In honor of the first day of Camp NaNo 2012 - June Edition, I thought I'd include a post about writing. (I guess it would have made sense to do this a week ago, but ah well.)
In general, I feel like writing is such a different experience for everyone that I don't follow/read any writing blogs--one person's "sure fire plan for successful novel writing" might be completely useless to someone else, and everyone's creative process is different. But last year before NaNo, a friend introduced me to storyfix.com, Larry Brooks' blog about fiction writing, and I found a lot of things to which I could relate (once I waded past thick layers of blowhardiness). You can subscribe to receive the posts via email.
Here are the posts from last year about preparing for NaNo, so you can go through them all if you'd like: http://storyfix.com/category/nanowrimo/page/4 (you have to start at the bottom up because they're ordered newest to oldest). If you read all of those, you'll probably cover all the most useful stuff he has to say about writing.
[Clicky for links and more of my rambling....]
Here are the ones that I think are most helpful:
A list of posts related to his idea of the "Six Core Competencies." This is one of his big ideas, and it holds a lot of worth.
The "beat sheet" writing tool. I am not a full-on "pantser" when it comes to writing (a pantser is someone who writes by the seat of her pants with no outline or plan), but I'm not a tidy outliner, either. I usually have an idea of the beginning, middle, and end with some of the most important events thrown in, but no drilled-down details of every little second. I would love to be an outliner, and for the few stories I have outlined, I've seen a big difference in how the story comes together. Unfortunately, that's just not how my head really works. So this Beat Sheet thing he has is useful because it gives me a way to get down some of my ideas in an organized format before I start writing, without forcing me to outline every tiny detail.
A little about story planning.
A bunch of good advice wrapped up in a single post.
A cool poster to use to help you plot and plan (this is a PDF download).
He's published a bunch of this in book format, too. A girl in my writing group had the book with her earlier this week, and I thumbed through it. It looks like it's pretty much what he has on the website minus some of the pompous nonsense, which might make it worthwhile.
If writing is your thing, particularly if you're a NaNo kindred spirit (NaNo's what first got me writing back in 2007), I hope you find some of these useful! :)