A writer can never have enough craft books—true or false? True, of course!
In that case, I have two for you. The first, Blueprint for a Book is written by Jennie Nash, the book coach guru. I signed up for her Author Accelerator course at the beginning of the year, and am finding it quite meaty. Just a third of the way through, I have already found a gold mine of information and a secret: a blueprint for writing a book which publishers will publish and readers will read. But now, the secret is out and is condensed in her latest book.
What’s inside Blueprint for a Book?
So much practical advice, sure to transform your WIP. Here are the points covered in the book. The “inside outline” is the key:
Part 1: Story Fundamentals
Part 2: Design a Structure
Part 3: The Inside Outline
Part 4: Using the Inside Outline to Write Forward, to Revise, and to Develop a Synopsis
What is the “inside outline”? Simply put, it’s your novel’s contents, scene by scene, condensed to three pages. Yep, you heard right. The outside is what your readers read: the scenes. The inside is your reason for each scene. And of course, it forces you to ask yourself, “Does this scene move my story along?” “Complement the theme?” “Reveal necessary information about my MC?”
This is only a peek into this well-crafted resource. You’ll need to read “Blueprint for a Book” for yourself!
The Conflict Thesaurus
The second resource is one I highly recommend for a number of reasons. I’ve used other books in this series, and they are incredibly helpful when you are stuck on a scene or fleshing out an MC. Just as a typical thesaurus, information within The Conflict Thesaurus is easy to locate.
All writers have heard the advice: when your MC can’t stand it any longer, dunk him in hot water. Or, ask: “What’s the worst thing that can happen to my main character?” Then up the ante. Well, you will never run out of ways to put that advice into practice with The Conflict Thesaurus. Here are some categories:
Failures and Mistakes
Moral Dilemmas and Temptations
Duty and Responsibilities
One’s Work-Life Balance Being Threatened Increased Pressure and Ticking Clocks
Within each category above, you will find at least 10 specific scenarios. For example:
Being taken for granted (Relationship Friction)
Confiding in the wrong person (Failures and Mistakes)
Being offered an easy way out (Moral Dilemmas and Temptations)
Having to Break a Promise (Duty and Responsibilities)
Getting Lost (One’s Work-Life Balance, etc.)
Being Unable to Save Everyone (No-Win Scenarios)
Then, under each scenario, the guide goes into further detail with: examples, minor complications, potential disastrous results, resulting emotions, possible internal struggles, and more! You never need to think of scenarios. The thesaurus does it for you! Here are the other titles in this series:
If you don’t want to purchase all of these thesaurus resources (as handy as they are) consider a yearly subscription to One Stop for Writers which is AMAZING! I don’t use even a tenth of the website, and the shame is on me. Take advantage of the free trial right away!
Hope these suggestions will jump-start your writing or blast your writer’s block this Fall. Let me know in the comments below the title of your favorite writing resource. Wishing you a whirl of inspiration!