Wednesday 3 April 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - April 2013

Anna Nordeman

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my second post for IWSG. For those who would like to read that post first, please go here.) For March, I wrote about my unhappy experience with NaNoWriMo and mentioned some of the how-to-books that I have been reading in order to learn to write better. But I won't be able to get back to serious writing until summer when the schools are out.

For IWSG for April I would like to share my list of how-to-write books. I have even received suggestions for more titles. Take a look and see if you have read any of these.

I have not read all of the books on this list. I have only read completely the books marked in green. Titles marked with yellow are books that I only have read half or the first few chapters. If anyone of these is to be especially recommended, please comment on it. Last month, Roland Yeoman agreed with me about liking Stephen King's book On Writing. Thank you for all the new titles! I will have a lot to read this summer!

Here's my how-to-write-novels-booklist:

Ackerman, Angela and Puglisi, Becca, The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression (2012)

Ballon, Rachel, Ph.D., Breathing Life into yout Characters: How to give your characters emotional & psychological depth (2003)

Bell, James Scott, Conflict & Suspense (2011)

Bell, James Scott, Plot & Structure [Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish] (2004)

Bell, James Scott, Revision & Self-Editing [Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel] (2008)

Bernays, Anne and Painter, Pamela, What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers (1990)

Bickham, Jack M., The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) (1992) 

Booker, Christopher, The Seven Basic Plots: Why we tell stories (2004, 2005)

Card, Orson Scott, Characters & Viewpoint (2010) 
Complete Handbook of Novel-Writing, The, Everything you need to know about creating & selling your work, Includes interviews with articles by Margaret Atwood, Terry Brooks, Octavia E. Butler, Tom Clancy, Janet Fitch, Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, J.A. Jance, Gish Jen, Terry McMillan, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, Richard Russo, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut and more (2002)

Davis, J. Madison, Novelist's Essential Guide to Creating Plot (2000)

Dixon, Debra, Goal, Motivation & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction (1996)

Edelstein, Linda N., Ph.D., Writer's Guide to Character Traits, includes profilrs and personality types (2006)

Geraghty, Margret, The five-minute writer: Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day (2006, 2009)

Kempton, Gloria, Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue (2004)

King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)

Kress, Nancy, Beginnings, Middles, & Ends (2011)

Kress, Nancy, Character, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and exercises for crafting dynamic characters and effective viewpoints (2005)

Kress, Nancy, Dynamic Characters: How to create personalities thar keep readers captivated (1998)

Lauther, Howard, Creating Characters: A Writer's Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life (2004, 1998)

Kiteley, Brian, The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon writing exercises that transform your fiction (2005)
Michaels, Leigh, On Writing Romance: How to craft a novel that sells (2007)

Morris, Roz, Nail your novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence (2009)

Rozelle, Ron, Description & Setting: Techniques and exercises for crafting a believable world of people, places, and events (2005)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters (2001)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, Ph.D., Story Structure Architect: A writer's guide to building dramatic situations & compelling characters (2005)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, A Writer's Guide to Characterization: Archtypes, Heroic Journeys, and other Elements of Dynamic Character Development (2012)

The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference / from the editors of Writer's Digest Books (1998, 2001)

Tobias, Ronald B., 20 Master Plots, and How to Build Them (1993)

Wood, Monica, The Pocket Muse: Ideas & Inspiration for Writing (2001)

[I'm missing some titles. But I'd better post this now. I'll add them later. I need to run to the post office now.]

Suggested additions to my list: 

Campbell, Joseph, The Heroes Journey

Engber, Martha, Growing Great Characters from the Ground up

Maass, Donald, Writing the Breakout Novel

Snyder, Blake, Save the Cat

Reading about writing has helped me, so I will continue to read parallell to my writing, when summer comes. (Right now I have lots of practical problems to solve in my offline-life.) 

Please keep coming back in April, as I am participating in A to Z, even if my posts are very, very short.

Best wishes,

First Commenter:

Annalisa Crawford

C is for CAT - A to Z - Wednesday, April third, 2013

C is for CAT. The Letter 'C' for 'Blogging from A to Z in April', Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

My theme for A to Z is my favourite things that might show up in written stories, poems, paintings or jewellery. This is my list of subjects that I would like to work with.

I found this silver-coloured cat in an Etsy-store and just had to order it. 


I love it. I will make it a pendant and wear it. I won't sell it.

Here are some photos of my cats:

Cajsa Cat (born May 29th, 1999) my first cat. Here she nurses two of her four kittens, Peep and Matilda, born April 5th, 2011. (Update: Wednesday April 3rd was the last time my sister-in-law saw Cajsa. Cajsa Cat seems to have run away to the woods. We all hope and pray that she returns unscathed.)

Sara Cat, Cajsa's daughter (June 6th, 2000 - February 6th, 2013)

Calle Cat, a foundling, was born sometime in May 2000. (Calle Cat is co-founder of The Red Cat Society blog.)

Peep, the Cat (born April 5th, 2011)

and Sigge Cat (born August 21st, 2012)

Best wishes,



First Commenter:
Denise Reashore
Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers

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