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14 Nov 2012

RTW - Writing Inspiration

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This Week's Topic is:
Tons of writers are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, trying to stay inspired as we reach the dreaded middle. Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!
My inspiration changes with whatever book I'm writing.  For my NaNo project this year I tend to have my Pinterest board open for visual motivation and these two books nearby in case I want to check something out:
I mainly keep going back to the fiction that's inspired me to write this NaNo project in the past.  At the moment I have a lot of Supernatural as well as watching an old disney film Tower of Terror that involves a haunted hotel - my ghostly setting.
But there are a couple of non-fiction books on writing that generally keep me motivated about writing:
Breathing Life into your Characters: How To Give Your Characters Emotional and Psychological Depth by Rachel Ballon, Ph.D.
This is a fantastic book for anyone who can be character-driven writers.  The blurb says that it will help you get into the head of your characters, knowing their thoughts, feelings, and overall psychology whether they are the protagonist or the villain.
There are chapters on helping you shape a characters back story and then moving on to knowing their motivations.  Conflicts and how characters might react differently to them.  Quite basic to start out with but the chapters go deeper into the mind of your characters.  Dysfunctional families, personality disorders, phobias, dialogue and body language. 
Nothing has helped me more than this book in creating characters.  There's just so much you don't tend to think of when writing your characters and this book give you loads to work with and think about, overall helping you develop that character in your head that's itching for a way out and a story.
Writing and Selling the YA Novel by K.L Going
My go-to book for writing YA.  I loved the presentation of the book with the chapters being linked to high school classes.  English: Writing Convincing Characters, Social Studies: Studying settings, Science: Experimenting with editing techniques and so on.  This book really helps me get inside the mind of a teenager.  I never thought it would happen so soon but at 23 I'm actually starting to forget what it was like to be a teenager and being emotional and confused with friendship drama being the biggest problem of my life and making silly choices and mistakes.  I loved the inclusion of a teen panel who answer questions in each chapter on YA reading and they give their opinions.  The answers show you just how different teenagers can be and what they look for in books.  At the end of each chapter there is also a little 'homework' to complete.  A little motivation and writing project to do and get you writing.  There's also help on what to do in the revising and querying stages.
Any writing books that have motivated you in the past?


  1. Pinterest is great!
    Oh, I'll have to check out that character book by Rachel Ballon - it sounds great!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. It's fantastic. The writer is a psychotherapist and works with writers a lot so she knows what's she's talking about! There's so much that she writes about that I would have never thought about making notes for.

  3. I really like the sound of Writing and Selling the YA Novel! Thanks for sharing--that one's going on my list!

  4. Hey, Robin, there's this book by this guy, Stephen King... you might have heard of him... it's called ON WRITING. Perhaps you should check it out! ;)

    Okay, I'm sorry, I'm teasing you. :D But really... of all the Stephen King to read, as a writer, this is one you shouldn't miss. And I'm intrigued by your recommendations. The one by the psychotherapist looks especially interesting. As a father of teens, it might help with more than just my writing! :D

  5. Those look great.

    Ah! Too many good books today! I don't have time to read them all.

    Here's mine.

  6. "Writing and Selling the YA Novel" sounds pretty great. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Mrs Silverstein, no problem! :)

    It's so shameful, Colin! =P But... I *do* have it on my bookshelf at least. Just haven't read it. As well as Leviathan. *hides*

    Tyler-Rose, I feel the same way, hun. So many good book recommendations and so little time. And money. *le sigh*

    Rebecca, it's a really good book. :) For all YA writers out there this is THE book to buy!

  8. I never thought of Pinterest! I can't believe it slipped my mind! What a fantastic place for inspiration and motivation! You, my friend, are a smart cookie!