May 2012 bring all of you the best in books, publishing, writing and reading.
I'm a 'list' person, but if I make vague resolution lists I'll end up jinxing my goals. It's like saying you're going to start a diet. It never lasts. I make 'To Do' lists throughout the year...both for writing and household/family activities...but they're very specific, concrete things that need to be accomplished. Each task is a step towards fulfilling a larger goal...kind of like word counts.
One of the smaller steps I take towards becoming a better writer (and eventually a published one ;) is to read craft books. I know not everyone likes to read craft books, but I'm a huge fan. I agree that simply reading a craft book doesn't make a person a great writer, but I do think that the information eventually embeds itself deep enough in one's mind that the benefits and changes will come through in their writing. It's a solid step towards a larger goal.
My favorite craft books are listed in the left margin, and I believe I once pointed out how much I loved James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure. Well, the first craft book I'll be reading in 2012 is his latest called Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense. I want lots of great conflict in 2012, but only in stories LOL!
I've also heard tons of good things about Scrivener (for PC in my case). I'm as much of a note card girl as I am a list girl. Sticky notes count too, but I can't live (or write effectively) without my 4X6 lined note cards. I use them for everything, including one for each beat on Blake Snyder's 'Beat Sheet' from Save the Cat. I don't know how I ever wrote without you, Blake. Back on track....check out the link for Scrivener. The pictures are amazing and it looks like any note card/OCD girl's dream to organizing, plotting, and revising a manuscript. I'm not a natural at computer programs, but I do love efficiency. I'm dying to dabble with this and see if I can use it for my next manuscript.
So have any of you used Scrivener? Are there any new craft books you're planning to read in 2012? What concrete steps are you taking towards larger goals (writing or otherwise)?