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Some of the best writer’s blogs


At the Creative Penn you'll find resources to help you write, publish and market your book.New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, voted one of The Guardian UK Top 100 Creative Professionals 2013. Also voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers and one of the Top 10 Blogs for Self-Publishers.



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Writers how-to books


Over the last few years, I've read quite a few writers how-to books. Some good, some not so good. However, one important lesson I did learn is: no matter how good the information is, if it's not laid out in a format that suits your preferred learning style, you'll struggle to put things you've learnt into action.


Bearing this in mind I highly recommend the “Teach Yourself" writers series of books. They are laid out like real courses.


The WORKSHOP METHOD is a powerful review toolkit that allows you to assess and develop the success of your writing - from your own desk.

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The most invaluable in my opinion is...

Masterclass: Writing Crime Fiction: How to create compelling plots, dramatic characters and nail-biting twists in crime and detective fiction (Teach Yourself: Writing)

This book has taught me more about writing crime fiction than anything else I've ever read.


Chapter 7 "Give us a clue," will provide you with advice about the different types of clues and about how and when to drop your clues into the narrative, without drawing too much attention to them. As you will discover, this is curiously similar to mastering a conjuring trick.


It's available through Amazon.

Writers worksheets 

(coming soon)


Based on the problems I and other crime writers I've spoken to have experienced: I've been working on crime writer resources for a couple of years, things I feel will help us to be more productive, and help to overcome nagging problems when writing complex police procedurals and murder mysteries.


Every writer has their preferred methods of plotting and writing, but as you know, keeping track of timelines, suspects, etc can be a nightmare, even with clever software like Scrivener. These worksheets will help massively with writer's block, stop you from procrastinating, and give you clear direction to write compelling scenes.


Sheets include


  • Solving a mystery

  • Creating suspense

  • Plot twists

  • Scene writing

  • Fight scenes

  • How to kill a character


And so many more

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Organizing and compiling


Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

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Dictating your book (Why typing is so bad for you)


Dragon dictation software was recommended to me around five years ago by an NHS ergonomics specialist. I've been using it ever since.


I don't think most writers realize how poor their posture is when typing, and of course how bad for you constant typing is. Many of you will know from experience PC overuse causes all kind of RSI and fine motor problems with the associated muscles.


Laptops in particular cause more strain as the keyboard reach is further, and the screen causes a hunched downward posture (A precursor to neck problems/pain).


I'd reached a point of virtual disability with the scalene muscle in my neck locking rigid all the time.


I just wish more writers would pay attention to info like this, it will not only save masses of time, but also prevent them developing a LONG-TERM debilitating RSI injury.


My first book "THE LOST HOARD" was completed entirely with DRAGON and scrivener.


Here's a great article by CAROLINE MITCHELL a very successful crime author who also knows how to tame a dragon to do her bidding!...I

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Author insights Amazons Tools & Services


Use Amazon's assortment of author tools and services – most of them free – to achieve your writing, publishing, and marketing goals.


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FREE - Ebook Covers & Marketing graphics 


Create your own FREE eBook covers and promotional graphics with canva.


A simple to use online design tool for: Facebook ads, memes, Twitter posts, blog graphics and book covers.

Word of caution


If you prefer to let a pro-designer do your cover for you, make sure you shop around for eBook cover services. I did and was alarmed at the massive disparity in prices for a decent eBook cover designer.


Some charged as much as $600.(Total rip off in my opinion) In the end I found fiverr, a freelance website where you can get anything from voice overs to marketing campaigns, and so much more done for a very reasonable price.

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Book editing software and services, and so much more


Having used several editing programs like Pro-Writing Aid, I strongly suggest you AVOID them; they are bloody awful and will create more problems through the ambiguity of grammatical rules. 


Much better to learn from, books such as "The Penguin Guide To Punctuation" or "The Chicago Manual Of Style."


Any writer wanting to be taken seriously needs to acquire the services of a professional editor.


After scouring the internet for a freelance editor for quite some time, and after much research / due diligence I concluded that it is shark infested waters! 


Unfortunately, the proven editors seem to be beyond most writers’ budget, and the non-proven (which there seems to be a lot of) should be avoided at all costs. 


However, I came across a freelancer website called Reedsy. And was pleasantly surprised at how professional, honest and proven the freelance editors and proof-readers seem to be on there.


With this in mind, I joined and submitted my work for quotes. I received quotes for a copy edit, proofread and MS assessment from 6 editors all provided extensive portfolios of their work, and more importantly, they fully disclosed their experience/CVs. Reedsy strictly vet all their freelancers.


All worked as freelance publishing consultants and editors, with years of experience working for reputable publishing companies, literary agents, authors and writers.


Having had a couple of near misses, with some of the aforementioned sharks online, I can highly recommend Reedsy. Who vet all their freelancers and only accept the best.

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