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HaleyDaulton
08-14-2006, 12:25 AM
I've seen Susan Gable recommend Debra Dixon's GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict numerous times. I would love to have Susan (or others) weigh in on specifically why this book is so appealing.

Are there any other "must-haves" for the aspiring romance author?

Haley

Sonarbabe
08-14-2006, 12:58 AM
Are there any other "must-haves" for the aspiring romance author?

I wouldn't necessarily call these books a "must have" but I've found them to be rather useful for me.

The Romance Writer's Phrase Book by Jean Kent & Candace Shelton
Writing A Romance Novel For Dummies by Leslie Wainger


PS I'm from North Carolina and I spent a good amount of time in Jacksonville. I saw you were in Wilmington and I just had to mention that. :)

Irysangel
08-14-2006, 12:59 AM
I liked:

Julie Beard's COMPLETE IDIOT"S GUIDE TO GETTING YOUR ROMANCE NOVEL PUBLISHED (at least, I think that was what it was called) just because it made such an interesting read.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's CHARACTER NAMING SOURCEBOOK (I think the reprint is out by Writer's Digest) because it's good fodder.

Stephen King's ON WRITING because it makes it all 'okay' for pantsers.

Susan Gable
08-14-2006, 01:53 AM
I've seen Susan Gable recommend Debra Dixon's GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict numerous times. I would love to have Susan (or others) weigh in on specifically why this book is so appealing.

Are there any other "must-haves" for the aspiring romance author?

Haley

Great question, Haley. The reason I find Deb's book so appealing is because, in easy-to-understand ways, the book helps you build the essential building blocks to strong fiction. It helps you lay out a solid foundation for a story. That, in my opinion, is what makes the difference between a story that works, and one that doesn't. Which makes it a pretty essential thing to know. I can't work without GMC's for my characters. It helps keep things on track and focused for me.

The other must-have, IMHO, that isn't just for romance writers, but for all writers, is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. That's all you need to know about craft in a nutshell.

Oh, I should add that GMC isn't just for romance writers, either. It's for any genre/commercial fiction writer.

Thus you have one book that focuses on story (the BIG picture) and one book that focuses on craft (the smaller details that are also important) to give you a complete overview on writing.



Those are the basic essentials, IMHO. I also like Leslie Wanger's Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies. Leslie is an editor at HQ, and has been for years, so she's got a different perspective on things than a writer might. This is good for a look at the market and other aspects of publishing, not just the writing side.

Did I give enough reasons why GMC is so terrific, or are you looking for a more in-depth answer?

Susan G.

NCwriter
08-14-2006, 04:22 AM
My two personal favorites are GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon (for the same reasons Susan mentioned) and The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders

If you plan to purchase GMC do not order it off Amazon. On Amazon this book can run up to $100 (and, no, I’m not kidding). You can order the book directly from the publisher for $19.95. The website is:

http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/?page=shop/flypage&wt=1.00&product_id=2&CLSN_1737=1153844675173752add4c125def10ef8 (http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/?page=shop/flypage&wt=1.00&product_id=2&CLSN_1737=1153844675173752add4c125def10ef8)


By the way, I'm in North Carolina too :)

Cathy C
08-14-2006, 04:47 AM
Of course, there are the obvious ones that no writer of ANY genre should be without:

Dictionary (Your choice of Webster's or Oxford. I have both)
Roget's Thesaurus (I prefer the dictionary style, in alpha order, rather than "type")
Chicago Manual of Style (the punctuation section is INVALUABLE)

I read the Archetype book by Cowden, et al. (and Cie, my co-author, is actually a VERY good friend of hers, which is WAY cool! :D ) There were some very interesting things in the book. They list personality "combinations", so if you pick for your hero to be controlling, there are several lesser plus/minus traits you can give him that will fit in nicely and make the character believable.

I also have a baby name book called "A World of Baby Names". It lists names from different sections of the world and, as a bonus (!) includes the year the name first appeared in common use (handy for those historicals!)

That's all I can think of for the moment.

ElleF
08-14-2006, 06:28 PM
I have 3 faves, and 2 are already listed. I have to add Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. There is SO much info in it, it's almost intimidating, but I think it's the most comprehensive of the 3 I have.

Just popping in with my 2 cents!

Elle

Marlys
08-18-2006, 05:49 PM
The ones I keep on hand are the research books I can't live without:

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool

Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

The A to Z of Regency London (are you sensing a trend here?:))

AAA Britain Road Atlas

A set of Connoisseur Period Guides, which cover houses, decoration and furniture from 1603-1830 in 4 parts: Stuart, Early Georgian, Late Georgian, and Regency.

My favorite dictionary is the OED Online, for giving the date of a word's first appearance in print--it's by subscription, but you might be able to access it through your local or university library.

I also have some of the Everyday Life guides, but find them hit or miss.

Lolly
08-20-2006, 12:11 AM
My two personal favorites are GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon (for the same reasons Susan mentioned) and The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders

If you plan to purchase GMC do not order it off Amazon. On Amazon this book can run up to $100 (and, no, Iím not kidding). You can order the book directly from the publisher for $19.95. The website is:

http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/?page=shop/flypage&wt=1.00&product_id=2&CLSN_1737=1153844675173752add4c125def10ef8 (http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/?page=shop/flypage&wt=1.00&product_id=2&CLSN_1737=1153844675173752add4c125def10ef8)


By the way, I'm in North Carolina too :)



Thank you. I'm going to look into getting these.


