The Resource Café

Want to go deeper in your writing craft? We've rounded up a collection of our favorite writing resources to help you on your journey. All books can be found on

Write Great Fiction: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

In this book, James Scott Bell takes prospective authors on a journey through their novel. While it's not a book to delve into every nuance of the craft, he takes you through some of the most common struggles in writing. Creating a captivating story, characters that have depth and breadth and breathing life into a story that wouldn't have a chance without it.

Laid out in a very clear, concise format, peppered with visuals and explanations, Plot and Structure is a must read for any author looking to work kinks out of their writing.

The Complete Guide to Writing and Selling the Christian Novel by Penolope J. Stokes

This is by far my most favorite of resource books on my shelf to date. Dr. Stokes walks the perspective author through every single step of the writing process. From conception to birth of a truly marvelous story. The first time through I was new to the craft and I learned so much, but it wasn't until the second round that I realized how much had gone over my head the first time. Great examples from Christian fiction and straight to the point, easy to understand information, this book will quickly become your "go to guide" for everything you need to know in short, snappy information bites that are perfect for the moment. Though she doesn't go in depth with everything she covers, she reminds of the most important and guides you to the "write" path.

From the Inside Out...Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in YOU! by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck

This is a great work book in my opinion. Filled with simple, straight to the point facts, Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck have given clear directions on how to write a best selling novel. With their own terms and definitions for the aspects of a novel we all love, they make learning unique and fun.

I found the worksheets a great resource and helped impress the knowledge I needed to write my novel. They walk you through every step. From the first, "Big Bang" sentence to the lovable, fallible characters, to the ending and the "Black Moment". With practical examples from movies you have probably seen, it brings learning how to write a novel up close and personal. I found it to be a great resource.

American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) is the resource you need to invest in if you are serious about your writing. This is a Christian organization and they want to see you publish your novel. You can sign up for free workshop/ classes done online, have access to previous taught classes, join a critique group, make friends, but the best part of all is that they are over 2,000 members strong. Join in the on loop and get any writing related question answered. They are ready, willing and able. To join is reasonable and inexpensive, $50 for the first year and $40 after that. If you are a member, you get discounts for their annual conference, the largest in today's Christian industry. By being a member of ACFW, editors and agents are going to view you as a serious writer. By far, ACFW is the best resource you will ever invest in. I suggest you check out their website today!

Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors by Brandilyn Collins

I had heard a great deal about the merits of this book and when I finally got to it, I wished I had picked it up ages ago. It is a clear and concise look at how to take characters deeper. Understand their motivations, their thought process, how to make body language, dialogue and past history play into making them a true three dimensional character.

Within this book I found information that I found invaluable to take my characters to the next level, for them to become real and jump off the pages of my novel and into the reader's heart. Brandilyn Collins doesn't wax poetic about what she is teaching. It is straight forward and packed with so much helpful information it will need to be read over and over again.

I would recommend this book to any writer, it is truly the best book you need to invest in when shopping for your self help shelf.

Susan May Warren started a Ning network for her My Book Therapy group. This group is free to join and has several hundred members. Every Monday they have chat on line for some aspect of the writing craft. If you miss the chat, they have transcripts available and every week they send out a prayer for the "Voices" which has turned into the highlight of my week and a huge encouragement for me.

I have learned valuable information while listening on the chats and on one chat got some helpful information from another chat member that helped me plot my current WIP. Click on my badge or the link below to learn more. Fill out the form attached and membership should be granted. I am grateful I joined. It is wonderful to be surrounded by other people who understand what you are going through on your writing journey.

Visit MBT Voices

Deep and Wide by Susan May Warren

With an expertise and a straight forwardness that brings the lessons she is teaching clear and easy to understand, Susan May Warren's latest book on writing is a must read for those who are pursuing the craft of writing.

Carefully taking you through ways to make your fiction stronger, deeper and wider for the reader, this book explains killer ways of strengthening your fiction. I grew and learned while reading this book. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me valuable information to make my fiction better and stand out characters that will not soon the mind or thoughts of a reader.  I marked my copy up with a pink highlighter and plan to go over it again very soon while editing my next manuscript. If you have written a book and want to know how to make it "larger than life" you need to read this book! It is a valuable resource.

The Writer's Alley isn't the first blog to encourage readers and writers along their story journies. In fact, The Writer's Alley took root as a 'daughter' blog from the fabulous writing site, Seekerville. To gain encouragement, insight, fantastic writing information, and just plain fun, check out the gals at Seekerville.