In my experience, readers are often aspiring writers, too. Here are references and resources to assist in your writer's journey whether you are aspiring novelist or multi-published author.
Break Into Fiction, by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love. These easy-to-understand templates guide the new writer through building a novel and show more experienced writers how to deepen a plot and take a first draft to the next level.
Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Bickham. A student of Dwight Swain, Bickham presents the basics of crafting your story and your scenes.
Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell. Specific techniques and exercises to help you craft your plot into a winning story.
Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, by Donald Maass. Invaluable tools even without attending one of Mr. Maass' workshops. Filled with techniques and exercises to help you craft a break-out or break-in novel.
Fire in Fiction, by Donald Maass. The pages of Maass's third book are packed with examples, exercises, and techniques to help you craft compelling stories with "Passion and Purpose."
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King. A must have to teach yourself to self-edit and turn that first draft into a marketable novel.
Writing the Christian Romance, by Gail Gaymer Martin. Detailed step-by-step instructions and examples on how to write an inspirational Christian romance.
Getting Into Character, by Brandilyn Collins. A how-to using the method acting theory to make your story characters three dimensional.
Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams, by Laurie Schnebly. Complete how-to guide for using enneagrams to identify heroic traits and fatal (or not-so-fatal) flaws that will bring these characters into conflict.
Blogs contain fresh, current information on the writing market and trends. Below are links to several blogs I read on a regular basis:
A writer's life requires inspiration and perseverance. The following books inspire me.
The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, by Julia Cameron. An inspiring challenge to just keep writing.
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. A funny, helpful book about what it is to be a writer. This book tells it like it is in a very entertaining way.
Lastly, I'll leave you with some quotes that have inspired me. If you have others, click here to let me know. I'll add them to the list.
Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well."
— Agatha Christie
Perseverance is trying 19 times and succeeding on the 20th."
— Julie Andrews
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
— Henry Ford
Eventually you're going to reach the point where just one more attempt, one more effort will bring real success. What a shame it would be to give up just as you reached that point.
You do not know what the next effort will bring because the future is not based on the past. That feeling of wanting to give up is based solely on the past, which really doesn't matter any more. What matters now is where you're headed, not where you've been. And when you view it from that perspective, giving up is simply not an option."
— R. Marston