I’m a bit late with this post after a heavy night to ring in the new year.
After preparing all day (shopping, cooking, cleaning) for a small party for my teenagers, I slinked off to my bedroom and read Divergent until 11 pm, then fell asleep, then woke up in time to share a tepid toast of sparkling grape juice with everyone before staggering back to bed in stupor of exhaustion. I’m the life of the party!
But despite my lackluster showing this year when it comes to hard partying, I still will give a stab at those new yearly resolutions. For my writing career, I want to write better and more. And maybe take a grammar class on the side.
To help me, I’ve thinned my stacks of writing books down to a few favs. Maybe they’ll boost your writing goals, too.
To jump start a new manuscript I find myself turning again and again to The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Cowden, LaFever, and Viders.
This book helps me settle on my characters and get clues to how they interact. Think of this book as the wooden, articulated form for sculptors. It’s a basic form to pad and flesh out and make as individual as you like!
Once I have my hero and heroine (and sub-characters) nailed down, I need to figure out what’s important to them. I turn to my well-worn copy of Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon.
I had the fortune to attend one of her classes and it was fantastic. The book is just as good. She helps the author save so much time plotting by forcing the gist of the characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts. What do they want, why do they want it, and what’s going to stop them? I could not recommend this book more.
The last book that I find very helpful is The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Ackerman and Puglisi. This books is so helpful in keeping me from having pet words and phrases when describing my characters. It a habit to be dreaded and avoided at all costs.
Of course there are other books out there that are tremendously helpful, but these are the copies that keep me coming back for more–which I hope parlays into better writing and more completed novels.
And I have lots of story ideas simmering on that back burner!
What are your goals for the new year?