“I am a little pencil in the
hand of a writing God
who is sending a love letter
to the world.”
I have many writing resource books on my bookshelves and several more on my Kobo eReader. I also have some well-liked writer’s websites and blogs. I can’t possibly cover all of them in a single blog post, so I’ll focus on a few favourites that I’ve found useful in helping me to write to God’s glory.
#1 - The Holy Bible, Bible Commentaries, & Bible Concordances: I want to ensure my words faithfully reflect God’s loving message, so I regularly pray and read His Word. I search for relevant Bible verses that will help me to make my points and impact reader’s lives. I have several Bible versions on my bookshelves, the NIV, KJV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT, to name just a few. I quote verses from whichever version expresses my thoughts the best. I also consult such Bible study guides as The Bethany Parallel Commentary and The New Strong’s Concordance. I regularly visit Bible websites to quickly locate passages, like Biblehub and Biblegateway.
#2 - Elements of Fiction Writing Series by Writer’s Digest Books: This is a terrific how-to-write series that includes Nancy Kress’s Dynamic Characters and Beginnings, Middles, & Ends; Orson Scott Card’s Characters & Viewpoint; and James Scott Bell’s Conflict & Suspense and Plot & Structure, and several others.
#3 - Busy Writer’s Guides by Marcy Kennedy: Showing and Telling in Fiction, Strong Female Characters, Dialogue, How to Write Faster, and more. This series of short guides is great when you’re in the middle of writing and want a quick reference.
#4 - Grammar/Editing Blogs: Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl blog is my first go-to for answers to questions about correct grammar or punctuation. I also like the following: Grammarly Blog, Writer’s Relief, The Editor’s Blog, Jane Friedman’s blog, and C.S. (Susanne) Lakin’s Live Write Thrive. Other favourite grammar resources are The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, Coles Notes Handbook of English Grammar and Composition, Canadian Secretary’s Handbook by Collier Macmillan (A treasured 80’s holdover from my secretarial days.), and a quick little reference book, Write! Better by Ray Wiseman.
#5 - Joanna Penn’s Blog, Books, & Podcasts: Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, international speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. She’s written several self-help books for writers, including How to Make a Living with Your Writing, How to Market Your Book, and Successful Self-Publishing. Her blog The Creative Penn is a favourite among creative writers. She also has a popular podcast, The Creative Penn.
#6 - Writer’s Magazines/Newsletters: My favourite writer’s magazines are InScribe’s FellowScript (I may be just a bit biased!), the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s, Freelance, and The Writer’s Digest (along with their website).
#7 - Writer’s Organizations/Websites: InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild. Besides their quarterly magazines, both of these writers’ groups have lots of valuable information on their websites and provide great conferences, workshops, and courses for writers.
#8 - Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Quotations Dictionary: I love my well-used hardcover copies of the Oxford Thesaurus, Canadian Oxford Dictionary, and Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
#9 - Poetry Resources: Creating Poetry by John Drury, The Poet’s Dictionary by William Packard, Writing the Sacred by Ray McGinnis, and Merriam-Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary.
#10 - Writers’ Market Guides: The Canadian Writer’s Market, The Christian Writer’s Market Guide, Poet’s Market, and The Best of the Magazine Market for Writers.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the work of truth.
~2 Timothy 2:15
Photo Credits: © Nina Faye Morey