Such Lovely Things

Today has been a good day overall.  The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, and it was warm enough to open all the windows and let some fresh air into my apartment.  On top of all of that, I had my state tax refund in hand, so I decided to do a bit of shopping.   (In case you’re wondering, today’s activities did inspire my #atozchallenge post)

I know I should have been working on edits to Society of Night and Lies.  Correcting all the obvious grammar problems and errors in tense needs to be done so people can critique the entire novel sometime very soon.  But, it being such a nice day, I couldn’t stay in.  Plus, there were tentative plans to meet my niece at the Tulsa Convention Center to take the kids to the Dinosaur Exhibition there.  There were few plans to work on any writing today until late.

We didn’t go near downtown.  Instead, mom and I had lunch at Firehouse Subs.  I think they are the best around and the meatball sub was to die for.  Very good food, I must say, and mom’s veggie sub looked divine, too.  That gave us the energy to go looking around in a few stores.

At Sunshine Furniture, I tried out several recliners.  I need one, or at least something nice and comfortable to sit in after work instead of my desk chair.  It is an uncomfortable folding metal chair and doesn’t help my back, or knees very much after a long day at work.  I found a few models I’m interested in but also found a nice sectional that will fit into my living room very nicely and not take up a huge amount of space.  I also spotted a few sets of shelves and a desk I may get so we can have a little more space for things and section off the living room and kitchen better, not to mention giving the books and movies more space to be organized along with other large kitchen things we have.

From there, we had a nice, leisurely, walk over to Payless where I found a nice pair of slip-ons for the weekends and a new pair of work shoes.  Both were on the must have list, but the work shoes had top priority.  You should see the condition of my old ones.  A year of near constant use has them looking very worn out and coming apart at the seams.

After getting my shoes, we went over to Barns & Noble.  It felt good going in there with enough money to buy more than one book.  I left with five; three to aid my writing and two Anne McAffrey novels.

It took an hour of perusing the shelves to find the ones which demanded I buy them today.  First one is Dragonseye, by Anne McAffrey.  It covers the second fall of thread when the dragonriders set up the star stones so they can determine when the deadly falls will begin.  This is a new one to me and to Dave.  It isn’t in his ebook folder with all but a precious few of her Dragonriders of Pern books and short stories.  I’ll be reading this one next after I’m done with re-reading the second in her series.

The next is The Rowan, my absolute favorite of McAffrey’s works.  This is the only book of hers that I cannot put down after so much as glancing at the cover.  This one is to replace the copy I had to leave behind when I moved from North Carolina.  So many wonderful books lost!

Of the three to help me improve on my writing, I think the most useful to me will be The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master.  It will definitely coming handy.  This one is written by Martha Alderson and came recommended from another author on Twitter.  From the excerpt I read at the store, it should do well in helping me tighten up my plots.

The second I believe was recommended by one of my followers.  Revision and Self-Editing will be coming in handy with the work I’m doing on SoNL and others right now.  James Scott Bell wrote this one and has been one I’ve been seeking for a while.  Mostly, I’ve been waiting for the money to buy it, so, now, I have it.  Oh happy, days!

Lastly, and mostly just to have everything I need to know put into simpler terms, I picked up the Complete Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel.  I’ve read bits of this for a while.  Pretty much every time I went into Barns & Noble or Booksamillion, I’d find a copy and do some reading while waiting for whoever I was with to finish looking for their book. There is plenty of good advice in this book.

So, in these three, I cover the basics of writing.  When I have some extra cash, I’ll be picking up a couple more books about world building and character making for fiction and fantasy writing.  While I don’t really need these two books, I think they’ll help with smoothing out the few wrinkles I have in the worlds I write in and make my characters more believable.

If anyone was to see Leofa in Union of Earth and Spirit, they’d see a fairly one dimensional character.  She hasn’t been fleshed out, yet, in the story except for the very basics.  Her leader and his second-in-command are more believable and real than what she is, but then again, I don’t like revealing a whole lot at one time.  Best to let things come out when it feels right than give it all up in a few pieces at the beginning.

Those will come later, definitely.

Got any good books to suggest to improve writing or just to entertain?  Feel free to let me know!  I love a good story.


4 thoughts on “Such Lovely Things

  1. I’ve been singing the praises of “Scene and Structure” by Jack Bickham for quite awhile now. It’s a great book for ensuring that the structure of your story is solid. It’s helped me outline my entire novel and break a nasty case of writer’s block. I can’t recommend it enough.

    I’ve also found “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card to be pretty helpful. He gets kind of pretentious at points, but if you can ignore that, you can get a lot out of some of the advice he has to give.

    1. Funny you should mention Orson Scott Card’s book ‘How to Write Fiction’. That’s one I intend to go back and get when I have a bit more cash on hand. I did try to find Scene and Structure while I was there, but didn’t see it. I can easily find it online if needed. It’s definitely one I want to have handy with how my writing looks now.

      Any others you’d suggest?

  2. I concur on “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy” – one of the best books you can read on it, even though it’s very short.

    I haven’t Scene & Structure myself yet, but it is getting higher and higher on the priority list :).

    I also really love Stephen King’s “On Writing”, and Brandilyn Collins “Getting into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist can Learn From Actors”.

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