Here a just a few things that I have found very helpful with writing novels and short stories:
- I love photography! And I find the invaluable when writing, especially since any good writer knows that you have to be able to draw the reader in to keep their attention. And my pictures help to have something to go back to in order to describe the elements of a scene or even give me ideas for a setting. I am fascinated by Native American history and Indian ruins, so I have hundreds of pics from various places that I use to describe scenes in my book. I also take pics of signs describing local plant life and what uses for those plants. That has already helped me in the beginning of my second novel, which takes place north of Flagstaff in Sunset Crater/Wupatki National Monument.
- Consider picking up free quides or purchasing inexpensive books that explain the plant life, geology, history of the area to make your writing much more interesting and fact-based. Amazon.com has many used books that are in great condition, yet you can get them for less than half of what they sell for.
- Join local creative writing groups and/or organizations pertaining to your areas of interest. For example, I am a member of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime and the Arizona Archeological Association because I focus on paranormal thrillers that take place in and around Indian ruins.
Hope some of this has been helpful! Good luck with your writing journey!