ readability.
- If your writing projects are the main focus of your site, you might want to shop around for a theme that’s particularly text-friendly. Luckily, we’ve already rounded up some of the best available themes for writers.
Make your site work for your project
- Many writers crave feedback before they publish the latest chapter of their memoir, romance novel, or illustrated history of the cronut. Which is where password-protected posts come in handy: share the password with a trusted friend or a fellow blogger whose writing you admire, and let them spot those pesky typos and awkward transitions first. (If you happen to be writing an illustrated history of the cronut, do share your password with me! Pretty please?)
- Waiting for your masterpiece to come out as a bound volume (or even an ebook) can sometimes take a while. If blogging got you hooked on the power of the “Publish” button, have no fear: you can actually use your site as a platform to publish a book-form work. Alternatively, if all you need is the ability to present certain posts in chronological order (by default, your blog displays them in reverse-chronological order), there’s a neat trick to achieve that.
Polish your craft
- To work on one’s writing is to tackle a never-ending series of small, shape-shifting, interdependent details. Which is why sometimes, zooming in on one thing can be extremely productive. So choose what you’d like to work on today: how about your descriptions? Using repetition to your benefit? Avoiding too much detail? Excising adverbs or even your entire first sentence? Or Creating suspense?
- There’s nothing wrong with more general advice, of course. Learn from the wisdom of seasoned bloggers or explore ideas on how to inject more life into your fiction (or into your nonfiction, for that matter).
- If these aren’t enough, just check out our full archive of posts on the craft of writing.
Tap into the wisdom of (the blogging) crowds
- The WordPress.com blogging community is full of accomplished writers, editors, and others with deep knowledge of the writing and publishing process. If you’d like to learn more about the freelance writer’s life, for example, be sure to read this in-depth discussion with three published authors. Or get inspired by bloggers explaining what drives them to keep on writing.
- For the NaNoWriMo participants out there, we’ve chatted with five writers about making the most of the event (and of blogging about it) as well as about finding an audience for your work.
- There are many experienced bloggers focused on giving solid writing advice — from Kristen Lamb (whose latest post, in time for NaNo, is on the merits of writing quickly) to Daniel Wallace, who often dives into the nitty-gritty of the craft in his engaging (and thoughtful) posts.
- Finally, sometimes the best piece of advice (or encouragement) might come from a complete stranger. So do visit our weekly Community Pool posts, which are forums where you can solicit peer feedback on your latest piece of writing. (Of course, giving back — in the form of reading, commenting, or advice-giving — is something we always encourage.)
What did we miss? What are some of your favorite writing resources? Let us — and your fellow writers — know in the comments.