The Romance Writers' Phrase Book
So, I've done it again. I cleaned off my desk. Bad mistake.
The one thing I need most at the moment is the one thing I can't find.
In 1984, I bought a new book that I have read and reread over and over. It is a writing book titled The Romance Writers' Phrase Book. It doesn't tell you how to write. What it does is explain what dialog tags are and how to use them. Then is gives pages and pages of examples. And it's not just for romance writers, either. All writers need to know how to use dialog tags.
The idea is to read the examples, then come up with your own tag in the same vein of thought. It works great, and I have over the years recommended the book to anyone who asked how to write tags or how to write in general.
I have reluctantly offered to share this book with very close friends or family over the years, and have always been nervous until it was returned. I think someday, I just need to break down and buy a second copy to share.
At this point, my copy is so well-used, I might need to get another copy, anyway.
Back to my point. I am a messy-desk-kind-of-writer. If it is too messy, I have trouble concentrating, though, so occasionally, I will clean it off. Then the tools, books, or items I need get put up (where I will remember them, but I never do), and then I can't find them.
I may have put it on the bookcase in the hall. Guess I will go check.
There are other books, such as The Writer's Guides by Angela Ackerman, that are a great help, too. If you need help with dialog tags, setting the mood, or adding descriptive details to your writing, you will find all of Angela Ackerman's books helpful.
Where ever you are in your journey to be a writer, whether you have published dozens or are still working on your first book or short story, these kinds of books are good tools. Over time, you, too, will have favorites.
What writing books do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.