I'm so excited! I've just recieved and begun reading 3 new books on the craft of writing. I really want to learn the craft and turn whatever natural ability, or lack there of, into a deep and meaningful endeavor.
On the advice of those authors much wiser than myself, I've headed over to Where the Map Ends. This site is amazing! I highly recommend checking it out. Especially for an unpublished author, this site explains the ins and outs of the publishing world. The creator of the site, Jeff Gerke, has filled the site with everything Specualtive Fiction. He's a fan, an author, an editor, an acquisitioner, a Christian, and full of incredible information.
I digress. The Tools for Writers section is chalk full of resources and information. I particularly zeroed in on the first link on the list Books and Conferences for Improving Your Writing. Here I found several book recommendations, but the number one was a book called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.
My brother gave to me a gift card for an online book-seller and I purchased that title as well as Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich and Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. All 3 books were recommended by Jeff Gerke and all three have now arrived at my doorstep.
I've begun to read Fiction Writer's Workshop and couldn't be more pleased. I was looking for a book that would challenge me like Wayne Thomas Batson's Suspense Techniques. I wrote well when challenged and was eager for more. This book has provided just such an outlet. It's set up like an actual workshop; each chapter explains and illustrates a concept and is then followed by writing exercises. I've only gotten through the first chapter, and I've already been stretched in my writing. There are twelve exercises at the end of chapter one, and I've finished about half.
I really believe that being a writer means that you write. Just like a brick-layer lays bricks. So if I want to grow as a writer, I need to pursue a better understanding of the craft and my own abilities. God keeps opening the doors toward writing and I keep stepping forward in faith. His plan is the only thing that matters. I hope to honor God and speak to those who need to hear His words through my writing, like so many gifted authors have done before me.