Stephen King’s book is probably one of the best out there that gives an insight into the writing mind. What I’ve learned here is not to rush the process. Any input to the first draft should be entirely your own. He encourages you to let the first draft rest for a few weeks. That way you’ll be able to see glaring holes in plot and character development.
Steven James’ book was an eye-opener. I started out as a plotter with Fire & Ice. Then I ended up doing rough outlines when I realized that characters take on a life of their own and throw out your outline. I’ve highlighted so many writing gems from this. As a writer who has no background in literature, you have to teach yourself some basics. Now, I’m more a panster than a plotter.
a. Lock in the genre in the first few chapters. Give the readers a setting in time and place that they an picture.
b. To build a story, you don’t try to make the right things happen, but rather make the right things go wrong.
c. Characters making choices to resolve tension, that’s your plot.
d. Suspense is more about creating worry and anticipation than it is about adding more action sequences.
e. When nothing is altered in a scene, summarize it. When something is altered, render it.
I’ve read the book below a long time ago, but remembered it was useful when I was starting out.
I’ve used the Emotion Thesaurus extensively when I was starting out. After a while, I started to develop my own style of conveying emotions.
Other books on my TBR, to be reviewed when I get to them.