10 Day Writing Blogger Challenge – Day 4

10-day-write-blog-challenge-daily4Profile 3 to 5 top writing craft books

Most writers have a few writing craft books they keep as reference or part of their tool kit. Books like Stephen King’s On Writing, or Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird regularly make many writer’s top lists. But there are many more now, and good resources being published everyday. What are your absolute favourites?

Plot & StructureI do have some favourites – two in fact.

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

This wonderful book was recommended to me by a couple of friends, and I always pick it up now and again and flick through it.  It tells how a plot influences the story structure and differences that plots require for different literature.  He gives you ideas on how to create plots, brainstorming plots, and methods with diagrams and charts.

 

Everything guideThe Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes.

I first discovered this book while checking out “how to write a romance” and came across a website which was pretty much based on this book.  I got so much from the site, I decided I wanted the book for myself, and I love it.  It has so many useful tips and hints on how to write specifically Romance, what is expected in a romance, how to create strong Hero’s and Heroine’s, creating sexual tension (as opposed to sex) and a whole lot more.

 

Write Your OwnWrite Your Own… by Compass Point Books

I discovered these through Scholastic Book Club and purchased one.  I enjoyed it so much, I purchased several others in the series.  It is aimed at early writers, but it has some really simple easy exercises and ideas on how to research information, brainstorm ideas, bring things together and write the story.  I have Fantasy, Mystery, Poetry, Historical, Adventure and Action.  Some of the books are repetitive when it comes to writing dialogue and reaching your audience, but it is relevant to each of the different genres.

 

I would like to say that I read lots of these books, but I don’t.  These are the ones that I have and I have purchased them for a reason.  There are lots of other good books out there too, so check out Amazon or your favourite book store for more.

 

 

 

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And Yet Again, Another Change…

Funny how things happen.  Last night, half asleep, listening to my husband and a friend playing their

guitars (at 2:30am) I came up with a plot point that would shore up my worrying plot line.  A surprising twist, but one I really like.

And it happens, just like that.  Even though I plot my story out, I keep it flexible as possible, and often, my flexibility allows other things to happen that I didn’t know would, but it adds to the drama and suspense of the story, as well as adds credence to a weakness that I was worried about.

While our friends were here, we were discussing dreams and about what they were used for.  The Native American Indians believed that they could specifically dream certain dreams by starving themselves for 8 days and then going into an induced sleep.  This is probably true.  When I go to sleep, I bring to mind the dreams I had from a previous night, or if I don’t want to focus on that, I think about where I am at in the story I am writing and how I can move forward in the story.  Sometimes I will think of a new idea or some way in which to move the story on, or I will dream something else.

I love that I dream, and I dream pretty much every night, and I can remember my dreams.  But then I have always focused on my dreams (they are where story ideas come from) from a very young age, so I have a good recall of them.  Something that the Native American Indians had to learn.  Little did I know that I am actually quite clever at being able to recall dreams, because many people can’t.

I have a notebook beside my bed for writing down my dreams, and sometimes I will even interpret them, and it can be fascinating what they are trying to tell me.  Like dreaming of moving water can be our life, and if it is swift moving, our lives are going fast, if they are slow and wandering, we are moving at a nice easy pace.

I kind of feel like I am rambling tonight… I probably am.  Not much sleep in the last week, and a 12 hour sleep in the middle, makes for a very muddled girl!

I got to talk to Year 5 / 6 kids at the school I work at about revising and editing stories.  I spoke to them about my own writing and showed them examples of my corrected work.  Then they asked heaps of questions about my writing.  I have since been asked by the Year 2/3 teacher to talk to her class about creating characters and planning a story!  Very exciting times.

Tom HardyWriting is proceeding well, I am wrapped with where the story is going, and I am about 1/3 of the way through it.  20k through, with over 5k yesterday before visitors arrived.  I don’t know what I will do after I have finished writing this story, because at least for now, I have a valid excuse for watching Tom Hardy movies and youtube clips!

Anyway, plan for the week, write, write, write.  SoCNoC is only a third of the way through.  🙂

When the Muse Strikes

It has been an exciting week for me, I have been writing, attended a Romance Writers meeting and brainstormed with Melissa Pearl.  It is nice to have so much creativity around me at the moment because life seems hectic.

Tom HardyI discovered Tom Hardy quite by accident, having watched This Means War.  I know, I am a bit behind the 8 ball, but no more.  I looked at him, and I saw the hero in my Cursed Love story.  I can imagine him in a business suit, no nonsense business man, in jeans and t-shirt as a charming and flirty man.  Yip, I have a new muse.

