Each year I try to improve my craft. I love writing and understand that I can always do better. There are ideas I want to try, worlds I want to build, tips, tricks and short-cuts I need to find in order to help me produce the stories that dance around in my head in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I’d like to share with you some of my top picks for you to try in the coming months.
One of my favorites this year has been Ultimate Novel Planning Workbook by Lana Pecherczyk. From writing better characterization to world building, this book has it all. I especially liked the tips for writing faster and getting organized. Who doesn’t need that? Need help in editing and plotting? You’ll find it here. This is a very friendly and hands-on kind of book. I’m thinking seriously about removing the binding and making a notebook. It’s that helpful for me.
How to Outline a Cozy Mystery by Sara Rosett was another good find. I have been toying with starting a cozy mystery series and really found myself struggling on where to start. This little book explains the dos and don’ts along with giving you some helpful worksheets. It’s a fast read for those of you who have limited time to study up on the craft of writing.
The Novel Notebook was “developed by writers for writers” according to the back of the book. This really is a workbook to dump your ideas and create an outline. If you’re into brainstorming to set you onto a path of discovery for your next book, this might come in handy. Since I’m a PLOTTER (A writer who plans everything out and loves the details.) and you may be a PANTSER, (You just sit down and write and let the characters and story tell you what to do next.) never fear. There is enough for both of us.
Donald Maass wrote Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Although this is an excellent book, I found it was something I needed when I first started out writing. If you are at the beginning of your journey, get this book. Very helpful. I wish I’d had it years ago.
The next book was published by Between the Lines Editorial. The title is The Write Plan: A Writer’s Notebook (Organize Your ideas and Start Writing) This is another one of those books for the beginner and especially if you need some way to jot down ideas and goals. There are word trackers (not a bad thing to have), character reference sheets, along with pages on world building basics and settings. Plenty of blank pages to sketch things out and maybe even create some mind mapping.
Sweet Harmony Press created Character Development Journal (Everything you need to create characters your readers will love!) Although I created my own document to put life into my characters, I found this book made it a lot easier. I’ll probably photo copy pages for my characters from now on, because this seems a lot easier than what I’m currently doing.
2020-2021 Publishing Planner by AuthorProductivity.com is the last book I’ll talk about for authors. Marketing is difficult, confusing and exhausting, not to mention it can get expensive. This clever book gives you monthly calendars and many options to promote so you can keep it super organized. I think I spent about $30 on this one. More than I usually spend but it looked so interesting. I haven’t used it yet but it is full of promise to help me stay on top of things. Fingers crossed.
I hope 2020 is the beginning of great stories, adventures and success for you. Stay tuned for more reading and writing tips. If you are a writer and would like to join me on The Write Place to Create (Facebook) please take a look. I try to put tips several times a week. If you are a reader then you may want to join us on Lipstick and Danger Reader Group (Facebook).