An author attended a fan conference and was asked to sit on a panel about how to become a published author. The others on the panel talked about developing a brand, creating a web presence, marketing themselves. When it got to the author’s turn, she sighed and looked at the crowd and the rest of the panel.

“If you want to be a published author, you need the best possible story you can write. Nothing else matters if you don’t have that story.”

Writers and writer’s advice have been around as long as stories. The archetypes and tropes we use exist for a reason. They work. But the idea of a writer sitting in their lonely garret pounding out the next great novel, is only another trope, not reality. It takes a team to create a great story.

First of course, you need to write the story, and it helps when you are writing if you understand a bit about how stories work. K.M. Weiland has a blog Helping writers become authors. If you want to learn story structure, how it works and why it is important, you will want to bookmark her site.

I have some articles of my own on my editing site, both on some of the technical aspects of writing, but also some tricks to edit your own work. Self editing will only take the polish on your story so far. That’s where hiring an editor to help comes in. I offer content editing, and I have links to other editors who do copy editing, proof reading, and content editing along with some suggestions about how to hire an editor.

While reading blogs is great, sometimes a video can open our eyes in a way the printed word can’t Trope Talks is a playlist of videos on the ‘Overly Sarcastic Productions channel. They are not only very useful breakdowns of specific tropes, but entertaining.

Mythcreants is another blog with a number of writers submitting. If you want to stay out of trouble with problematic tropes, you’ll want to check them out. They also answer questions, and other editing and other author services.