Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!


Plot Whisperer ImageI have found that using a book called “The Plot Whisperer” a tremendous aid in the steps I needed to take to move forward in my novel.  I have never really been a person to write using “plans”.  I am a pantser for the most part. I sit down and find that the words create images on the page and I don’t always know where it will end up.  No doubt that is good for somethings, but when you are trying to write a novel it can lead to many re-writes of scenes as you often find that you need to change something you previously had down to make other scenes work.  This can lead to, at least for me, thinking I need to completely start over and allow myself to give up on the current project.  I have several stalled novels to show this frustration.  It has been interesting for me to work my way through this book and the accompanying workbook and see that I actually really like the idea of plotting.  It is fluid enough to allow my creative mind to line up with my logical voice.  I am able to move scenes and thoughts around on the plot line and make tweaks before I spend hours reading and getting discouraged with re-writes that lead to me giving up.

The next thing I have done is joined the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.  It is not open to the public year round but here is the link to keep an eye on it, so if as a writer you need real support and encouragement sign up, it is worth the $37/month or if you can swing it an annual payment of $370 a year (saves you a few months of fees.)

Another very helpful site I found is Scribophile, it has free and paid membership.  The paid membership seems to benefit a writer that is serious about his or her career.  The casual writer can easily get by with the free membership.  I will say this, I love to read and critique (probably would have been a great editor) people’s work and give honest and detailed feedback.  I think this site affords me this fantastic opportunity.  I think we learn a lot about writing by reading other’s work.  I know I do!

Another great site for the writers out there that I stumbled upon during a webinar.  Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus this site is great for a writer, student anyone looking for just the right word.  Again, they have a paid and unpaid membership.  I got the paid membership because it was inexpensive but the site is one of my favorites while I am writing.

Another great find I am going to share about a set of reference books I find absolutely priceless in the usefulness.  The first one I purchased was “The Emotion Thesaurus” there is an entire series of books from this author/group. The Emotion Thesaurus cover


  • The Positive Trait Thesaurus
  • The Negative Trait Thesaurus
  • Urban Settings
  • Rural Settings
  • Emotional Wounds

All of these books will strengthen your writing especially when it comes to the magic that is “Show don’t Tell” mantra.

Finally, Writer’s Digest is filled with thousands of resources and books from individuals at the top of the field.  I have found that while I find Writer’s Digest to be a necessary evil, sometimes I am overwhelmed by the business of writing and that site discourages me greatly.  So much talk about agents, queries and the like just make me feel like it is impossible for someone like me to get a book published.  I don’t think that is what they are going for, but I find the magazine and the site to be just that.

I love what I read in the magazine and often am shocked at just how little I know.  I think for now I will just write my stories and worry about the business end of writing when the time comes.  I will add, my experience with customer service has been lacking.  It has been almost a year and they have yet to resolve missing issues, issue.

That’s all for today.






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