Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Favorite Writing Craft Books ~ Part 1

This week five of our Voyager writers and our publisher L. Diane Wolfe are sharing some of their favorite writing craft books.  Check them out ~ perhaps you will find a new favorite to inspire your writing.

Favorite Writing Craft Books ...

Yvonne Ventresca
"The Third Ghost"

Favorite Writing Craft Books
The most recent addition to my writing craft shelf is A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation by Noah Lukeman. It features chapters on the comma, the semicolon, and other punctuation marks, and explores the stylistic differences of each one. This collection of essays contains excellent examples, and if you’re a grammar geek like me, it’s fun to explore the nuances of various punctuation.

Yvonne Ventresca is the award-winning author of Black Flowers, White Lies (IPPY Gold Medal for National YA fiction) and Pandemic (SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award).  In addition to her novels, Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies, including the previous IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.  She is currently pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can learn more at, where she features resources for writers.

Roland Clarke
"Feathered Fire"

Favorite Writing Craft Books
My choice of crafting books has changed over the years, but three books have become ‘essentials’ on my writing desk: 1. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, from One Stop for Writers – one of my key resources. I have the original edition, the expanded version, and their other thesauri; 2.  Method Acting for Writers by Lisa Hall-Wilson has guided my ongoing journey into Deep POV with interesting results; 3. Writing Diverse Characters for Fiction by Lucy V. Hay has helped ensure the characters in my current WIP are not tropes, but true to reality. 

I’ve added a new craft book to my desk-library, although my delving is still at the early stages: Save The Cat! Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody. How this will change my WIP revision – I used K. M. Weiland’s Three Act structure   - remains to be seen. If I glance at my bookshelf – inaccessible from my wheelchair – I see two books which helped me years ago: Solutions for Writers : Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-Fiction by Sol Stein, and Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress – I pray I absorbed some of their wisdom.

After diverse careers, Roland Clarke was an equestrian journalist and green activist when chronic illness hastened retirement.  But he hasn't stopped exploring rabbit holes and writing - mainly mysteries and alternative history. You can read more about Roland's book Spiral Hooves at his website Writing Wings, and his book is available on Amazon.

Beth Anderson Schuck
"The Orchard"

Favorite Writing Craft Books
One of the craft books I find that I use often is the Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws, c2013. This resource outlines negative traits and provides lists of associated behaviors, thoughts and emotions along with positive and negative aspects of each trait. When I can't decide how an antagonist might behave, using the guide can give me ideas on how to frame the interaction and build believable characters.

Beth Anderson Schuck is a retired librarian who believes reading can take you anywhere.  She writes historical fiction featuring willful female characters. Being in nature whether hiking, birdwatching or gardening makes her whole.

Katharina Gerlach
"Winter Days"

Favorite Writing Craft Books 
Two good books Create a Plot Clinic and How to Write Page Turning Scenes ( by Holly Lisle. With those two books alone you're way ahead of many wannabe writers. Stories live through conflict and characters, and these two courses show the basics in an easy to understand way. I love them and refer to them often.

Although Katharina Gerlach was born in the late sixties, she’s still a child at heart. She inherited her love of fairy tales and words from her mother, an ex-secretary and avid reader, and her love of all things nature and science from her father, an ex-forester. Memories of her rather interesting life in Germany flow back at the smallest trigger, even though she tends to merge her three brothers into one when she tells stories about their childhood adventures. And more often than not, she recalls events truthfully.

L. T. Ward
"Return to Cahokia"

Favorite Writing Craft Books
I'm going outside of the box on this one. I don't have a favorite writing craft book. Instead, I have a favorite online blog to follow and one other tip. The blog belongs to Tim Storm. He runs the Storm Writing School. His blog stands out in that Tim includes current literary techniques, acknowledges older ones, and gives plenty of examples to showcase all points. I've met Tim several times and attended his writing retreats. My writing has matured and improved from his lessons which is why I rave about his blog.

LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has publications with Dancing Lemur Press and Me First Magazine while querying her first novel and writing another. She currently volunteers as a social media coordinator and content provider for WriteHive, an online writers’ conference.

L. Diane Wolfe
Publisher, Editor, Speaker, and Author

Favorite Writing Craft Books 
For a favorite book on writing, I'm going to with a standard that everyone should own - The Chicago Manual of Style. It covers everything grammar-related. Sometimes it's a little tricky if you're not sure what section to search for your answer, especially due to the size of the book, but the answers are all there. You can search online, but with this book, you know the answer will be right.

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association.  She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation.  Diane is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Circle of Friends series, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! and Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk! 

Coming on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 
Next week more of our authors will share favorite writing craft books.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 

* * * * * * * * * *

IWSG Members Supporting Fellow Members: 
The arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for Insecure Writer's Support Group members to promote and sell their books, because many conferences, conventions, and other events have been cancelled this year.  Yesterday, one of our members Chrys Fey had a great writing craft book released.  Chrys is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series and an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.  She is also a moderator for the The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.  

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:
·         Writer's block
·         Depression
·         Writer's burnout
·         What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
·         Finding creativity boosts
With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing. 

Please help spread the news about her latest book!

Release date – July 14, 2020
$17.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 256 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844729 / EBook ISBN 9781939844736
Writing / Self-Help: Depression – Stress Management

Reviews of Voyagers: The Third Ghost:

1. Check out lots of reviews and ratings at Goodreads.

You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Save the Cat and the Emotional Thesaurus are excellent choices.

Fundy Blue said...

So many interesting references, Alex! I'm looking forward to checking them out. Have a good one, my friend, and thanks for visiting!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is a great list of books.

Thank you for mentioning Chrys' book.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks, Diane! Great references indeed! "The Chicago Manual of Style" was my go to reference while I was in American universities. I must get a new copy! I'm always caught between American and Canadian English ~ LOL! I didn't put up everything about Chrys's book because I will be featuring her on this blog and on my own in the near future. All the best to you!

Roland Clarke said...

More invaluable suggestions.I'm interested others use the Emotional Thesaurus &/or related gems - watch out for the imminent release of the Occupation Thesaurus.
As for style, I grew up using Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage - as a Brit writing for UK newspapers and magazines. So, I've had to adapt to US publishers, although my style guide tends to be: New Oxford Style Manual.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I didn't know about those thesauri. I will have to check them out--especially the emotions one!

As for style guides... I came out of academia, and was weaned on the MLA Style Manual. It's not really right for fiction, though, and when I need to know I check on line, usually searching for references to the Chicago Manual.

Fundy Blue said...

I had no idea that the Emotional Thesaurus existed and the other books mentioned. I have so much to learn! I understand being caught between two Englishes ~ LOL Take care, my friend

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Rebecca! If there could be just one correct answer! Is that too much to ask ~ LOL All the best to you, my friend!