Monday, January 26, 2015

Writing Resources Part II- and a Giveaway!

Congratulations to Janet Brantley who won Phyllis Naylor's book, "The Craft of Writing the Novel."
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Just as there is a large number of writing blogs to choose from, there are also many books to help writers improve their craft. I have selected a few of my favorites as well as two on my "to be read" shelf. 

My mentor Rebecca Petruck recommended the first two; they accompany me whenever I travel.


Lisa Cron advertises that this book answers the question, "What does every brain crave in a story it hears?" And it does. The back of the book blurb states, "Each chapter of Wired for Story zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, tis corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now." Don't believe me? Read this excerpt.

Although Save the Cat was originally penned for screenwriters, hoards of novelists now use Blake Snyder's book to plan and outline their stories. This six minute cartoon demonstrates the 15 different beats that are central to Snyder's manual. His model is so popular that other writers have adapted and published worksheets for novelists based on his book. Trust me. You'll want the book too.

No list of recommended craft books would be complete without a book by Donald Maas. This is a follow up book to Writing the Breakout Novel and is stuffed full of writing exercises on building plot layers; creating inner conflict; strengthening voice, point of view, and theme; as well as heightening your protagonist and antagonist. The exercises are well worth your time and effort. 

Last week I mentioned how much I have learned from Janice Hardy's blog, Fiction University. In this book Janice has provided a step-by-step guide to planning a novel. I wish I had it before I started Half-Truths eight years ago! I'm particularly looking forward to working through her section on writing a synopsis--something that is very difficult for me to do.

This list would be incomplete without a book particularly for children's  writers. From the back cover:
Mary Kole's candid commentary and insightful observations, as well as a collection of book excepts and personal insights from bestselling authors and editors who specialize in the children's book market, are invaluable tools for your kidlit career.
I've heard fantastic things about this resource. I just need to find time to read it!
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This week's giveaway is a brand new copy of:

A description from the Writer's Digest website:
Successfully starting and finishing a publishable novel is often like fighting a series of battles. You not only have to work hard to shape memorable characters, develop gripping plot points, and craft dazzling dialogue, but you also have to fight against self-doubts and fears. And then there’s the challenge of learning to navigate the ever-changing publishing industry.
That’s why award-winning novelist James Scott Bell, author of the Write Great Fiction staples, Plot & Structureand Revision & Self-Editing, came up with the ultimate novel-writing battle plan: The Art of War for Writers.
You’ll find tactics and strategies for idea generation and development, character building, plotting, drafting, querying and submitting, dealing with rejection, coping with envy and unrealistic expectations, and much, much more.
With timeless, innovative, and concise writing reflections and techniques, The Art of War for Writers is your roadmap to victory.
Leave me a comment by Thursday, February 29 and I'll enter your name in this giveaway. If you are new to this blog, make sure you give me your email address! Post this on social media, become a new follower of my blog, or tell me your favorite writing craft book and I'll add your name twice. 

17 comments:

Linda Vigen Phillips said...

Thanks for pulling together this great collection of resource books. Well done, teacher!

Linda Vigen Phillips said...

Carol, thanks for pulling together these great resource books. Yikes! I guess I should start reading some of them.

Linda A. said...

Congratulations on the book win, Janet.

Carol, you have some great resource suggestions here and in the earlier post. I plan to put this on FB. You've often done the same for me.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, LInda and LInda. You start the list!

Rosi said...

Thanks, Carol, for a great list. I have some of these books, but need to spend more time with them.

Carol Baldwin said...

I know Rosi. hard to have a balance of life, writing, and reading about writing! Put your name in the hat for this excellent book.

Melodye said...

Great list, Carol. Thanks for compiling it for us.

Carol Baldwin said...

Glad you like it Melodye. I'll add your name to the list!

Vijaya said...

Thanks for a great list. I'm a fan of Bell's Plot and Structure and would love to win a copy of his Art of War for Writers. Please put my name in the hat!

Talia's Table said...

Carol - thanks for the great list! Another couple I've found to be helpful are
Story (Robert McKee) - a great resource on plotting, action, dialogue, and thinking about stories in a more visual way.

Poemcrazy (Susan G. Wooldrige) - a great reflection on writing and words - the details matter

From Where You Dream (Robert O. Butler) a great resource on plotting a novel - from the how-to-think-deeply camp, as opposed to the point-by-point camp

and - the classic - Bird by Bird. Got to love Anne Lamott.

Thanks for the new suggestions.

Laurie McKay said...

I like all the books above! I also like 'Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, middles, and ends" by Nancy Kress. It always inspires me.

Carol Baldwin said...

Laurie, That is another good one. YOur name goes in twice!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Talia, for all the suggestions. I meant to add Ann Lamott's book, but forgot. SO many good books to read! I'll add your name twice.

Carol Baldwin said...

You're on Vijaya. I like that book from Bell too.

Sarah said...

Hi there! I'm Sarah :)

sblake1@student.framingham.edu

Thanks for the chance!

Sarah said...

I just became a follower on google friend connect :)

sblake1@student.framingham.edu

Carol Baldwin said...

Nice to have you on board, Sarah. thanks for following!