Wednesday, August 4, 2021

August IWSG

OPTIONAL QUESTION FOR AUGUST: What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time your read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. 

This is a tough one. I have favorites upon favorites.

The Books I pull off the shelf the most often to use are:

Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder
And Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

I also really like: 
On Writing by Stephen King for both the memoir and the advice, even if I break his rules pretty often.

Chapter after Chapter by Heather Sellers is a good writing life book.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert was a really good life-writing balance read. I really appreciated her authenticity. 

Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Wielend

Steal Like an Artist : 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon - Despite the title, this book is NOT about plagiarism. 

Steering the Craft: A 21st Century Guide to Sealing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. LeGuin has excellent exercises.

A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves has great writing prompts and bits of motivation.

Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life - an anthology of advice from writers who loved Snoopy's writing efforts.

How to Publish & Promote Your Book Now by L. Diane Wolfe

Writing Secrets of the World's Most Prolific Authors by Sean McLachlan

Other books I like: 
Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell

Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine

Seize the Day: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write by Victoria Hanley

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter

Kids Write! by Michael Olien - a fun book for elementary through middle grade writers.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lammot

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

Grammar Girl Presents The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students by Mignon Fogarty - I use this book with all of my HS and MS writing students and students I tutor.

Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict by Cheryl St. John

Craft books I am currently reading or rereading:
Turning Life Into Fiction by Robin Hemley - I read this 25 years ago, so it's a reread.

The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogel - I read this about 20 years ago, so again, a reread. It utilizes Joseph Campbell's work and puts into a format for writers to follow the hero's journey.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandemeer with several articles by various authors. - a new and current read

And there are more books than these that I've read, but these are the ones which were closest to me when I wrote this post, and ones I wanted to mention. 


This contest ends soon, and we need more HEA SWEET ROMANCE STORIES!

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Sweet Romance
Overall, your story should be clean of offensive material, including profanity, vulgarity, excessive violence, or sexually explicit or suggestive scenes.
Elements in your story should focus on romance, not on sex, which should be kept “behind closed doors.”
The overall plot should lead to a positive and uplifting outcome, also known as "happily ever after."
Absolutely no erotica or pornography.
And please note RWA's definition of romance:
Definition: Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel. An Emotionally Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

Theme: First Love


News for me:

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana.

Nexus is YA Science Fiction and Action Adventure with a hint of Romance.

And, Dark Blade: Forged is dropping episodes every week or two for Kindle Vella Readers. The first three episodes are free HERE.

Dan Torren enters the Watch Guard for training, hoping to break away from his father's expectations. Instead of freedom from politics, he gets saddled with Prince Alex who blames Dan for his "punishment." With recruits from all over Aramatir, the Watch Guard has its own troubles, especially after Dan is claimed by the Dark Blade, an artifact and sword of power unlike any other in the history of Aramatir. Readers may recognize Dan as Dantor from The Champion Trilogy.

I've also dipped into writing books. They are:
A Pocket-Sized Jumble of 500+ Writing Prompts received an upgrade, and may be a bit beyond pocket-sized, but I think it's a decent addition into the writing prompt book genre. You can find it HERE.

5...4...3...2...1...Write! 25 Speculative Fiction Writing Prompts is tiny, but packed with different starts for speculative fiction writers. It can be found HERE.

What's your favorite writing book? Have you written one?
Any news for you? Are you submitting an HEA story to the IWSG Romance Anthology?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Save the Cat is my favorite.
Awesome about the new episodes.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Patricia - it's good to read at least once. I don't agree with everything in there

cleemckenzie said...

That's quite a lineup of writing craft books! Thanks for the bibliography, Tyrean.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

BIG MAGIC is one of my favorites. Every re-read - even just flipping through it - leaves me inspired. :)

M.J. Fifield said...

I really enjoyed Stephen King's On Writing as well as Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. Save The Cat is on my list of titles to check out.

Hope the Vella experiment is going well!

Chrys Fey said...

Big Magic is one of my all-time favorites. I also love Bird by Bird.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with Vella later.

Computer Tutor said...

That's a great list. The Snoopy one--how'd I miss that??

chickangell said...

What a fantastic list of suggestions. I definitely got some great recs from this list!

PJ Colando said...

What an extensive list of writing books - this one is a favorite: Steal Like an Artist : 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon -

We all know that stealing memes is not a sin on Facebook, social media on which I spend wa-ay too much time, so that title tickled my fancy (wink)

Best of luck with Nexus pre-orders

Cathrina Constantine said...

So many blogs talk about Save the Cat, I must invest in this book. I love your new cover for book 2. And I love the cover for Dark Blade: Forged.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's a great list of books and wow have you been busy with the writing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Save the Cat Writes a Novel has been one of my favorites too. You've got an impressive list.

Leigh Caron said... your library. I've not heard of of The Writer's Journey by Vogel, but will check it out. Thanks

Jemi Fraser said...

So many great books!
Nexus is preordered!!

PK HREZO said...

Tyrean, congrats on your upcoming release!! You've got such a great list here. I've never heard of some of these, so thank you!!

Fundy Blue said...

You have shared so many great books, Tyrean, and I have a number of them. Good luck with your writing in August. Take care!

Karen Lynn said...

My news is that one of my short stories was accepted by Tales To Terrify this month.
I wish I had something for the romance anthology, but I guess I'm just not all that much of a romantic. It sounds like such a fun project, and there are some really amazing judges for it, too... Maybe for the next one?

Julia Quay said...

A writing guide by Ursula LeGuin? And one by Elizabeth Gilbert?

Christmas in August!

Thanks for the tip!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - excellent list of recommendations here ... something for everyone. Congratulations on all the books you've been publishing ... cheers Hilary

H. R. Sinclair said...

Lots of good books and recommendations in there. I have to get "Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life." :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Mueller said...

Save the Cat is a very popular book!

♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

Michelle Wallace said...

Lots of good books on your list!
I love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.