Monday, September 19, 2016

Get on Track! Writing Books and Links to Guide, Inspire and Motivate

This past summer, I came across some wonderful posts (and books!) about writing that really hit home for me. I'm sharing them here in the hopes we can all stay on a good track - or get on one! - for the rest of the year and into the next. May you come away from reading them with the same inspiration, motivation and guidance that I did! 


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If you've lost your writing mojo, check out Anna Elliot's post over at Writer Unboxed - When the Spark is Gone: 4 Ways to Bring Back the Joy of Writing

"But we all have experienced those hard days: times when we feel like we’ve lost the spark of delight in what we’re working on. It might be a scene, a chapter, or an entire book that suddenly feels flat or empty or just lifeless on the page."



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If you're trying to figure out where you'd like your writing career to go, these two posts from Pretentious Title can help:

Author Career Planning: "I'd like to talk about career planning. In my opinion, the trad vs self publishing choice is just a microcosm of figuring out a real career path for yourself."

Know Thy (Publishing) Self: "Because the truth is that both trad and self publishing have horrible pitfalls and incredible heights. Neither of them is easy and nothing is guaranteed. So how do you know which is right for you?" 



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I can't say enough good things about Lisa Cron's book Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence. I'm now reading her new one, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere.) Oh. Yes. Please.  






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And now . . . some inspiration! Bear with me, I'm going all Fan Girl (wait, am I too old for that? Or should it be Fan Woman?) I am a huge fan of Mindy McGinnis - the 2016 Young Adult Edgar Award Winner! - whose new book, The Female of the Species, is out September 20th.


Guess how long it took this book's journey form beginning to bookstore? 15 years! In A Picture of a Thousand Torments, Or: A Literal Pile of Rejection Letters, Mindy says, "I'm sharing all of this with you not as yet another example of "never give up," but rather, "never stop improving." If I had continued to query for fifteen years but never bothered to improve my craft, I guarantee I would still be receiving rejections." Read her post. Please.

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(I didn't receive any compensation for mentioning these links or books. I just liked them and wanted to share.)

42 comments:

  1. Thanks! I'll check out the posts and the books. Need all the help I can get.

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    1. I hear you! I plan to finish reading Story Genius through once just to get a feel for everything then go back and re-read it and apply it to my next novel idea. Hopefully before NaNo.

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  2. Wow! These are fabulous links. Never give up is such a vital message. Thank you for sharing. I just recently finished Chris Fox's 5000 Words Per Hour. While the info wasn't totally new, it was the concise way he said it and the handy dandy free app to go with it that clicked with me.

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    1. You're very welcome!

      I think I saw you mention that book over on Goodreads. There really is an app for everything now! :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing these links. I'm going to check them out and probably share them too. I've worked through a dark time in my writing recently and am only now getting the mojo back.

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    1. I hope they help you and everyone else you pass them along to. :)

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  4. Wired, now there's a book I need to read. Awesome links. You've sufficiently deterred me from getting to everyone else's blogs. ;)

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  5. Thanks for the recommendations. These look juicy indeed. And I love the idea that someone could take their first book and actually get it to publication so many years later (in a much improved form).

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    1. That much improved form is the key. I hope you swing by and read her whole post - she's got more details and even pics. :)

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  6. Thank you for the referrals. I may have to get Anna Elliot's book...

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    1. You're welcome! I hope the links and books are helpful.

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  7. Thank you for these. I've been in a writing slump lately and I con't know why. This might help.

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    1. I really hope something here helps get you out of your slump. Good luck!

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  8. Thanks for this post. I really needed it! Now off to read your recommendations.

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  9. I've got a few books I'll turn to regularly when I need a boost but I'm always looking for more!

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    1. I've got a handful like that on my shelf, too. Lisa Cron's have their own space there now.

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  10. Thanks for the suggestions, Madeline. Over at my blog I'm looking for book recommendations for readers for their own pleasure or for Christmas gifts.

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    1. I'll head on over to your post soon and check out those book recommendations. :)

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  11. I've seen a few of those books. I'll definitely check them out.

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  12. I must book mark this post for future study and Christmas list creation.

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  13. Thanks for these recommendations! A boost of inspiration is always welcome.

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    1. I can use all the inspiration and motivation I can get. :)

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  14. Thank you, Madeline. This was right on tee for me this morning. Especially the book by Mindy McGinnis. I'm jumping up and down on that one and going to Amazon to purchase her book. :-)
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. I just finished it, Pat, and it was so good! I think my favorite though is still NOT A DROP TO DRINK. :)

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  15. These are great, thanks! I've got Wired for Story on my wish list already. Just waiting until I'm ready for a new craft book.

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    1. That's what I did with it, too. I'm glad I read that one first, followed directly by Story Genius. It's helping keep the concepts etc all front and center as I think about what to do for NaNo.

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  16. That's great info! Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

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  17. Thanks for the links and shares. Wired for Story has been added to my reading list.

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    1. I'm really enjoying Story Genius, too, Donna. Maybe another for the TBR list? :)

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  18. I'm obsessed with books about the writing craft. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Me, too. I'm trying to be better at picking and choosing though. They can't all live on my bookshelf. Sigh.

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  19. I could so relate to Anne Elliot's quote (love that she shares a name with one of my favorite characters, btw!). I just hit a snag with my WIP. It was going so well till I hit the middle. I'm also going to check out Wired. Never heard of it. It sounds right up my alley!

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    1. Anna's post was definitely a good one. I really connected with WIRED, and I'm feeling the same so far with STORY GENIUS.

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  20. Thanks so much for the recommendations, Madeline! Glad to hear you sounding pumped and inspired again.

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    1. You're welcome!

      I'm hoping the "pumped and inspired" will carry me through the end of the year. Or at least through NaNo. :)

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