Tag Archives for " Recommended for Writers "
Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
Kate Walker’s 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance orients aspiring Romance writers toward Mills & Boon’s guidelines for their numerous “lines” of subgenera. This might make it a strange book for me to recommend, since I encourage up-and-coming writers–especially for Romance–to consider going Indie.
Nonetheless, studying Publisher Guidelines for Romance Subgenera is a wise move, especially if you’re just starting out. One of the problems Indie writers run into is a failure to refine their focus to win a particular readership. They make basic mistakes that would have their manuscripts tossed into a Reject pile by any acquiring editor… but in this case, the Readers throw the books into the Reject pile.
To avoid that, the wise writer will not scorn the high standards of the “Gatekeepers,” but learn their secrets. After mastering a genre and associated subgenres, of course, the writer can knowingly (not ignorantly) choose to bend or merge them from a position of strength.
Buy Kate Walker’s 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance by Kate Walker.
The classic book on outlining, originally written for screenplays, is Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.
For some examples of how I use the Snyder outline, and other outlining methods I use, you can peek at some posts I did for NaNoWriMo:
How To Create A Three Act Beat Sheet
How To Make Your Own Sticky-Note Outlining Kit
So obviously, I like the Blake Snyder outline, and so do a lot of others. There are a lot of books that teach the basic principles of Outlining, but few that are substantial enough that they add anything new to what Snyder said first and better.
The Story Grid, however, is a full of gold. It takes the standard Outline and beefs it up for the Big Leagues. The key difference? The Story Grid attacks the specifics of Genres. Not all Genre story arcs are covered in depth, but enough to convey the idea that there is no one formula to fit all.
I’ll be discussing what I’ve learned from this book and how I apply it in my posts (later this month), “What are the Obligatory Scenes for Genre Fiction?” and “How to Use Reiteration in Romance.”
Buy The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne
Since month we’ll be celebrating Fantasy Romance… and characters are at the heart of Romance, I wanted to recommend a good primer on creating believable and likable (or loathsome) characters.
Orson Scott Card’s book, Characters & Viewpoint, is, in my opinion, the absolute best book on Character and Viewpoint out there. An experienced writer might read it and think, “Gosh, I know all this…”; it is a writing primer, meaning it covers the basics. Nonetheless, even for experienced writers, it’s a worthwhile read.
You may know the difference between First Person and Third Person, but do you know the difference between Close Third and Distant Third? You may know how the difference between a hero and a villain, but do you know how to ensure that your hero is likable (but not boring) and your villain is enthralling (but doesn’t steal the show from you hero)? What is the difference between a Superman and an Everyman? Should you ever employ flat characters–spear holders?
In fact, characters are at the heart of any good novel. Even if you don’t write “Character Focused” fiction, you’ll need characters, though they will serve a different role in your story than in a Romance or Literary novel.
And do read this book.
Buy Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card.