Face it. Most of us do not have unlimited funds to attend workshops and conferences on a regular basis, especially those of us who are yet pre-published. So what do we do to improve our technique and therefore increase our chances of getting “the call?”
I’ve recently finished two incredibly helpful books on writing. The first is Syd Field’s The Foundations of Screenwriting. I know what those of you who haven’t read his book are thinking. You write novels, not screenplays. Mr. Field is a plotting genius. He lays out the foundations for a story so simply, in such a plotting-for-dummies kind of way that the only thought running through my head as I read his book was “duh.” Why didn’t I see that before? So that’s where my book should really begin or end or climax or whatever.
After this epiphany, I started on Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation & Conflict. Where Mr. Field’s book shines on overall story structure, I found Goal, Motivation & Conflict to be most helpful in developing individual characters and scenes. As in do I need that scene? Or darn it! I spent four days on that scene and it stinks. How do I save it? What is my character doing in this scene and why?
Does anyone else have recommendations for excellent books on the craft of writing? What do you like about them?
Melinda Leigh is an award winning pre-published author of romantic suspense.