With Marilyn Forsyth
|Image courtesy of Giphy|
Writers all have a favourite craft book (or two, or ten *grin*) that has helped us along our journey towards publication. Here are the faves of the Breathless group.
The book I've chosen is The Mental Game of Writing by James Scott Bell.
Writing is a mental game (goodness knows my muse often refuses to play fair) but Bell breaks it down into manageable chapters, covering topics such as Burn Out, Stress, Inspiration, Speed, Envy, and many more. He gives some great advice and warns of the many pitfalls a writer can fall into. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and will refer to it when necessary.
If you are a perfectionist writer (I’ll admit to being one of those), always editing and re-editing in search of the perfect word/s, and you want to break out of that never-ending cycle I recommend this reference book to teach you how to silence your inner critic and let your muse embrace creativity so you can get on and write the book!
Inspired Writer: How to Create Magic with Your Words by Bryan Hutchinson reveals in an easy-to-read format how to embrace your creative side and embrace it with a passion that will not let you go as you write. Wonderful, helpful advice.
Writing Screenplays That Sell: The Complete Guide to Turning Story Concepts into Movie and Television Deals by Michael Hauge is my favourite writing craft book. Even though this book is written for the screenwriter, it works for writers in all genres. In it, Hauge (screenwriter of some of the best Hollywood movies of all time) details not only how to develop your story but also how to emote it, make it believable, and how to make viewers/readers absolutely love it! His 3 act structure makes it all so simple. Check out his website Story Mastery for more tips and tools.
Michael’s website: http://www.storymastery.com/
The Art of Romance Writing by Valerie Parv is my favourite "how to" book. Valerie begins with a spirited defence of Romantic Novels then goes on to summarise some of the diversity within the genre. Her clear, articulate, engaging writing style enables her to impart important information while empowering her readers.
I love Writing Romance by Vanessa Grant. She manages to make everything seem simple and clear about romance writing, and gives excellent suggestions and tips. This one was published some years ago, but it still resonates with me. She gives examples from her own work that illustrate every point. She talks about everything from planning your book to selling it, and also explains the romantic sub-genres. Everything here to make a start, then continue on writing to fulfil your dreams!
I like Editing Made Easy by Bruce Kaplan.
This book is a practical guide for writers and editors. It explains adjectives, turning nouns into verbs, words to avoid, how to avoid word confusion, punctuation, plural traps, getting to the point, and also gives an editing checklist for when polishing your manuscript. English classes were a while ago so this book serves me in that it is a reminder of the basic rules of writing.
Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook is a brilliant writing course in a book. He covers Character Development, Plot Development and General Story Techniques with a stimulating exercise at the end of each chapter. I particularly like his 22 steps to create a book outline. It’s suitable for writers with either a work-in-progress or a completed manuscript. (PS: Although it’s an adjunct to Writing the Breakout Novel, you don’t need to have read it to gain from the workbook.)
Do you have a favourite writing craft book? At Breathless we're always on the lookout for great books to add to our professional library so please feel free to add your favourite craft book in a comment.
Love to Love receiving my first sales statement from Harlequin MIRA. HUGE thanks to all my lovely readers!
Love to Laugh at Halloween creativity.
Love to Learn about Making Facebook My Friend with Sarah Hood (an RWAus OWL course). Sarah has a wealth of knowledge about marketing and the course was very helpful. Follow this link to her website http://www.marketing4writers.net