Thursday, 12 September 2013
Nail Your Novel: Bring Characters to Life by Roz Morris
I have been busy editing my novel recently and one of the things I was keen to do was strengthen my characters. The book I bring to you this week has certainly helped me do that.
I have been following Roz Morris's writing blog and found it to be choc full of advice for writers. This led me to her books and this one in particular. What a find it turned out to be. This is a simple book but do not let this fool you that it is not good. I have read many books on writing and I would say this contains some of the best advice on writing characters of any of them. All characters are considered, main, minor and the supporting cast. Every aspect of characterisation is covered. These are supported with examples from fictional writers which serve to emphasise the points made. I particularly liked the chapter on the mistakes that novice writers make and in the interests of full disclosure have made a couple of them. Not any more though, I can now sort them out.
Each chapter ends with a section called for your toolbox. These are tips which re-emphasise the important points made in the chapter. The book concludes with some writing exercises, some of which are novel in the extreme. No pun intended. I certainly intend to try many of them out. If you want to lift your characters out of the humdrum and use them to give your book zing and tension then this is the book for you. It will help your characters to jump of the page and have your readers standing right beside them. I would consider this a recommended book in my arsenal.
The links for this book and the other book in the series Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish with Confidence are on the right of the page. The US link is to the Paperback but it is also available in kindle. I'm not allowed to put US kindle books on a British blog.
Tomorrow I am off to a crime writing workshop at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival. On Saturday I am going to hear several top crime writers including Scotland's own Val McDermid and Stuart McBride. So I will be steeped in crime and back with more murder and mayhem soon. Until then keep reading.