Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I told you in my last post that while I'm stuck in my waiting room, I love to do a little research!  

My favorite research for fiction writer's is reading.  Seriously.  When I want to write a paranormal book, I need to read those types of books.  If I want to switch to fantasy, I need to read what has been written to see what actually works.  Same thing goes with what age group you're targeting.  

I've recently discovered that if I'm trying to write one and read the other, I can get so side tracked.  New story ideas pop into my head and distract me from the one I'm writing.

My current WIP is a fantasy adventure with magical elements.  I've never, ever revealed any of my titles on here, but since this one is lame and doesn't explain my book at all, I'll tell ya.  For lack of trying to come up with a better title, I've called it TALENTS.  Boring and so vague.  I know.  Oh well.

So, what have I been reading to get me in the correct mindset?  Within the last couple of weeks, I've read and definitely recommend:  Brightly Woven, Beauty, Sabriel, and Princess of Glass.  

Brightly Woven Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Sabriel (The Old Kingdom Chronicles,  #1) Princess of Glass

And to perfect my craft and hone in on my much needed writing skills, I've added Save the Cat to my short list of must-reads for writer's.

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Elana Johnson suggested this one on her blog and I'm so glad I picked it up.  Yes, it is for screenwriter's, but most of it can apply to writing novels.  I mean, we all want the reader to be able to see the story in their minds, right?

In case you don't know what else is on my must-reads list, here's a refresher.  Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

Writing the Breakout Novel  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

I have no doubt that list will grow in the future.  In case you're wondering if I've read any other 'how to write novel' books, I have.  And some I've just tried to read.  Tried meaning, these ones say it better.  Read them.  Learn from them.  Love them :)

So, what kind of research do you like to do?


  1. Oh thanks for the suggestions. I'm writing a fantasy novel now too. For research, I'm reading the first HP again, just to make note of how she pulled it off.
    I also watch a lot of fantasy movies thruout the week in small increments to keep my brain focused on that type of story.
    I so want to read Save the Cat. My fave writing guide is Thanks, But This Isn't for Us by Jessica Morrell.
    But the others you mentioned are great as well.

  2. Writing the Breakout Novel is a must have for a writer. Great tool! I haven't heard of most of the reading books. I'll have to check them out.

  3. I've just begun a fantasy/magical elements, so I'll have to check out those books. Thanks!

  4. For those of you who would like a longer list of fantasy books, there are so many more. These are just some I haven't read yet.

    Here's a list:
    Poison Study Series
    The Amaranth Enchantment
    The Goose Girl Series
    And the book before Princess of Glass is Princess of the Midnight Ball.

    I'll keep adding them as I remember them.

    Pk-Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely add it to my TBR for writing pile :)

  5. These are excellent suggestions! Thanks for sharing them. I'm writing them down, even as I type.

  6. I gave you an award on my blog. Come on over to get it!

  7. Great writing book suggestions. I have been meaning to try Save The Cat! Awesome tips!

  8. I love doing research. Any and all of it. I like exploring new avenues also though. Asking "what if" and trying to make sense of it.

  9. I look into all kinds of information from searching the internet for things to actually contacting states for brochures on places to get the feel of a setting. Maybe that is why my writing is so lackluster these past few months because I am reading everything and writing a YA paranormal. lol

  10. I love hearing what else you all do for research! I thought of another book, or rather, awesome author who has a ton of good books in this genre. Tamora Pierce. If you haven't read her books, get on it! :)

  11. That's a wonderful list of books! I want to make another trip to the bookstore now, lol:)

    Save the Cat was great! It really helped me out when I was planning my big rewrite.

  12. I have got to get that Save the Cat book! I've been hearing so much about it lately. And Sabriel is on my to-read list, too. Might have to bump it up.

  13. Ooo, I've read Beauty and Sabriel, quite a # of years ago, and enjoyed them. :) I do "research" of YA books, in all genres, but I'm partial to reading fantasy-themed ones.

  14. Right now I am doing a lot of research on dialogue and punctuation because it's been so long.

    I don't have a title for my book yet. I'm hoping one day it will come to me.

    THanks for the follow, and it's returned. Welcome to my world!

  15. I've been meaning to get some awesome books on writing tips, I love reading about how to improve writing. I'll have to check these books out! :D I've been re-reading Twilight since it's somewhat relevant to my genre, and I've realized I'm in total love with Meyer's word usage and the relationship between Bella and Edward. Have fun researching!

  16. Oooh I love the cover of Brightly Woven. Very pretty.

    Haha I love your research method :). I guess most of my reading would be counted as research.

  17. First of all, I love the Sabriel books. So original and intriguing. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a title I recommend all the time.

    Nice blog you have.

  18. Ah, I just started SAVE THE CAT as well. Love this post. :-)

  19. yes, that save the cat is supposed to be so great. Must check it out. Also the Sabriel books. Those are new to me~ :o) <3

  20. Brightly woven is on my list. My problem is whenever I get a novel idea I don't have the patience to wait while I read books to write it, and I can't read them while I'm writing. When I finish my first novel, I plan on digging into some genre books to see where I fit. Hopefully I can fix anything I discover while revising.

  21. Save the Cat will save your writing life. It is AMAZING!!!

    Yes - my favorite research is reading too. I'm reading The Sky is Everywhere.

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