LaVerne Clark really is at fault for prompting this more by showing me her Pinterest page, full of hunks, including Tom Hardy.   Hmmm, definitely need to raid her Pinterest page!

On Saturday, a quiet day at home on my own, I was chatting with Melissa about issues I was having with Cursed Love and trying to make some aspects come to life.  Within 10 minutes we had enough ideas for me to really get excited.

And while driving yesterday, I came up with some conflicts that would really make the story move, and a possible “black moment”.  Fingers crossed I can work it into my plot.

What was really inspiring, is getting together with the Nelson group of Romance Writing New Zealand Group.  It is fantastic to be able to share your experiences with writing and know that someone else in the group knows what you are going through.  We all of the common interest on writing and romance, so we are able to really help each other with our writing experiences.

So this week, once I have completed two articles for a new website, I intend to get some character goals set up for Cursed Love, and work towards getting a plot together, and also continue working on the Erotica, which is fast becoming a fast paced romance!  I don’t mind, it is fun writing it and I am enjoying the feistiness of the characters.

What plans do you have for the week?

SoCNoC Debrief

It has been a hectic month, full of drama, adventure, passion and glory, and that ISN’T in the story!

So where do I start?  I guess the start would be good.  I was a day behind from the get go because of a funeral, but that was OK.  I managed to slowly claw my way back and finish before lunchtime on 30th of June.  Probably the closest finish I have ever had, but a finish is a finish.

Planning

This was done a month beforehand when I decided to let strangers and friends pick the story for me.  They chose, out of the possible three options, the Science Fiction one.  So a week before SoCNoC officially started, I was busy pulling together all the threads of the story I had sketched out and drew up my plan.

While I love planning a story, I also love following the plan, and I have to admit I didn’t realise that there was a flaw in my plan.  I hate flaw plans (hahaha).  Seriously I still have to work this one out, but I have an idea, which was duly noted in my “Edit later notebook”.

My writing actually took off this challenge and hovered about 6 inches above my plan.  While it was close enough, it was also different enough to keep me writing, and if I came to a hitch, I would go to bed at night and ask the question – where exactly do you want me to go?  Kelvaras or Vyvica would tell me, without fail, exactly what they wanted to see happen, and sure enough, it fit within my plan.

The ending was different, more dramatic, but it fits perfectly.

Writing

I managed to write at least every day, even though there was a long weekend in there.  Because I set a realistic writing goal of 2000 words a day, I actually managed to get ahead of my goal by about day 12.  Words flowed, sentences made sense, paragraphs formed scenes.  Fantastic work.  I did realise though that some of my action scenes were sadly lacking.  ONe chase scene lasted two sentences.  A chase scene that doesn’t make!  I went back in and created an entire new scene which was filled with action, adventure, near misses and realistic timing.  And it worked.  It also brought the characters together, so adds more to the emotional conflict that is going on as well.

Characters

I am so looking forward to having my head back to myself.  For too long Vyvica has been in there screaming at me to take notice of her.  Kelvaras was absent until the story, and then I had them bickering in my head.  So looking forward to peace!

Kelvaras certainly had some surprises of his own, suddenly calling himself an underling (which I had to tell him was not happening), then calling the bad guy “Father.”  Now that worked nicely!  And fits the ending so well too – how could I have not seen that before!

Vyvica was a handful from the beginning.  She was argumentative, vindicative, untrusting, she questioned everything I did for her, and I threw her in the deep end.  She swam.  I am extremely happy with her as a character.  Hard as nails, but heart of gold, just has problems showing it.

The other characters in the book have really turned themselves into nice people too, except for the bad guy.  He needs work.  And I don’t want him to be evil, he is just out for something and that needs to be clarified.

Title

I haven’t come up with anything yet.  I will have to rework it and see what happens.

Editing / Rewrite

I want to add more to this story, at least another 25k, which I think I will plan and work on before I actually edit this story.  Only because it needs to keep readers on the edge of there seats.  It does that at the beginning, there are moments in the middle, then a fantastic ending, but the middle could be stronger.  More conflict, more plot details I think.  But at least I recognise that.

Overall

Considering this is my first science fiction story, I am actually very happy with it.  I like the characters and the plot, although that almighty plothole (hehehe) definitely needs to be fixed.  But nothing a wee bit more thought can’t hurt!