My Top Five Writing Books by M.D. Grimm – Guest Blog

Long and Short Reviews welcomes M.D. Grimm who is celebrating recent release of Wisdom’s Allegiance, Book Thirteen in The Shifter Chronicles.

Hello everyone! Thank you for joining me. And thanks to Long and Short Reviews for hosting me. M.D. Grimm here and very excited to talk about my new release Wisdom’s Allegiance. This book can be read as a stand-alone, however, so if you’re intrigued and don’t want to start at the beginning, just check this one out.

Today I wanted to share my top 5 writing books—ones that have helped me plot better, describe settings, develop characters, and with all other aspects on the craft of writing.

Let’s start with # 5, shall we?

5) The Chicago Manual of Style is a life-saver, especially since many publishers use those standards. It saves on a lot of time and aggravation if you edit your book to those standards before submission.

4) 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black is hilarious and informative. Want to write a great villain? Check this book out. Definitely a good time and the book isn’t too long. Probably the shortest book on this list so it gets right to the point and you don’t have to swim through heavy text to find what you need.

3) The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester is great for any aspiring or experienced writer! The same person who instructed Jim Butcher on how to write (and he got his first book of The Dresden Files, Storm Front –awesome series), now shares her techniques to a wider audience. Basically, keep torturing your characters, especially your protagonist, until the very end. Lots of good stuff with suggestions on how to practice.

2) Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore by Elizabeth Lyon is essential. It’s bulky and touches on everything. It helps writers look at their manuscript objectively and teach them what to look for. So before you send your story to an editor and especially before publishing it, I would highly recommend giving this book a once-through and applying some of their tips.

1) Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress. This is my bible, no joke. Well-written and helpful with no matter what I need. It does lean toward sci-fi, especially with the examples, but Kress is a sci-fi writer so that makes sense. I’ve read it cover-to-cover several times and probably should again sometime soon. It is a great starting point for writers who are just beginning since it touches on all the parts of a book (plot, character, setting, dialogue, etc.), and a great refresher for experienced writers. I can’t recommend it enough.

Honorable mentions: if you want a quick, accurate way to look at any point in history, I can’t recommend the For Dummies books enough. Seriously, I have about five For Dummies books for info on wars and cultures both modern and ancient. They are a great starting point with recommended further readings in the back so you can laser focus your search once you get a peer-reviewed overview of the time period or event itself. Kind of like a risk-free version of Wikipedia.

Get a thesaurus. Any Thesaurus. Seriously, they will help you stop repeating yourself with that one word you gravitate toward. While I know most words programs have built-in synonym lists, and I use those plenty as well, they are sometimes limited. Nothing beats an actual book.
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There are so many other books I can recommend but I only have so much time and space. LOL. There are so many great books out there that will help you grow on your writer’s journey. I wish you goddess speed!

I am currently working on several projects—an m/m fantasy trilogy, book 7 of my The Stones of Power series, and book 2 of my Saga of the Bold People.

Thanks for joining me and may dragons guard your dreams,
M.D. Grimm

Can a loyal and sensual owl shifter couple woo a human mate who’s convinced he’s an ugly duckling?

When socially awkward Dexter Fortis rescues an elf owl blown off course by a storm, he has no idea the bird is a shifter named Orion. Or that his life is about to change.

Orion falls in love with the kind custodian, but he must convince his long-term partner, Talon, that Dexter is just who they’ve been searching for to establish a permanent ménage. Even if they can gently break down Dexter’s walls, they’ll have to contend with a dangerous cult rising in the shifter community and a hidden enemy determined to keep Dexter from them.

About the Author: M.D. Grimm decided to become an author in the second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things, actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?), she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain (or else what’s the point?), finding their soul mate in the process.

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Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.

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