Dec/Jan NaNoWriMo 2014/15 Day 11: Writing Craft Books

Hey guys! So today I crossed a milestone: I finished Act 1 of my story. Yay! But before we get into that, here are my stats:

Word Count Goal: 20,004

Words Written: 22, 942

Woot woot! Still keeping on top of my words. Oh yeah! Ha ha. Anyway, enough of that silliness. Today I finished Act 1 of my novel and began the long and tedious journey known as Act 2. I can tell you right now that Act 2 is not going to go as well as Act 1, but that’s always the case with middles. They are the hardest sections to write. I will probably do a separate blog post on that topic in the future.

Today however, I thought I would talk about writing craft books. For Christmas this year, I bought myself the book Writing New Adult Fiction. Since my novel falls into that category, I thought the book would be extremely helpful when it comes time to revise. I also recently purchased the following books:

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them

Overview (from Barnesandnoble.com):

Give your story a solid foundation—a plot that engages readers from start to finish!

The best stories linger in the hearts and minds of readers for decades. These tales gain their power through plots that connect with the audience on both an emotional and intellectual level.

Inside Ronald B. Tobias details these 20 time-tested plots. Each is discussed and analyzed, illustrating how a successful plot integrates all the elements of a story. Tobias then shows you how to use these plots effectively in your own work.

Tobias then goes to the next level, showing you how to choose and develop plot in fiction. He shows you how to craft plot for any subject matter, so that you develop your work evenly and effectively. As a result, your fiction will be more cohesive and convincing, making your story unforgettable for readers everywhere.

I chose this book because I thought it would help add more meaning and depth to my prose. Even though I have already outlined my novel, it’s good to have a background about all the different types of plot available and how I can apply them to my story.

45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters

45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters

Overview (from Barnesandnoble.com):

Create unforgettable characters your readers will love!

Want to make your characters and their stories more compelling, complex, and original than ever before? 45 Master Characters is here to help you explore the most common male and female archetypes–the mythic, cross-cultural models from which all characters originate.

  • Explore a wide variety of character profiles including heroes, villains, and supporting characters.
  • Learn how to use archetypes as foundations for your own unique characters
  • Examine the mythic journeys of heroes and heroines–the progression of events upon which each archetype’s character arc develops–and learn how to use them to enhance your story.

Complete with examples culled from literature, television, and film, 45 Master Characters illustrates just how memorable and effective these archetypes can be–from “Gladiators” and “Kings” like Rocky Balboa and Captain Ahab to “Amazons” and “Maidens” like Wonder Woman and Guinevere. Great heroes and villains are necessary to bring any story to life; let this guide help you create characters that stand the test of time.

I have always been intrigued my myths and archetypes, so when I came across this book, I knew I had to have it. I am a big believer in following the hero’s/heroine’s journey in regards to characters. It gives the readers something to relate to. I cannot wait to dive into this book.

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas

Writing the Breakout Novel

Writing the Breakout Novel

Overview (from Barnesandnoble.com):

Take your fiction to the next level!

Maybe you’re a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you’ve already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel – one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.

Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share – regardless of genre – then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

You’ll learn to:

  • establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place
  • weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story
  • create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page
  • explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers
  • sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish
  • develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition

Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors – including novelist Anne Perry – Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You’ll capture the eye of an agent,generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career.

Who better to get publishing advice from than an agent? Donald Maas knows all the ins and outs of the industry and he knows what sells, which makes this book a great companion for every writer.

Can you guys suggest any other writing craft books I should check out? I’m always interested in learning more about writing and honing my skills. Also, if you have read any of the aforementioned books, please let me know if you found them helpful.

Tomorrow I am taking a break from writing, but don’t worry, I will be back Sunday. Until then, kill your darlings, slay your dragons and keep writing.

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