Where do you go to for writing help?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to live in a bookshelf? That way, we could just lay a page of “Writing for Dummies” over us when we go to sleep and the writing help we need would magically be absorbed in our brains through some kind of osmosis. BTW, this is a picture of the Kansas City Public Library. Cool, huh?

So, dear friends, and fellow scribblers, on this Writing Wednesday, I ask y’all: Where do you go for help with your writing? Do you, in fact, head to your local library to check out books on the craft? Do you take the occasional continuing education class on creative writing? Do you belong to a critique group? Attend an annual conference? Ply your muse with promises of fanciful things?

I have done several things to help with my writing. I hired an editor, Mark Graham, of Mark Graham Communications, to act as a sort of “writing coach” when it came time to edit my latest thriller, The Brink. The difference his impact made on my writing was monumental. Not only did he help me cut about 200 pages from the manuscript, but that exercise helped me tighten up my writing. I’ve also taken continuing education classes on subjects such as dialogue and suspense. While I have yet to find the time in my schedule to attend a regular critique group, I did attend this year’s DFW Writers Conference and gain tons of knowledge, not so much on the craft of writing, but the marketing side using social media (which is just as important for our writing careers).

Perhaps the most unconventional thing I do to get writing help is to ask my readers what they disliked most about the book. While out promoting The Brink, I’ve made several appearances at book clubs and I simply ask the question, “What didn’t you like about it?” To a person, the biggest problem was the introduction of so many characters right up front. Some people even had to make a list to keep them all straight. That is definitely something I will watch out for with future books.

But back to you. Where do you go for help? Have an example of how that has helped you? To the keyboards!

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author. Bestselling author Sandra Brown recently had this to say about Mark’s latest novel, The Brink: “[The Brink] is a hell of a read. The chemistry between [the main characters] Danny and Sydney is terrific. The action sequences were heart-pounding, and I was left feeling that you have a sequel in mind!” Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at www.markfadden.com.

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