I am of the mindset that no author knows everything, and that everyone should constantly research and grow. I know some people will say that the best way to learn how to write is just to write.
WELL I don’t know if I believe them. I think this is true to an extent, but not necessarily the best way to learn. Think of it like college. Taking classes wasn’t all that helpful for me, but talking with people who knew a lot more sure did. I was never one to listen to lectures, but one to find out the information for myself, and implement that as quickly as possible.
I’ve found some awesome resources for writing that I can now share with you! These books all sit on my desk, with hundreds of colorful sticky notes (color coordinated in ways even I don’t understand), and I thumb through them whenever I need something.
Basically, it’s a wealth of words categorized into different sections. So, if you want to figure out words to describe Happy, crack open to the page which is sectioned into Physical Signals, Internal Sensations, Mental Responses, Cues, and a Writer’s Tip!
As you can imagine, a book like this can be invaluable. The key thing for writers to remember is that you want to “show” not “tell”. It’s one of the things I struggle with the most, because it’s SO much easier to just say “the character felt this”.
That’s not interesting reading.
Your reader wants to feel the same thing. They want sweaty palms when they look at a particular person. They want a rapid heartbeat, butterflies in the belly, to feel light headed and slightly ill. You get the picture.
This book really gears towards helping you flesh out characters that will feel more realistic on the page. I particularly like the Negative Trait Thesaurus (what can I say, I’m a glass half full kinda girl), namely because it really helps build villains versus having them be just an “evil” guy.
It also really helps give reasoning behind “why” your characters are the way they are. Are they stubborn? Well here’s some background ideas on what happened to make them so hard headed. Are they giving? How about some actions they can do to prove that they are as giving as you think they are.
It’s little details like this that really give your characters life. You want to flesh them out, build them up, give them something that will make them POP on the page!
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty a bit. Thinking like a Romance Writer by Dahlia Evans has saved me time and time again. I think if you ask any romance writer, there are some things that eventually get a little repetitive. Namely?
Anything that has to do with the human body. It’s SO EASY to make some scenes sound clinical and cold. You don’t want to be in the middle of the sex scene and be strapping on a doctor’s mask and snapping your plastic gloves (unless you’re into that kind of thing, then please have at the roleplay).
You’re reading the cover right, there’s 8,500 words, descriptions, and all sorts of word combinations to help you through writing hands, backs, arms, eyes (seriously, so many words for eye colors), and of course, sex.
I particularly like that this book breaks down body parts into sections of “What can X do” and “What can be done to X”. There’s nothing like reading “What a penis can do” to make you laugh like a hyena.
And last, but certainly not least, my person holy grail. Write Naked by Jennifer Probst was all the things I needed and more. She talks about all her personal ups and downs, all the wonderful and horrible things that happen to an author, and how to get from point A to Bestselling author.
There were so many quotes in this book that broke my heart, and so many that built me back up again. Probst gets it because she already lived it.
It’s no secret that being an author is a difficult job. There’s a lot of people constantly judging your genre, your writing, and everything else that comes with it. Reviews. Marketing. Trolls. Hobgoblins…. no wait that’s not a 100% true.
I’ve already babbled about the hardships of authoring enough. But if you’re struggling with writing, want to pick up on some good tips, or even just sit and nod your head because it’s so true, then this is the book for you.
- Oh I haven’t gotten to say this on my blog yet so! *ahem* HEART OF THE FAE PART 1 IS COMPLETE! I crushed through that book in record time, and it ended up at a whopping 106,000 words, 13 chapters, and 211 pages on Word (which is somewhere around 400 pages for a normal sized book).
- I’m currently editing it myself, and then will be sending it to the first editor. I AM going with two editors on this book so the product will be the best it can possibly be.
- This will be going out to Advanced Readers mid September (so early compared to publishing date!) So if you are interested, keep your eyes peeled for further updates. I’ll be sending out a form later on!