Sunday, March 25, 2018

Writing Books That Will Improve Your Craft

I took a glance at my office bookshelf and figured I'd post about the writing books that are on my shelf/Kindle. This is by no means a complete list, but these are some of the books that helped me along the way. I still refer back to them.

1. Stein on Writing and Grow Your Novel by Sol Stein

2. The Kick Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig (Wendig also has a number of other writing books out, some of them in list form. All have great advice)

3. Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (any of Bell's writing books are excellent). I also recommend The Art of War for Writers.

4. Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

5. How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane

6. How to Write Page Turning Scenes by Holly Lisle (Lisle also has several other good books available on writing)

7. The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge by Rachel Thompson (Thompson's website is also full of great tips for marketing and promotion)

8. The Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

9.  Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by  Jordan Rosenfeld

10. Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

11. A Writer's Tale by Richard Laymon

12. The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

13. On Writing by Stephen King

14. Self Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

45 and Beyond

I turned 45 this past Sunday. My wife took me out and we had a nice dinner at the Griffon Gastropub in our hometown. She also made pizza and tacos over the weekend, plus some amazing cupcakes. The only damper on the whole thing was the hacky/phleghmy/cold/flu thing that latched on to me. I'm feeling better today and planning to put the finishing touches on Enter the Night.

At 45 I haven't gotten where I've wanted to be, writing-wise. Yet. I thought I was on my way in the world of traditional publishing at one point. I had sold my first novel, started working with a well-known agent, and got a two book deal from my publisher after the first. The relationship with the agent didn't go anywhere. I tried writing a thriller that was honestly the worst book I've written. A little lesson: You can't write a book from some template in a how-to book, which is what I tried at the time. Any instructional book that promises you'll be able to write a blockbuster novel is likely full of crap. Write true and write what you love.

I went indie shortly after that. It's had its ups and downs. The sales aren't where I'd like them to be, and some days it seems like every other writer on the planet is doing better. But I love the freedom and knowing I can write whatever I want, whenever I want.

At 45, I'm not there yet. I'm hoping to have many more years to write stories. With any luck, there are many miles to go and lots of stories still to tell. I'm going to keep writing and putting stuff out there. We'll see how it goes.

Saw A Quiet Place II This Weekend

Jenn and I went for lunch yesterday, then saw A Quiet Place II at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora is a great little theater. One screen, and...