RAGNAR THE MURDER
By Lily Byrne
I’m welcoming author Lily Byrne today to share her recommendation for book on the writing craft. Lily is touring with her latest book, RAGNAR THE MURDER, and will be giving away a free ecopy of her book to a commenter picked by random. Please don’t forget to leave your name and email.
Recommended books on the writing craft
I never used to read ‘how to’ guides on writing, I just wrote instinctively. Recently however, I’ve had some great book recommendations from author friends, and I want to pass on their advice.
The first instructional book I bought was recommended by the poet, Sudam Panigrahi. Called ‘Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time’ by Jordan Rosenfeld, it approaches the writing of a book by tackling one scene at a time. The author explains the architecture of a scene: the beginning, middle and end; core elements of a scene; scene types—such as dialogue, action and point of view scenes.
I’d never thought of a novel as a collection of scenes before (duh!) but now I think this is a great way to write. The scenes build up to make a story as bricks build up to make a house, each one self contained, yet adding to the plot.
Next, after feeling nervous about writing sex scenes, I bought ‘The Joy of Writing Sex’ by Elizabeth Benedict. I can’t remember who recommended this book, but it’s conveniently divided into chapters about different types of sex scenes, such as ‘the first time’ and ‘forbidden love’. The latter being my favourite type, as that is what I always write about!
There is also a chapter about writers’ parents and their view of their children writing sex scenes, which is revealing!
Elizabeth Benedict gives a checklist of important aspects of each type of sex scene, such as the first time being thrilling but also uncomfortable and awkward.
As I now work an editor for Taylor Street Publishing, I wanted to find a reference book on editing, which would also help me improve my own books. After careful research and advice, not wanting to spend a fortune, I decided to buy ‘Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print’ by Renni Browne and Dave King, both experienced editors.
They give very clear explanations of ‘point of view’ and ‘show and tell’ in this book, among other things. They use many examples from best selling and new authors and also provide a checklist of what and what not to do with each element of the writing craft.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to other writers, both published and aspiring ones. There is always something more to learn about writing, and it’s interesting and fun to learn it.
Ragnar the Murderer
Publisher: Taylor Street Books
ISBN: 13: 978-1463698379
Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 40,000
A tale of love and treachery.
It is a time of uneasy truce, of two races living side-by-side, inter-marrying even, but forever on the look out for treachery among their neighbors.
They meet, they bathe together and they consort. Life is short, fun is likely to be brief, and opportunity has to be seized wherever it can be found without unleashing long-held rivalries and carnage.
Then the youthful Dane, Ragnar, falls in love with Aelfwyn the Angle who is already promised by duty to one of her own village.
Ragnar and Aelfwyn’s passionate love affair is a secret which will never be hidden for long, but theirs is not the
only secret around.
When Ragnar finds himself charged with murder, he and Aelfwyn are forcibly parted. But is Ragnar really a cold-blooded, cynical killer or is there a more sinister plot being played out?
I faffed around at writing for many years until I had my daughter, but becoming a mum seemed to kick start something in me: I realised that I now had a purpose and time was limited, so I must get on with it.
The winter of 2009 was severe and as I and my family live in a small village, we were house bound by unusually deep snow for southern England. So I settled down in my office (i.e. the corner of our bedroom) and began my first book, which was published in 2010.
I haven’t stopped writing since. I go through phases of planning my story, writing furiously, or editing it. It is much easier now my daughter is at school and I get a few hours of work done each day.
My daughter has truly been an inspiration to me: she has had severe health problems in her short life but is always smiling and laughing, planning for the future, full of ideas. Working at home writing and editing has been ideal, I love my life.
Twitter pages: https://twitter.com/LilyByrneWrites
You can follow other stops on this tour at Lily’s page at Bewitching Book Tours