Welcome to the August Installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) blog http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com
The awesome and invigorating online support group was initiated by Ninja Alex Cavanaugh. Be certain to pay homage by reading and commenting on his blog www.alexjcavanaugh.com. He digs movies and writes sci-fi. Further, he supports everyone everywhere, including on Twitter… so we all need to return the favor. Please honor the following IWSG Blog co-hosts with a look and a comment – including me, please: PJ Colando https://www.pjcolando.com/ Cathrina Constantine http://cathrinaconstantine.blogspot.com PK Hrezo http://www.pkhrezo.com/blog Kim Lajevardi http://kimlajevardi.com/, and Sandra Cox http://sandracox.blogspot.com/
On the first Wednesday of each month we self-selected seekers of support – over 100 at last count – are invited to answer a question, though it’s optional. August 4 question – What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?
My go-to writing craft book was written by Jeff Lyons. He’s a former screenwriter who’s gone beyond to teach the masses how to improve their novel or script. My writing bible/map his book, The Anatomy of a Premise Line. When I began writing as a hobby, I was taught to start with a logline, so that my imaginative ramblings of characters and plots could be corralled and contained, movie-ready, within 25-30 words. I’ve used this system to write a series of books about Midwestern small town-and farms country. I’ve titled the series, Faith, Family, Frenzy!. Each book is a hoot – because I write funny!
This writing strategy suits my white-pager mentality. I am neither a pantser or a plotter, you see. I call myself a plodder. Jeff’s book, The Anatomy of a Premise Line, is more than an outline. A four-paragraph premise line contains the main character and his/her emotional journey along with the book’s theme.
Bazinga! I promise that the process is worth the ardor required.
Beyond this vaunted and valuable craft book, I prize the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pat Conroy, and James Lee Burke, who I regard as America’s greatest living writer. He writes evocative descriptions, so that the locale is a character, and his characters are so deftly-realized that emoting with all of them is easy-peasy, despite their violence.
I dare to compare/contrast one of his books, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, with my book, The Jailbird’s Jackpot. Each book is absolute fiction and features a parolee as protagonist, but the similarities end there. Burke’s protagonist doesn’t win a lottery or seek revenge, and he earns his way back to redemption. Bad-Ass Amy gains her redemption, as well as her long-sought revenge, without need to fuel the revenge with her 1/2 billion dollar lottery win.
Each protagonist achieves the best reward that humankind can offer: family and friendships that never end. Bazinga!
Both are available on all online but sites, as well as brick-and-mortar bookstores, if you are fortunate to have one in business near you.