Hello, Story Empire Readers. Joan here today. For those who live in the United States, I hope you had a fun-filled July 4th celebration.
Today, I’m going to talk about continuing education. Doesn’t exactly sound like fun, but bear with me. My daytime job is in the field of healthcare. Nurses, physicians, lab techs, even coders must have a certain number of continuing education units in order to renew their licenses each year.
As writers, continuing education isn’t required, but I believe we should strive to become better with each article, short-story, or novel we pen. There are a number of ways we can do this, the first of which is “just write.” The more we write, the more the edit, the more we refine, the better our writing will become.
Another way is to read and follow blogs such as Story Empire (Wink, wink.) There are a number of blogs that I follow on a regular basis and have learned much from reading articles from seasoned writers.
However, today I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite writing books. While I admit I would much rather read a good novel, there are times when it’s necessary to read a non-fiction “how to book.” Below is a list of a few books that have helped me in my writing journey.
- Write Your Novel from the Middle – by James Scott Bell. I’ve purchased many of JSB’s books on writing and have found all of them useful. Although the approach of writing from the middle sounds a bit unorthodox, Bell’s book provides useful information for both plotters and pansters.
- Plot and Structure – James Scott Bell. This book gives techniques to craft strong beginnings, middles, and endings as well as brainstorming techniques, thought-provoking exercises, and more.
- The Busy Writers Guides – Marcy Kennedy. Marcy has written a number of these short, easy-to-read books. I’ll not list them all, but among them are Deep Point of View, Internal Dialogue, Strong Female Characters, and Description. Visit Marcy’s Amazon page for a complete list.
- Writing Book Blurbs and Synopses – Rayne Hall. In my opinion, writing a book blurb or synopsis is harder than writing a complete novel. Hall (no relation) explains the difference and provides examples.
- The Emotion Thesaurus – Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I can’t say enough about this book. If you’re looking to show rather than tell a character’s emotion, this is a great resource. Ackerman and Puglisi have also penned The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus, both of which I also recommend. And if you’d like a quick all-in-one resource check out their One Stop for Writers page (no affiliate).
These are just a few of the writing books I have on my bookshelf. What are some of your favorite resources? Please share in the comments.