I’d be a fool if I didn’t think my readers ever tired of my voice. Ask any of my friends and they might say they don’t recognize me with my mouth closed – although ironically they’d equally be as keen to tell you I’m a fantastic listener. Now, with all that said, I know you’re here looking to expand your writing knowledge. I gave you a deviance from the norm last week with my sister answering some questions, and now I’d like to do so again.
To say I write my books without any help would be a damn lie. Firstly, I love the works of K.M. Weiland. Although I know her to write fiction, I was introduced to her via the Structuring Your Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Building Strong and Successful Stories (Link here or below). You’ll notice the link is to the paperback, when normally I’m so fond of eBooks. Although from my link you can easily press the eBook, I would suggest the hard copy. Weiland was very smart about this book, and inserted space for you to write your ideas onto the book itself. This way it’s easier to collect your thoughts. To give you an idea how helpful this book is, when I finished my first novel last year it was at just over 25,500 words – and that’s with an outline before. I had to go back through several drafts to flesh out the characters and plot. I’ve used her book as a guide for my plot for my current novel. My first draft was over double at over 50,000 words! Not only that, but I could see the rise in quality. All of my beta readers commented on how progressed this one was to my last novel. I owe that to Weiland.
Another suggestion I have is The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Link here or below) by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. As authors, we often find ourselves repeating the same phrases for different emotions, whether it be quivering lips or a tightened stance. (Please, for the sake of your readers, avoid the clichés of a single tear and other nuisances.) This book provides both internal and external sensations, as well as suppressed and acute! Even when rejected, I’ve found literary magazines have complimented my emotional descriptions since I’ve began utilizing this book!
If you’ve decided the self-publishing route, I have to suggest Successful Self-Publishing: How to Self-Publish and Market Your Book (Link here or below) by Joanna Penn. I’d like to stress that this book is permanently and completely free. It’s an easy read, but has numerous helpful tips that I look forward to using! Although I haven’t personally read any more of her books, I’d suggest looking into them! She also has a podcast that can be found here. Also, look for “How to Write a Mystery With Rebecca Cantrell and J.F. Penn” where she gives me a shout-out!
Don’t be a hermit stuck in your little writing nest. Authors have already made the mistakes you’re currently making, and a few like the ones above have taken the extra step to publish a book to help aspiring authors. Take advantage!