Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Books and Props—Take Your Pick.
New writing books in my library.
A year ago, I became a Writer’s Digest VIP. WD tried to entice me to renew my membership by offering me 35% off any of their writer’s books. This was something I could use and I took advantage of it. After careful consideration—I purchased several of their publications and want to recommend some of them.
• The Breakout Novelist by Donald Mass: Fiction writers of all levels and genres who want solid craft advice and writers ready to send their manuscripts out to agents and editors but aren't sure of the next steps will value this comprehensive writing reference by top New York literary agent Donald Maass. It contains the most essential information from four of his bestselling books, Writing the Breakout Novel, Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, The Fire in Fiction, and The Career Novelist plus updated content. This book is spiral bound and lays flat from page one to the last page.
• The Fire In Fiction by Donald Mass: How do widely published authors keep their stories burning hot? Learn how to supercharge every story with deep conviction and, conversely, turn fiery passion into effective story. The Fire in the Fiction shows you not only how to write compelling stories filled with interesting settings and vivid characters, but how to do it over and over again. With examples drawn from current novels, this inspiring guide shows you how to infuse your writing with life.
• Write Great Fiction Dialogue by Gloria Kempton: How do some writers craft conversation so authentic, it feels like they've been eavesdropping? What's the secret behind getting characters to talk to each other? How can writers make their dialogue sing?
Answers to all of these questions and more can be found in Gloria Kempton's in-depth look at this crucial component of fiction. Readers will learn how to create dialogue that sizzles, with tips on:
• Creating dialogue for specific genres
• Bringing characters to life with revealing dialogue
• Identifying and fixing common dialogue problems
• Each chapter features numerous examples of successful dialogue drawn from bestselling novels, and chapter-ending exercises help readers apply the lessons learned. This is one book that will get readers talking!
• Write Great Fiction Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: The indispensable Write Great Fiction series continues with an in-depth look at three of the most important tools in the writer's craft: character, emotion and viewpoint. With the tips and techniques in this book, you will learn how to:
1) Create compelling characters that readers believe in
2) Write scenes that deliver an unforgettable emotional impact
3) Distinguish among the many different kinds of viewpoint, and choose the one which is right for your story.
• Each chapter is filled with examples drawn from the work of successful writers; along with action-and-results, exercises that help you take your lessons to the keyboard.
• Zounds by Mark Dunn: From "Geronimo!" to "holy mackerel!" Dunn highlights interjections, as readers have never seen them before.
What props do you use to set the mood for your writing?
I have always been a multi-tasked person in that I have several actions going on at the same time. Since they are complementary, I find that the blend enables me to focus on writing. I do enjoy listening to the sounds of the big band and place that in the background. I also use a thirty-hour digital recorder small enough to carry in my shirt pocket to take notes—when inspiration strikes—or record different sounds. Sounds are hard to describe with words much less make the reader think she/he is hearing that noise as they read your scene.
I can also call the place I live at a prop for my writing. My home or farmstead is amid hundreds of acres of farmers fields and filled with the sounds of nature. No cars traversing the street or lawnmowers put putting across a neighbor’s lawn greet me in the morning. Owls, pheasants and the whinnying from my two horses telling me it’s time to get up and feed them or the sound of the strong Nebraska winds as it ripples the Winter Wheat crops are pleasant backdrops that stir my creative writing mind. I experience the day first then settle down after dinner—relaxed—and write.