Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a FREEBIE as determined by The Broke and Bookish.

Therefore, since I could choose WHATEVER I wanted to create a list of, AND because I am a writer, I decided to do “Top Ten Books on the Writing Craft That I Hope to Read This Year”.

  1. & 2. Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by [Cron, Lisa] & Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by [Cron, Lisa]

I finally ordered and just received “Wired for Story” by Lisa Cron. I have heard so many good things about this book from other writers. I can’t wait to finally dig into it! Then there’s Lisa’s newest release from 2016, “Story Genius”. I’ll be looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this one too.

3. 

Okay, confession: I have already started reading this one. But, I’ve only completed chapter one. I ran into an issue in my WIP (work in progress) and thought this might help, and I’ve already discovered and corrected my biggest issue, after just reading one chapter, so I can’t wait to see what the rest of this book has for me!

4. Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by [James, Steven]

This one has been recommended to me several times by other writer friends, so it still lingers on my TBR list. I did just order it and should receive it into my hot little hands by February 1st.

5. 

This one sounds like a book every writer needs. I read about it, as it came recommended by K.M. Weiland, who has great writing advice.

6. 

I don’t intend to write a screenplay, but I’ve heard this book recommended for book authors as well.

7. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by [Truby, John]

This, too, comes highly recommended to me by other writer friends.

8. 

My son recommended this book to me a long time ago, but also informed me that Robert McKee tends to use some profane language in it, so I have steered clear of it so far. Then a Christian writer friend recommended it to me and I asked her about the language, and she didn’t remember there being any. So, I guess I’ll take a chance. I can always do like my son said a friend of his did and cross out the inappropriate words with a black sharpie. (The only problem with that is I have to see the words to cross them out.)

9. & 10.  & Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense by [Bell, James Scott]

Yes, I am a James Scott Bell fan. He gives writing advice and tips using some great examples that I am familiar with. He includes some writing exercises to help you apply what he’s teaching. I have read two of his books, and like I mentioned above, I am currently reading another one of his books on writing.

What type of books did you share about on your TTT today?

A Productive Writing Activity and a Great Writing Resource

If you are a writer, do you have a tribe? I do. I actually have a few and each of them is important to me. So, what do I mean by a tribe? Well, there are the two writing groups that I am a member of – one national and that tribe is almost all online and is useful for contests, helpful advice and tips, and some good critiquing; the other group is local and it’s great for connecting with other writers and learning new aspects of the writing craft on a monthly basis. Then there’s the critique group that meets every other Tuesday and that’s where I get lots of good feedback on my writing. But the tribe closest to my heart is a small group that I kind of grew on my own. I just shared with a couple of friends that I was writing and they asked questions and were very interested in writing as well. As we talked, we decided it would be a great idea to form our own group similar to C.S. Lewis’s Inklings group, and so we did. We meet once a week to just write, although we often share ideas, brainstorm together or ask each other’s opinions of something we’ve written.

The most fun thing that we do, though, is, we pull an all-nighter once or twice a year. That means we get together on a Friday evening and spend the entire night writing or doing writing related things. This past Friday night we did that and I prepared and scheduled four blog posts and revised and edited four chapters of my WIP, pretty much starting one of those chapters all over. I wrote over 1,000 new words on my WIP.

Now, for a great writing resource: if you do not subscribe to Writer’s Digest Magazine, I highly recommend it. I recently received my February 2017 issue and there are some great articles on ways to “Get Organized, Be Productive”. There are a couple of fascinating articles about some really good authors and so much more.

I have written the following quotes on index cards to post in my writing area to encourage and inspire me, and they came from the February 2017 Writer’s Digest Magazine’s articles:

“The job of the writer is to ignite a fictional daydream in the brain of the reader and then step away and become invisible so the story becomes the reader’s own. You don’t want them to even know you are in the room.” — Archer Mayor

“I have multiple goals to achieve in each paragraph. Sometimes it’s clarity, sometimes humor, content or giving the reader nuts-and-bolts information to take away.” (You can add or change any of these to fit your genre.) “I am trying to write the best-written __________ book the reader has read all year long.” (Fill in the blank with your genre.)                                                                                        — Archer Mayor

“There is no bad writing. There’s only writing that needs more revision. When staring at the incoherent shambles of an early draft, wanting to pour gasoline on my laptop and set it afire, I tell myself this and get back to revising.”    — Eric Scott Fischl

Good stuff, right? Every issue is packed with stuff like this!

Three Books Every Writer Should Have

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If you are a writer and you don’t have these three books:  The Emotion Thesaurus:  A Writer’s Guide to Character ExpressionThe Negative Trait Thesaurus:  A Writer’s Guide to  Character Flaws, and The Positive Trait Thesaurus:  A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes all by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, I highly recommend that you get them.

I bought the Emotion Thesaurus almost a year ago and have been using it a lot.  I keep it beside me as I write a novel, and I refer to it often.  I bought The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus with Christmas money and I am so glad I did.  They were my resources for helping to create the three main characters in my new WIP (work in progress).

If you find yourself overusing tags or struggling with how to “show” instead of “tell”, or are having problems creating characters with different personalities and having them express themselves appropriately for their personality, these books can lessen or take away the struggle.

The Negative and Positive Trait Thesaurus give you a personality trait with its definition, similar traits, the possible causes for that trait, behaviors associated with the trait, associated thoughts or emotions, positive and negative aspects, examples from film or literature, how your character can overcome a negative trait, traits in supporting characters that may cause conflict with this character, and challenging scenarios for a specific positive trait.

The Emotion Thesaurus gives you an emotion, its definition, physical signals that show that emotion, internal sensations caused by that emotion, mental responses to that emotion, cues of acute or long-term emotion with other things it could escalate to, as well as cues of suppressed emotion, and a writer’s tip.

I find these books helping me create richer, deeper characters, as well as better written stories that “show, don’t tell” what is going on in the story  — stories that will draw my readers in.

What are some of your favorite writing resources?  Please tell me in the comments, as I am always looking for great writing resources to learn from.  I believe it’s important to never stop learning our craft.