Writing Gems

What a journey it has been! I have published my first book in April this year, followed by a novella and a short story and will be publishing my second full-length novel in October. Through it all, I have learned a lot: from the reviews of my books (both from readers and editors) and through other writing periodicals and books—I only hope to improve my craft, voice and writing style.

Here’s a list of helpful texts:

  1. The Elements of Style – Strunk and White – when in doubt, this is my goto book, oh and google helps too.
  2. Revision and Self-Editing – James Scott Bell
  3. Story Engineering – Larry Brooks – His website has several interesting articles that will help you write a tightly-plotted story, including questions that will challenge your character’s motivations and plot. storyfix.com

Helpful articles:

4. How to use Dialect, Slang, Profanity – Writer’s Digest May/June 2013

*there is a secret to cursing well. Too much in your novel reduces the impact. Do not use profanity to disguise poor writing. Think twice if that F-word is really needed in that sentence. This is a great way to improve your writing. Strip away the curse from your sentence and read what is left. Chances are, you’ll want to re-write it anyway.

5. Antagonists & Antiheroes – Writer’s Digest July/August 2013 .

*even the villain deserves some loving. I realized with Fire and Ice, my villains were the typical bad guys through and through. Almost caricatures. So I decided to experiment with Silver Fire and delve into the psychology of the villain further. Yes, I skeeved myself out. One thing to remember, antagonists are people too. Excited to craft the big bad for Guardians #3.

6. Character Development – Writer’s Digest novel writing Yearbook Summer 2013. This collection of articles, sort of like a whole workbook for writing your novel, is a gem to help you craft your final draft. I also liked the grammatically speaking article which gives 50 tips to make your grammar stronger. The very first one: Avoid multiple exclamation points!!!! Actually, it also cautions against using even a single exclamation point unless for a true exclamation.