Reading Roundup for 2016

Here are most of the books I’ve read during 2016:

Classics

Contemporary Fiction

Drama

Graphic Novels

Rereads (these are all pretty much also Science Fiction & Fantasy)

Science Fiction & Fantasy Series

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Spiritual

Writing Instruction

Art Appreciation

Find my latest book on Amazon: Christ Simply, A Chronological Self-Guided Study through the Life of Christ.

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Four quick reads on writing

When I was on vacation earlier this month, I read some e-books on writing. Even though these gems were inexpensive and quick, they provided me with some valuable lessons to apply to my writing craft.

Here they are:

  • 2940045351874_p0_v2_s192x300Self-publishing a Book
    By Hank Quense
    Quense has a great series on self-publishing and this is the second one I’ve read. He’s great about explaining why he does it the way he does, but let’s the reader know everyone needs to self-publish the way that is best for himself. Good advice on what publisher to use. I will be coming back to this book as a reference.
  • 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
    2940152280371_p0_v1_s192x300By Rachel Aaron
    I loved Aaron’s Eli Monpress series and I can’t wait to read more of her stuff. She gives advice on how to increase the amount of writing that gets done during a writing session by applying her triangle of knowledge, time and enthusiasm. Now, if that sounds vague, she does get specific about what they mean in this book.
  • Writing from the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone In Between
    By James Scott Bell
    9780910355117_p0_v1_s192x300I love Kill Zone, a blog for which Bell contributes as part of a community of writers. This book provided a fascinating piece of advice about character development for novel writing: the “Mirror Moment.” Once again, it’s something I knew already, but didn’t know I knew. This quick read will change the way you plan your novel–and it’s easy to apply to a draft you’ve already started.
  • Scrivener Superpowers: How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Process
    By M.G. Herron
    2940157649920_p0_v1_s192x300I already read several books on Scrivener when I first learned to use it. The difference between those books (although they were wonderful and helpful) and this one is that Scrivener Superpowers gets into the nitty-gritty of not just learning to use it, but how to use is as a writer. His No-Nonsense Novel Template is also great.

So if you’re looking for some quick lessons for improving your fiction writing with maximum impact, you should check these books out. I highly recommend them.

The furious five hundred

Once again I have over-obligated myself and have ended up teaching four  nights a week–this in addition to my day job. My need to please is another topic for another time, but now I’d like to say how much I’m getting done on novel despite my busy schedule. I’m using the furious five hundred technique.

James Scott Bell recommends this method. The writer obligates himself to write only 500 words for that day. Nailing 500 words in one quick swoop is doable on a busy schedule. As Bell says it: “I have found that I can do 500 words in one, furious stint before my brain yells, like a disgruntled Teamster, for a break. So I stop, even if I’m going good. I get up, walk around, take deep breaths. This break may last only a minute or two, but it definitely recharges my battery. Then I’m set for another 500.”

Every morning at the coffee shop this week, I pounded out 500 words on my novel. Now of course it’s sludge, but I’m creating something that I can come back to and fix up. Getting it down in rough draft form is the first step and if I feel I have to write 3000 words that day, I may feel overwhelmed; however, if I trick myself into writing only 500 words and nothing more, I’ve made progress. If I happen to have time to write another 500, then great. Another 500, even better, and so on.

Here is the article where Bell talks about the Furious 500.