I second getting a baby name book. For one thing, it helps you get beyone John or Jane when you need a name for a character. For another, I've found that reading what the name means helps me pick one for a character. For instance, I saw in one book that Doug means "from the swamp," so I chose that for my villain. :tongue

smalleststar
09-23-2006, 02:35 PM
I have 3 faves, and 2 are already listed. I have to add Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. There is SO much info in it, it's almost intimidating, but I think it's the most comprehensive of the 3 I have.

Just popping in with my 2 cents!

Elle

I just wanted to say that I think this book is really useful. It's focused on writing for the Modern/Presents line, but the basic principles would work for other lines too I'm sure. As Elle says, it's really packed with information and advice. It's very detailed, clearly explained and logical. Before I read this book I had nothing but form rejections and good rejections, and this book switched on a light for me. The next partial ms got a request for a full. The full was rejected, but the editor liked it enough to offer to work with me on developing some new story outlines - so that's definitely progress. And I'm pretty sure it's progress I wouldn't have made without this book. I'd really recommend it to anyone who feels in a bit of a fog about what it is they're getting wrong, when they seem to be following all the guidelines but somehow not quite getting there. Hope it's helpful to others.
Deborah.

Susan Gable
09-23-2006, 06:07 PM
I just wanted to say that I think this book is really useful. It's focused on writing for the Modern/Presents line, but the basic principles would work for other lines too I'm sure. As Elle says, it's really packed with information and advice. It's very detailed, clearly explained and logical. Before I read this book I had nothing but form rejections and good rejections, and this book switched on a light for me. The next partial ms got a request for a full. The full was rejected, but the editor liked it enough to offer to work with me on developing some new story outlines - so that's definitely progress. And I'm pretty sure it's progress I wouldn't have made without this book. I'd really recommend it to anyone who feels in a bit of a fog about what it is they're getting wrong, when they seem to be following all the guidelines but somehow not quite getting there. Hope it's helpful to others.
Deborah.

And Kate Walker is a total DOLL! I adore her. :) So I'm really glad you found her book to be very helpful.

Susan G.

PS - to our UK members, I just discovered that my latest book is being released in the UK in November. I'm not sure exactly how the releases go in the UK, though, so it might actually be on shelves towards the end of October?
Mid-October? Anyone from the UK know how M&B works the releases? The copies I got also used the large print version, which is really nice on the eyes.

kuroisama
09-23-2006, 07:28 PM
As embarrassing as it might be to have on your bookshelf or in your possession, maybe a few "better lovemaking guides" from the the self-help section of the bookstore. Not everyone has sex the same way, but your characters may be if you don't watch it. This is romance and half the fun of romance are the sex scenes.

Not to mention, the self-help guides are good if you're too shy or whatever to rent/buy porn. And then you can engage your spouse/partner in "research" to get a better perspective. You help your ms and your love life all at the same time.

I'm kind of surprised no one mentioned a sex guide before now. I know people mentioned Romance guides and I'm sure they have sections about sex scenes, but an entire guide devoted to sex (real sex) sounds more informative. I've got two and I plan to get more for different author perspectives and varied info. Not to mention, they're a great conversation starter... you know... once the person gets over the embarrassment of having seen them on my bookshelf. :D

kuroisama
09-23-2006, 07:35 PM
I forgot to mention dating guides too. You could probably come up with tons of book ideas by just reading the "don'ts" section of the dating guide books. :D Talk about having your conflict just handed to you on a silver platter.

Sonarbabe
09-23-2006, 09:26 PM
You know, I didn't think of the how-to guides involving sex. That makes a whole lot of sense. Because to be honest, when writing a love scene I sometimes get stuck. It's not that I don't enjoy writing those scenes, because I do, I just don't want it sound boring or repetitive. What I've found myself doing is grabbing about six or seven Blaze books that I've read, glanced at how they've written their scenes and then came up with mine.

That is cool idea. I think I'll make a trip to Barnes & Noble come payday now. LOL

kuroisama
09-23-2006, 10:42 PM
That is cool idea. I think I'll make a trip to Barnes & Noble come payday now. LOL

Just grab like ten books and then go up to the counter and watch the cashier look at you funny. Then again, they sell the books, I'm sure they've seen people come up with arm loads. You'd probably have to have ten sex guides, a dating guide, and one baby naming book to get a rise out of them. At that point... have a camera handy and share the laughter with the rest of us.

Sonarbabe
09-23-2006, 11:08 PM
It's just a shame they don't sell those sorts of books at Super Wal-Mart. I could purchase them, a package of maxipads, a rubber chicken, and a tub of Cool-Whip. Now there would be a Kodak moment. ;)

I need help.

kuroisama
09-23-2006, 11:18 PM
It's just a shame they don't sell those sorts of books at Super Wal-Mart. I could purchase them, a package of maxipads, a rubber chicken, and a tub of Cool-Whip. Now there would be a Kodak moment. ;)

I need help.

No more so than the rest of us. Writers are a wacky bunch. We have to be.

Robin Bayne
09-24-2006, 01:27 AM
Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood