Writing Resources Chart

Busy Week

I’ve had an interesting week, weighing through eight Daphne judge reports and making zillions of edits to tighten two of my manuscripts. Phew!

I go through every emotion listed in the dictionary and then some as I find stupid errors like typing “vice” when I meant “vise,” to  deep down and dirty conflict issues that threaten to rip my plots apart.

The feedback is invaluable, and I am enjoying the process in a weird masochistic way. It’s kind of like ripping off a band-aid on an ugly wound– necessary, freeing, yet downright painful.

While I was swamped under piles of editing notes, I decided to create my own chart for writing resource books, a nice concrete kind of thing to do, like mowing the lawn– a useful therapy.

I’m writing it for myself to track where I’ve been like footprints in the landscape of the writing world, but I thought others might be interested in it, so I’m sharing.

The four  headings on the chart are:

  1. title/author,
  2. copyright,
  3. Why? (as in why did I like it) and
  4. Favorite Quote(s)

When I tried to  add the whole chart here, the words mashed together ( a Word not compatible with HTML thing) , so I’ve posted  a  separate page on my website to house it (just click the highlighted link).

My plan is to  keep adding to it.

Here is the information on the first two books:

Book 1

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (2005, Sheridan books)

Why? – storyboarding, laws of writing, loglines

Favorite Quote: “…concentrate on writing one sentence. One line. [the logline] …if you can learn how to tell me ‘What is it?’ better, faster and with more creativity, you’ll keep me interested…by doing so before you start writing…you’ll make the story better, too.” p. 4

Book 2 

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (2009, Fraser Direct)

Why? – Breakout premise, Larger than life characters

Favorite Quote: “…a breakout novel rattles, confronts and illuminates.” p. 39 “Stories are the glue that holds together our fragile human enterprise.” p. 229

I love books suggestions. Do you have any favorites to recommend?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

Jo-Ann Carson writes a saucy mix of fantasy, adventure and romance. Her latest stories are in the Gambling Ghosts Series: A Highland Ghost for Christmas, A Viking Ghost for Valentine’s Day, Confessions of a Pirate Ghost and The Biker Ghost Meets his Match. An anthology of the novellas will be coming out this summer. Currently she is working on Midnight Magic, A Ghost & Abby Mystery, the first book in a spin-off series from her Viking ghost story. Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, playing Mah Jong and drinking good coffee. You can chat with her on social media: You can find all her links on her website - http://jo-anncarson.com

9 thoughts on “Writing Resources Chart”

  1. I thought “Writing Scary Scenes” by Rayne Hall was good. Plenty of tips on how to increase tension, suspense, how to describe what your characters are experiencing by focusing on all the different senses.

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  2. How about “Writing Screen Slays That Sell”, by Michael Hauge? I think we are so geared into movies and TV dramas that our readers expect many of the same constructs. We aren’t writing like Jane Austin any more.

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    1. Hi Judy
      Sound good. I’m guessing you mean Plays, right? I’ll add it to my list. I haven’t read Michael Hauge yet.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  3. My two books are more basic: “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Browne and King and THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White. Both are dog-eared and full of post its. Suggested by some kind judges of my first contest entry years ago. 🙂 have the Mass book, but confess I’ve only read a bit of it. I’ve attended a confernce where Michale Hague was the lead presenter. Anything and everything is an option. You never know what will hit you at the right time. I totally couldn’t wrap my head around Margie Lawson’s Highlighting drill the first time I was exposed. Now, of course, I swear by it and give her credit for my first book being pubbed this summer. Good post, as always, Jo-Ann.

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    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks for your suggestions. I use Strunk and White, but I haven’t seen the other one. I love growing my list.
      I hope your writing is going well.
      Best Wishes
      Jo-Ann

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  4. Always fun to talk about writing books! My favourite is one I’ve heard many writers mention — Goal, motivation, conflict by Debra Dixon. A close runner-up is a book I’ve never heard anyone else mention — The Wordwatcher’s Guide to Good Writing & Grammar by Morton S. Freeman.

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  5. I love craft book. The original- Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway [ a college text]. Dwight Swains, Techniques of the Selling Writer are two that I go back to over and over. Michael Hauge and Donald Maas provide insight. Lots of others that I reread when I’m mired in the pits of story and can’t find my way out 🙂 Thanks for sharing your list.

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    1. Hi Jean
      Two more to add to my wish-list. This is great. It’s like a blog post that keeps giving back.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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