As a writer I’ve got pages and pages of bookmarked websites and a few writer groups I can go to with questions. I’ve also got a couple of books that get pulled off the shelf depending on what stage of creating I’m in.
But the one reference I consult the most? I wish it were something cooler, like Vivien’s popular science works she uses, or KAK’s Deviant Art obsession (which is totally valid). But for me, it’s a basic:
Go ahead. Laugh. I know I sure do.
It never fails, I'll be cruising through my WIP and someone or something has to put someone or something down. And then my brain goes into second-guessing mode. I try to rely on my gut and keep going, but inevitably I’ll end up clicking on my bookmarks folder to re-read through Grammar Girl’s tips.
Which, I believe, brings about a good point. As all of us SFF Seven-ers have pointed out—there are GOBS of writing resources out there! You can find a book or post on every topic I can think of and then some! You can throw yourself into research and never surface.
if you don’t have the basics—
your writing will never accomplish what you want it to
But if you don’t have the basics, like knowing when to use lay and lie, your writing will never accomplish what you want it to and all of the time, effort, and sometimes money, you sink into the other resources is worthless. It’s like, if you want to be able to do a handstand you can’t just jump right to Adho Mukha Vrksasana. First you need balance, strength, endurance, flexibility, concentration and then you’ll be able to nail a handstand during your yoga practice.
Back to the writing angle though, there’s a lot of aspects I want to get better at, and thankfully I’ve got Grammar Girl to help. So tell me, what basics do you struggle with? Comma use? Past and present tense switches? Go ahead, lay it on me!