Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Diet of a Writer: What Feeds Us – Part II by Susan Tuttle

Last month Susan Tuttle's post was part one of The Diet of a Writer. I found it fascinating and I know from the number of comments many of you did as well. This month she talks about feeding our craft. So take a minute to step back and read Part II of her great post.
So last month we talked about the treats we like to eat while writing. I loved hearing everyone’s—both healthy and sweetJ Today I want to talk about how do we feed our craft? We should always be pushing ourselves to learn more about this field. Each book we write should be better than the last. How do we do that? Here’s a few ways I’ve learned:
Attend conferences. Big or small, attend a conference that has classes you can learn from. Great conferences will teach you not only new writing skills, but social media, marketing, editing, and even how to pitch to agents and editors. A few of the best conferences are:
Read/own books on our craft. Here are a few really good ones:
    • Make a Scene by Jorden Rosenfeld
    • Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (anything by him, really)
    • The Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman & Puglisi
    • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King
    • The Chicago Manual of Style
Submit to other writers
    • It is IMPERATIVE that you find a group (or even one other writer) that you trust and respect. A person who not only shares your heart for story, but who can speak the truth in love. This is the person who will help shape your story, tell you what is missing, and talk you off of a ledge.
    • Know when to listen to their voice or your gut. I follow the “Rule of Three”. One person says something, I can choose to ignore it. Two people point it out, I need to take notice and contemplate changing it. But if three people say it, then I know it needs to be changed.
Submit to readers
    • Have beta readers who can read what you believe to be your finished story. These are people who love the genre you write and are, in essence, your test audience. Have questions to ask them and openly listen to their feedback. Again apply the “Rule of Three.”
These are only a few of the ways to feed our craft. I’d love to hear what you would add to this list!
Susan L. Tuttle lives in Michigan where she’s happily married to her best friend and is a homeschooling mom of three. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire, encourage, and grow women into who God created them to be. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. You can connect with Susan at her blog,


  1. Thank you for the great ideas. :-)

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by:)

  2. I use Preferred Readers (beta readers), too, and value their feedback so much. Author Susan May Warren's annual Deep Thinker retreats are another way I feed my writing. The retreats are intensive, limited in size, and help you move ahead as a writer.

    1. Is that the retreat in Destin? It always looks like so much fun and I LOVE Destin:) Great adds, Beth!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you!! And thanks for stopping by today:)

  4. Great advice. I need to read Plot and Structure.


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