3-2-1 Write! Party: Writing Books

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s party time! Read Another Page is hosting a 3-2-1 Write! Blog Party for all writers, and I’m thrilled to have one of the conference rooms here at Resting Life. For the next four days, we’ll be talking about all things writing. There are also fun games and giveaways (including an important piece of a giveaway game in this post), so don’t miss out! 

Watch for the secret phrase in this post, and be sure to write it down. Combine it with the secret phrases from the posts of the other writers having conference rooms at the party and you’ll find the secret quote that will qualify you for a giveaway!

Day 1 Party graphic

Today’s Day 1 of the 3-2-1, and to kick things off, we’ll be talking today about 3 of our favorite books about writing. As writers, it’s important to hone our skills and educate ourselves on techniques. Obviously, a plethora of resources exist on the subject of writing, and the more we read, the more we learn and the better quality writings we produce. Here are three books I recommend strongly.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

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There’s a reason this book is currently a #1 Bestseller on Amazon – as well as remaining a favorite with writers since its publication in 1920. Small and slim at a mere 104 pages, this book packs in style and grammar rules and tips in concise, clear format.

On a more personal level, this book has been a favorite of mine from a young age. During my childhood and teenage years, I’d read sections of this book simply for enjoyment. While penning stories and reports in the days before Google, I’d consult this book to find the answers to tricky grammatical questions. Every writer ought to be thoroughly familiar with this book – grammar and style are key qualities of excellent writing.

Where Do I Start? An Overview of Indie Publishing, by Molly Evangeline

51sm3k4l2btlThis book is also small – only 60 pages – but it’s filled with a wealth of information on the publishing process, formatting, cover design, marketing, and navigating the many options of indie publishing. Simple, practical, and to the point, I found this book very helpful as a comprehensive introduction to the world of publishing. If you’re looking for a detailed tome, this book isn’t what you want, but if you’re just getting your feet wet in the Indie Publishing process (or even if you’ve done it a few times), you’ll find this book both informative and helpful.

Student Writing Intensive, by Andrew Pudewa

This book and DVD set propelled my writing techniques f517dgsgywjl-_sx400_bo1204203200_orward like no other. Andrew Pudewa’s fast-paced, humorous, informative, and pointed lessons help the writer analyze every word, sentence, paragraph, and part of speech and learn the proper way to put together and use each one. Although I don’t write in “Andrew Pudewa” style outside of the assignments in the book, the exercises of incorporating a certain number of adverbs into a paragraph, using all six sentence openers in every paragraph, choosing a variety of prepositional phrases, and varying sentence structures expanded my borders as a writer and enriched my natural style. In addition, learning to outline through this book has proved to be a valuable skill as I outline books in preparation to write them. These materials may be geared towards students, but I believe all writers can benefit from this book.

Despite my passion for both reading and writing, I haven’t read many books about writing, and I’d love some recommendations of books that you’ve found helpful in your writing journey. Comment below: what writing books are your favorites and why?

And here is the Big Giveaway! Be sure to enter for a chance to win an amazing writer’s package!

Paper copy of The Emotion Thesaurus

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Free Cover Design by Victoria Lynn

$30 Blog Tour Orchestration by Faith Blum

Free Edit of up to 5000 words by Erika Mathews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Did you find the secret phrase? Click the button above to visit Victoria’s blog and find the next phrase, or return to Read Another Page to start the trail from the beginning. Be sure to return tomorrow for Day 2 of the 3-2-1 Write! Party where I’ll be sharing my favorite writing advice – and another game!

Line Edit Walkthrough (video)

Line Edit Walkthrough

The Indie e-con, an online conference for Independent Authors, is happening this week across the blogosphere, headquartered at Kendra E. Ardnek’s blog. Today is Day 2: Editing, and as an editor, I’m contributing as a guest speaker.

Sit back, grab your pencils, and join me for Line Edit Walkthrough, where you’ll learn about line editing, discover some free line editing tools, and watch me edit Surrender’s Strength (Truth From Taerna Book Three).

 

Calling All Beta Readers!

It’s time for an update on Promise’s Prayer! My proof copy came in the mail, and I’m thrilled. Despite the formatting and editing tweaks still needed, it’s coming along quite nicely. I’m excited to finally hold a copy of it in my hands.

Promise’s Prayer follows Kaelan, a young man tired of the quietness of home and bent on “saving the world” from a downward spiral of lawlessness and fleshly pleasure, through his attempts to fulfill a promise made to his dying mother. Meanwhile, Carita realizes that she possesses the key the country needs, but she continually battles with crippling fears, inadequacies, lack of position, and the challenges of daily life. Will they come through for Taerna? Or will something else?

Kaelan. His eyes are not this dreamy.

