Resource Spotlight: Police Procedure & Investigation

Title: Police Procedure & Investigation Author: Lee Lofland Pages: 400 Language: English Published: August 8, 2007 First, let me apologize for being a bit late with my post this week. I had a busy weekend preparing to preach at a church not far from here, so I think I have a good excuse. Now, on to my thoughts. I picked up this book a couple months ago and finally started digging into it at the end of September. I fleshed out a couple of scenes for a detective story a couple of years ago and have let the story sit since then. Part of my leaving it alone has been an unfamiliarity with how police forces work. This book has provided me with a great deal of insight that I hope to use in making a realistic story (at this time, the detective story is my planned NaNoWriMo project). At … Keep reading!

Resource Spotlight: Conflict, Action & Suspense

Today I put forth for your consideration Conflict, Action & Suspense: How to pull readers in and carry them along with dramatic, powerful storytelling by William Noble. This is another book in The Elements of Fiction Writing series put out by Writer’s Digest. Unfortunately, I could not find this resource on the Writer’s Digest site (the link above is an affiliate link to Amazon), but it’s one of the volumes my dad purchased back in the late 1990’s that he has since passed down to me, so it’s possible WD doesn’t carry it anymore (the copyright on Amazon is 1999, my version is from 1994). Reading the Amazon reviews, you would probably be tempted to skip this book. I might be half-tempted to agree with you. Still, Mr. Noble provides some potent reminders on how to handle conflict, action, and suspense in ways that will build your story. He begins with … Keep reading!

Resource Spotlight: Editing

I have one resource to recommend today, and this is one I think every author should have on his or her bookshelf. The book is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. This is an excellent book to give you an idea of what things to look out for before submitting your manuscript to a professional editor or even a publisher, and the more familiar you are with its principles, the less you will break those principles as you write. Now, I have to say that I don’t necessarily agree with this book 100% because it does not fully reflect my own preferences when it comes to reading, but the guidelines the authors present are the guidelines that publishing houses are currently expecting. You can take or leave their advice as you will, but your story will likely have to be of … Keep reading!

Resource Spotlight: Setting

Here’s a handy little book if you need some clarification on putting your setting together, Setting: How to create and sustain a sharp sense of time and place in your fiction by Jack M. Bickham. From the beginning, the author helped me understand that what we are often taught about setting is not necessarily the complete picture as it is an element of the story that is not often discussed in writing workshops or guidebooks. Setting is a lot more complicated than I gave it credit before diving into this resource. I’ll admit that I have fallen into the traps of either making up a town and neglecting to accommodate the real surrounding geographical area or placing events in a real town without doing sufficient research to keep the town true to reality. Some other salient points brought up in this volume: Be sure you know when you can and … Keep reading!

Resource Spotlight: Plots

Welcome to another Resource Spotlight. Once again I have two books to recommend, and once again, I am not suggesting you have to buy these or any other books to be a good writer. These resources or others like them may be available at your local library, and there are plenty of free sources of information online to aid you. That being said, let’s get down to it. The first book for today is 20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald B. Tobias. After several chapters defining and explaining the concept of the plot, he moves on to twenty types of plots and breaks down how they progress. This is not a book of magic formulas where you take one of the plots, throw in some characters, and out pops your story. Rather, if you have an idea to tell a story, this resource will help you categorize that … Keep reading!

Resource Spotlight: Character Building

Welcome to a new series of posts (and a series that isn’t being published on Mondays, at that!). This series is meant to highlight resources that I have come across and think would be helpful for any author. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will be sharing affiliate links through Amazon in most, if not all, of the posts in this series. These posts will coincide with my posts on writing tips that come out on Mondays, so if I have not covered an element of writing on Monday, it is not likely that there will be a resource post on Wednesday. This week, I talked a bit about creating characters for your writing. I have a couple of books I want to put before you. The first is The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon. This has been my go-to book for character creation. There is … Keep reading!