Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Searching For That Missing Element

Tomorrow is the last day of the school week for Mini. After that the kids are off for winter break until the middle of next week, and I'm glad for it because the whole house is sick with something or another. I have a killer sinus infection, Mini is dealing with a bad cough, and hubby has been home with the crud for the past two days. Yuck. This cool, rainy weather isn't helping, either.

I'm busy reading, studying, and pulling together a new story idea bit by bit. I'm trying my hand at another category romance, so this puts me in uncharted territory this go around. I'm spending more time developing the characters, going over theme, and working to put more tension in my first chapter.

My current focus is on creating a strong setup. I'm looking for examples of choosing the primary problem that brings the hero and heroine together for the course of the book. Most craft books I've read say to develop this from the character's core issues/values/personalities, but they don't go more in depth than that. I feel like once I get a good grasp on this, I'll be ready to truly dive into the writing process again.

I'm currently reading more fiction than non-fiction, but before I wrap up today's post, I want to share some of the craft books I've purchased and/or read recently.

On Writing Romance - by Leigh Michaels

I like this one - a very good book. I'd say this is probably my 2nd favorite romance writing craft book to date. It's more in depth than many other craft books. This one is on my keeper shelf.

Creating Romantic Characters - by Leigh Michaels

I bought this one after reading On Writing Romance. It has some very good advice for creating romance characters. This book also has some stuff in it that is also in On Writing Romance. I bought the Nook version of this book and read it on my desk top. My only wish is that it had more about developing believable problems for your characters, and how to use your characters internal conflicts to set up the story.

Bird by Bird  - by Anne Lamott

This is one of those books that feels like you're sitting in a room listening to someone tell you what they have learned from their experiences in writing. The section on plot is worth reading all by itself. I borrowed this book from the library because I'd heard other writers talking about it.

Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies - by Leslie Wainger

I believe this is my new favorite writing craft book. An invaluable book on writing romance fiction. It covers conflict better than any other book I've read. This book can answer most of your romance writing questions. Most. Definitely more than any other. I bought this book for my Kindle and plan to buy the paperback as well. I highly recommend this one for your keeper shelf.

What are some of the most helpful craft books that you've read? Feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments. I'm looking for books with a strong character creation/conflict focus.

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