Author Topic: Your favorite author resources  (Read 1270 times)  

Online DmGuay

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2017, 10:15:01 AM »
I've found that reading books on what not to do made me freeze up, so I won't recommend any of those. A few writing books that really changed me as a writer are

Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dixon (about how understanding character translates to plot, and can create and strengthen a plot)
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley
Mastery by John Greene (not a writing book, but an invaluable craft book, imho)
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‎ (a book about the creative state)
This talk on creativity by John Cleese contains so many things I wish I'd known earlier:
I also enjoy Chris Fox's videos a lot.

I've read extensively in my chosen genre and others -- all kinds of romance, fantasy, sci-fi -- until I was familiar with the tropes, and then I read on until I was sick of most tropes and there were only a handful of authors left whose work I still enjoyed. Then I wrote down all my reader 'kinks'. Those are the things that still excite me and that I can't get enough of as a reader -- fiercely supportive relationships based on mutual respect as much as love, for example. Now, when I get disenchanted with something I'm writing, I check back against that list and often realize that I've veered away from the things I enjoy writing about.

What helped me the most, though, was realizing that I was spending too long on one story. I mostly learn from failure, so I had to increase my failure rate in order to grow more quickly as a writer. I made a list of aspects of writing I was good at (creating a mood, writing emotion), things I was decent at but could stand to improve (transitions, setting up scenes, entering a scene late an leaving early), and things I was really bad at (plotting, handling scenes with more than three characters). For practice, I set a goal in 2016 to write 300k worth of completed stories. I reached that goal, and I improved a lot in the areas I'd been targeting.

In closing, I'd say that it's been important to me to not only read books on writing but also synthesize that advice and pick concrete areas to work on. Writing is not a monolithic skill; there are so many aspects to it, not least being clear about the story you want to tell. It's easy to veer away from that and get lost in craft-related details, so I've had to manage how I approach craft, or I would invariably end up overwhelmed.

Well done. I like the way you structured this and applied it to yourself!

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Offline MladenR

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Re: Your favorite author resources
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2017, 10:18:30 AM »
Warning, I'm biased! This is my own site and with other indie authors we write about writing:

Could be useful to a new author, it's aimed at people who never wrote a novel(la) or anything before.  :D