My Writing Toolbox, by Lindsay Bandy

Here are a few of the resources that I’ve found most helpful while writing my YA. Hope they prove equally helpful to you!

  • Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

This book is great for a first-time novelist! It clearly explains the placement and theory behind each plot point, the pinch points, the way your character’s changes should progress through those points (no matter what kind of book you’re writing), proper pacing, and much more.   It’s super accessible, full of examples from famous movies and books, witty, and fun to read.

  • The Positive Trait , Negative Trait, and Emotion Thesauri, By Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

These are amazing! I really can’t say enough good things about these resources. I bought each of them for my Nook, and spent a whopping $18 on all three. Best $18 writing dollars I ever spent.

The Emotion Thesaurus is full of fresh, interesting, and unexpected ways to describe various emotions. It lists physical markers, possible thoughts, how one emotion can escalate into other emotions, synonyms, and what happens when certain emotions are suppressed short-term and long-term. It’s a very handy resource to have at your desk to keep your descriptions lively and surprising, and to amp up your nonverbal communication.

The Positive Trait Thesaurus and Negative Trait Thesaurus are invaluable for planning your characters. I could summarize it myself, but the book jacket does it pretty darn well….

Inside The Positive Trait Thesaurus, you’ll find:

* A large selection of attributes to choose from when building a personality profile. Each entry lists possible causes for why a trait might emerge, along with associated attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions

* Real character examples from literature, film, or television to show how an attribute drives actions and decisions, influences goals, and steers relationships

* Advice on using positive traits to immediately hook readers while avoiding common personality pitfalls

* Insight on human needs and morality, and how each determines the strengths that emerge in heroes and villains alike

* Information on the key role positive attributes play within the character arc, and how they’re vital to overcoming fatal flaws and achieving success

* Downloadable tools for organizing a character’s attributes and providing a deeper understanding of his past, his needs, and the emotional wounds he must overcome

Take that and apply it to the flip-side for the Negative Trait Thesaurus:
“Through its flaw-centric exploration of character arc, motivation, emotional wounds, and basic needs, writers will learn which flaws make the most sense for their heroes, villains, and other members of the story’s cast.”

I have found that the authors’ blogs are also wonderful places to learn and be inspired. K.M. Weiland’s blog, Helping Writers Become Authors, just made the Best Blogs for Writers 2015 list, and for good reason. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s blog, Writers Helping Writers, is great, too. I recommend them both highly!

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8 Responses to My Writing Toolbox, by Lindsay Bandy

  1. Looking forward to thumbing through these thanks!

  2. My current favorite is The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. Took one of his workshops and can’t recommend him enough.

  3. Love all of these! Thanks, Lindsay! 🙂

  4. Steve Silbiger says:

    Good suggestions, the Emotional Thesaurus is great, I will buy the others. Thanks! Also look at Save The Cat! it was suggested to me by John Dixon, the YA author.

  5. Lindsay, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, the book recommendations and blog links… They look great! Very much appreciated!!

  6. I’ve heard some other writers talk about The Emotion Thesaurus before. After reading what you write, I decided I’m finally going to buy it. Seems like a great resource!

  7. Virginia Law Manning says:

    Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing your favorites! I also love reading the comments to discover what others recommend. I recently read Gail Carson Levine’s “Writing Magic” and thought it did a great job of capturing a lot of the ‘rules’ that appear in other books. And for any teachers out there, it suggested so many fun writing exercises!

  8. Thanks to all of you for sharing some of your faves, too. Now I have to add them to my list!

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