Learning to write in the company of geniuses, I have writing experts for professors and my classmates are on bestseller lists.
And guess who is struggling to keep up?
There is no secret formula, no succinct cheat notes, no clever apps to get from Novice Writer to Published Author. I read books on craft, highlighting and trying out suggestions. I read best sellers and old favorites with a writer’s eye and emulate in bites and samples.
Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins has changed my writing the most since I started on this quest. If you KNOW your characters well, everything else falls into place – plotting, dialogue, pacing, details.
The novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak has influenced me with its lyrical language - indescribable and enviable. I also have to give kudos to The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. A gymnast in sentence structure, this novelist does strange and courageous things to compound complex sentences.
I figure among all those words, I will find my voice, my niche, my courage. I need to trust in those who know more about the craft than I do, but the only route to writing well is good, old-fashioned pen to paper. I have to trust in my own genius and write.
I am open to suggestions. Which craft book or fiction novel would you suggest and why?