Sitting down to write never seems to be as easy as just that, writing. Over the past week, I have found myself needing to know more about how I am writing, not just why I am writing. The researcher in me clawed its way out and threw me into a week of reading, research, and even a bit of writing.
It started with webcast with Grant Faulkner (NaNoWriMo), Ally Machete (The Writer’s Ally), and some tips from AutoCrit on self-editing. Ally recommended Hooked by Les Edgerton, and then I couldn’t resist a fourth read-through of Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes. Feverish writing ensued with surprising insights and a new perspective on my plot and structure. My fingers have been flying on the keyboard and I have adopted a new whiteboard to organize my thoughts, plots, and problems (surface problems and story-worthy problems).
Alexa notified me that I have two more books arriving this week and I have resorted to stalking the mailman. My newest writerly books include Scene & Structure by Jack M Bickham and Save the Cat! Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody. I can’t get enough. In retrospect, my word count could have been higher, but I feel that my time reading and researching is invaluable. I won’t say everything about my current manuscript is falling into place, but it is significantly closer to where it needs to be and I have a better sense of the overall direction and motivations I want to capture. All in all, it’s been a successful week.
Beginning February 1st I will be trying to adhere to a specific daily minimum word count goal. This book won’t write itself and I have a deadline in my head that I can’t seem to shake.
What are your go to writing books? Do you have a favorite writing reference you think all writers should have on their shelves?
2 thoughts on “Reading, Researching, & Writing, Oh My!”
I have quite a few favorite writing related books including; “Rivet your readers with deep point of view”, “The Emotion Thesaurus”, and “Writing the Private Eye Novel”. I love “Romancing the Beats” as well, certainly worth multiple reads!
I don’t have any books that I think all writers should have – we’re all unique, and looking for different things at different points in our lives, and for different purposes.
However, I second Shannon’s “Deep POV” above – it changed the way I write ALL my characters. I also love The Writer’s Coloring Book, and DIY-MFA, which comes with lots of extras. Rock Your Plot was a great introduction to outlining.
My all-time favorite, though, was Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. Mindfullness and a Zen approach to writing that broke me free of a lot of inner emotional paralysis. I reread it often!