By DiAnn Mills
Reading how-to books demand the professional writer’s attention. These resources need to be read and reread, underlined, noted, and inhaled like a breath of fresh air—or a dose of castor oil. Depends on our ability to accept the contents. I have my favorites, and I want to share them with you and why I value their information.
1. Writing the Break-Out Novel by Donald Maass. This how-to book challenged me to climb out of mediocre writing and scale the peaks of a bestselling writer. Maass is a genius in the world of fiction writing techniques and providing excellent examples of his points.
2. Writing the Break-Out Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. The hands-on exercises in this workbook demonstrate the power of Maass’ teachings by applying his principles to our own work.
3. Story Trumps Structure by Steven James demonstrates the power of story. When our novels are closed and the reader reflects upon the characters’ adventures, what prevails is the journey woven through the pages.
4. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is cemented to my desktop. These writers have crafted an informative book that blends emotion and body language to clearly show instead of telling story.
5. The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman is a remarkable tool for the writer seeking to enhance characterization. The resource is also a valuable handbook for the speaker who not only desires to read her audience but also exhibit her own appropriate body language.
6. Dialogue by Gloria Kempton establishes the importance of what a character says, how it’s said, and word choices. Exercises at the end of each chapter help the writer to practice the concepts.
7. Dictionary and Thesaurus - This is a given, but we writers need to have one handy at all times.
No matter what your challenge in creating story, whether it is characterization, plot, dialogue, setting, emotion, setting, or self-editing. These books will guide you into professionalism. Are you ready to read, write, reread, and rewrite?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. Her series includes her latest Double Cross and Deadlock. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.