Where to go to learn


New Member
Jun 13, 2019
So I've had formal writing training. Did my degree in it and everything. Thought I was pretty good, wrote something, sent it off to an editor.
It got ripped apart. Not that I'm bitter, it was a good thing it shows I still have a long way left to go. So I'm here to ask for directions.

Where did you guys go to find resources to become better writers? What worked? What didn't? Are there groups I should be looking at?
Please, give me some advice on where to go to fill my head with writing knowledge.

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
Where did you guys go to find resources to become better writers? What worked? What didn't? Are there groups I should be looking at?
Please, give me some advice on where to go to fill my head with writing knowledge.
Books such as Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer and Save the Cat by Blake Snyder do a great job of explaining the tools for a writer.

Unfortunately, the only way to get good with tools is to use them regularly and in different ways, over a period of years, in order to develop your skills with them.

Criticism is good, though - only by knowing where you went wrong can you look to avoid such mistakes in future.


Juliana Spink Mills. "No capes!"
Jun 28, 2012
Connecticut, USA
I don't think you're ever done learning...

That said: By writing, and then writing some more. Different things, different stories, perhaps even different genres. By opening yourself up to critiques by other writers, and critiquing other people's work in turn (I've learnt so much just from being forced to look at someone else's work critically!!). Be willing to actually listen to what is being said about your work — so many people ask for critiques but are not really willing to do this. Keep going. Don't give up.

The stuff I'm writing today is much better than what I was writing 5 years ago. I hope that the stuff I write 5 years from now will be even better. Be willing to accept it's a never-ending process.
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The Big Peat

Darth Buddha
Apr 9, 2016
Most of what I've learned about writing, storytelling, and ideation, I've learned from:

A) Conversations here and on other forums and with other writers I met on them.
B) Reading articles posted on here (or found on Twitter)
C) Reading books on the subject

That's in order, but they should all come behind actually doing the writing and the stories and the ideas and showing them to people and talking about what's going right and wrong with them. And most of the people I showed them to, I found on forums.

Now - disclaimer - writing groups of people you meet in real life will probably do a better job if you find the right one. But there's no guarantee of that. And there's no reason you can't supplement one with t'other.

Steve Harrison

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2014
Sydney, Australia
The key for me was developing the ability to assess my own work objectively and not take criticism personally. Both were difficult obstacles to overcome, but very liberating once I saw my work as separate to myself. This means I can see when my writing is not up to scratch, but doesn't mean I know how to fix it!

I have never been one for writing groups or writing books or writing tuition, as I like to figure everything out on my own. I write and read and think about writing, and let time take care of the rest.


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2018
Do you know why wages for fresh graduates are lower than the rest of the people in the same line of business? Because they don't have experience.
Courses in school and university cannot cover the reality of the job you try to do. They are sampling cases and teach you about what happened in the past and hopefully build a solid foundation for the future.
The same is for writing, you need experience. You can get that by writing and expose it to complete strangers (getting positive votes from family and friends worth nothing) and by reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading... until you get thick glasses.

So yeah, you can look for the perfect blueprints in libraries or on the internet, sound advice from celebrities, but until you write you will not know which one apply to you and which one is a piece of sh*t.


Member and remember
Mar 25, 2013
Juliana has the right recipe.
1. Write complete stories, all the time.
2. Share those stories with critique groups, beta readers, editors.
3. Join critique groups yourself and become a beta reader.
4. Avoid writing enumerated lists.

1. because you need all the raw material you can get.
2. because you are your own worst editor (we all are)
3. because you need to become a less worse editor, to save your beta readers the work
4. :)