#WRITINGTIP: Honing Your Craft

#Tuesdaytip #writingtip

(Originally posted to Facebook on 19/06/18)

Learning never exhausts the mind. Allegedly Leonardo Da Vinci said this. I happen to believe this is true for everyone. But I think it particularly applies to writers. Many conversations about books that I see on social media about writing are about the end product. A cover reveal, an early review, a release day celebration. These are very exciting moments! Celebrations of well-deserved achievement.

There are also many posts about the process of writing books… how many words have been written (or not!), that a character isn’t doing what the author hoped for, or sometimes the most spectacular moment when you find yourself in a Tires, Tires, Tires waiting room as words pour from your mind onto paper to create an incredible story (I’m looking at you Amy Daws!!) These give us moments of camaraderie. As fellow writers, we share your joy and feel your pain when you feel the need to delete the last ten thousand words from your manuscript.

What we don’t talk about as often is how we get better. How we improve our writing. How we improve the way in which we write. So, for this week’s #writingtip thought I’d share four of the writing books I have relied on at various points in my career to get better.

1. Deep Work, Cal Newport

If your mind is all over the place and you can’t focus on getting the words down on the page, this book is well worth a read. Fellow author Roni Loren recommended it to me and it changed the way I think about my productivity.

Buy Now: https://amzn.to/2MrBapd

2. Story Engineer, Larry Brooks

I love this book. It is my favorite framework for stories. It lays out the key elements of a great story. It leans toward a plotting type of author, yet it explains why even pantsers (those more inclined to sit down and free-type without a pre-determined structure) will have to address these issues in their story eventually, either as they write or in edits.

Buy Now: https://amzn.to/2Iwsn30

3. The Positive Trait Thesaurus & The Negative Trait Thesaurus, Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman

When I first wrote The Strongest Steel, I hired a professional editor to edit it before I went on submission*. When the notes came back, there was a lot of feedback on character development. I’ve always been very good at taking feedback, so I bought these books to help me figure out who my characters were.

*This is something I cannot recommend highly enough for all new authors – it is worth the investment. Trust me!!)

Buy Now: Positive Trait Thesaurus: https://amzn.to/2ttVFe0
Buy Now: Negative Trait Thesaurus: https://amzn.to/2IsYmRU

If you are liking this #writingtip series, let me know what you’d like me to talk about in the coming weeks.