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:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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.

Christine Rains said...

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.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You're very welcome!

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

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

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.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Crystal Collier said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Uh oh! :o

Tamara Narayan said...

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).

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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. :)

Liza said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Unknown said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Julie Flanders said...

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

Karen Jones Gowen said...

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

emaginette said...

All new to me. I've made a note. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You're very welcome! :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Excellent, Anna!

Patricia Stoltey said...

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.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Loni Townsend said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I hope you find them helpful. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Great idea! Gifts for others...and for yourself?! :)

Nick Wilford said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Pat Garcia said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Shannon Lawrence said...

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.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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.

Tess Julia said...

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

Donna Volkenannt said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You're welcome!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Chrys Fey said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Jenni said...

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!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

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

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

You're welcome!

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