Kaelan’s the adventurous one. He leaped off of the pages and took over the book before I knew what he was doing. He just won’t sit still. The picture above is of an indolent, pampered, stay-at-home sort of Kaelan, which is not the Kaelan I know. He looks like the above picture minus the dreamy, contented look. He’s action. He’s adventure. He’s for being the hero.

Author secret: There were times that scenes appeared on the page that I had NO INTENTION of writing. And it was only through severe effort that Kaelan is behaving as well towards Carita as he is…

Fun fact: Kaelan’s favorite food is sweet potatoes. I just found that out a few minutes ago.

Adventure versus quietness. Fulfilling promises. Sheer determination. Saving the world. Or…not. 

If you’d like to beta read Promise’s Prayer, just fill out the form below. It’s about 68,000 words/215 pages long. It is written for teenagers and young adults but is suitable for all ages. A strong Christian theme is present throughout the story. There is no magic, romance (though perhaps a sequel…? :)), or violence, though deaths do occur. I will send out Part 1 immediately and would like all feedback by the end of October.

Thank you very much!

Promise’s Prayer: Your Turn to Read!

 

Promise’s Prayer is now in full-fledged editing! The next step is to send it to my beta readers – and if you’d like to join that list, I’m currently accepting sign-ups. Just use the form at the bottom of this post to make your request.

If you’re new to Written Rest, Promise’s Prayer is my novel set in the fictional country of Taerna. It follows Kaelan, a young man tired of the quietness of home and bent on “saving the world” from a downward spiral of lawlessness and fleshly pleasure, through his attempts to fulfill a promise made to his dying mother. Meanwhile, Carita realizes that she possesses the key the country needs, but she continually battles with crippling fears, inadequacies, lack of position, and the challenges of daily life. Will they come through for Taerna? Or will something else?

Kaelan

Adventure versus quietness. Fulfilling promises. Sheer determination. Saving the world. Or…not. 

And now, just for you, some snippets!

~~~

A farmer stood in the doorway, waiting for her to speak. She swallowed twice and forced her mouth open. “Good morning.” Her voice sounded as frightened as she felt. Her mind raced, desperately trying to think of what to say. “Might I help—that is, may I offer you—” She paused, her hands clenching nervously. Her eyes darted here and there. Why had she not thought this through more carefully before she came?

The man sighed impatiently. “No,” he said, “We don’t need anything you can give us or do for us. We don’t need a maid.”

He shut the door, leaving her standing there. Slowly she turned and shuffled back to her own home. How had she thought she could get through to him? She couldn’t even tell him what she wanted.

How was that possible? She determined that she would think harder the next time before trying anything of the sort.

She was too afraid. There was no way she could even meet the rest of the neighbors, let alone help them. What could she do?

Yet the voice came strongly to her. Love. Serve. Pray. Persevere.

She must go, she told herself. What had become of all the joy she felt yesterday? She—must—go.

She couldn’t go.

Carita

~~~

Kaelan looked around curiously. The kings certainly did live in style and in the height of pleasure. Lush curtains, heavy with velvet, hung at the tall windows. Servants, much more well-dressed than one would expect even in a palace, stood in every corner, ready with refreshments, music, entertainment, drinks, fans, games, and anything else one might in the least desire. The carpets and curtains were a bright red. The room was spacious and airy.

The kings were engaged deeply in important pleasure, a pompous servant informed Kaelan. Kaelan would be required to await their leisure if he desired an audience. No, he could not say how long that might be. It might well be a very long while, depending on what entertainments the kings were currently engaged in. The servant would enter the visitors’ names on the kings’ lists, and if the kings could not attend to them that day, they must return the next.

As the man retreated, Kaelan looked after him with a disgusted frown. “Is that what a king’s man is today?” he muttered to Caeleb. “A disgrace to the name?”

Caeleb

~~~

Kaelan watched in dumbfounded amazement. “This happens continually,” Caeleb whispered, “Constant entertainment, constant pleasure.”

“All day long?” he demanded, “Free shows? Free music? Free food and drink? No wonder the kings have the people under their thumbs.”

“Hush,” Caeleb warned, “It is ruining them. It is causing them to have ridiculously high expectations for such things. It is dulling their minds and giving them a distaste for reality—for daily life. And so they try to ignore or erase every part of reality that does not line up with this. They are creating a false reality. When people’s appetites become used to continual sugarplums, they will never again eat fruits and vegetables.”

Copyright 2014 ERW.

 

If you’d like to beta read Promise’s Prayer, just fill out the form below. It’s about 68,000 words/215 pages long. It is written for teenagers and young adults but is suitable for all ages. A strong Christian theme is present throughout the story. There is no magic, romance, or violence, though deaths do occur. I will be sending out Part 1 of Promise’s Prayer beginning in just a few days. Ideally, I’d like all feedback within two weeks, though I can be flexible.

Thank you very much!