Books on Craft

With all the books on craft that I've read these are the two I return to most often. 

The first may surprise you because SAVING THE CAT is written for script writers not novel writers. But all stories, regardless of how they are told, require the same elements.

What resonated for me most was the unique way Blake Snyder looks at the beats a story must hit to create a tension filled satisfying tale. 

He created a formula he calls, "The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet," which lists fifteen beat points. If you're looking for a different way to outline you might want to check it out. I've tried the traditional outline formats, used index cards of varying colors, story boards, plot lines, excel sheets . . . None have worked as well for me as BSBS. It's a short-hand form of outlining that doesn't bog down or take a lot of space, and can easily be changed and glanced at as the first draft is written. It's a map with fifteen stops. As I write, my characters and I figure out the best route to take to get to the next beat or stop.

SAVE THE CAT is a quick and fun read and one I highly recommend.

READING LIKE A WRITER, by Francine Prose is a book most have probably heard of already. This one focuses on word choice, and how each word, sentence, paragraph work together like an orchestra to create one beautiful page, complete with white space. And that's in addition to her chapters on gesture, dialogue, balancing narrative, complete with excerpts from well know literature.

I found READING LIKE A WRITER best taken in slow, savoring bites to let the information percolate. A definite must read.

Webpage Went Live

I'm celebrating!!

My website is up. YAY! I'm pretty darn proud to say I did it myself, too (with the help of an ubber awesome template from bludomain), and I still have some hair left--on my head. 

If you have a chance, I'd love feedback. Is there something that doesn't make sense, something I could do better . . . (Because I'm a revision-a-holic. Ya know, done never really means done-done, right? Always room to improve.)

Which brings me to the second reason I'm celebrating. I am finally sending out my completed MG fantasy SYDNEY PARKS AND THE BAYAB TREE in search of representation. I know, I know, I've been saying that it was done for a while, but like I said, it wasn't done-done (enough) to send out yet, until now. After four years of working on the craft and on my first novel, it's a great feeling to reach this next step in the long road to (hopeful) publication. I'm going to try really, really hard to put it aside and stop tweeking as I wait.

Thankfully I have other characters screaming for me to tell their stories.
Next up is UNTIL DEATH, a young-adult paranormal romance.

My last reason to celebrate today is I am sitting at Starbucks right now with my mocha made just the way I like it: extra foam with those little chocolate sprinkles on top that make it look so pretty.
Celebrate every little thing!