It’s rare I find a book so topical. Recommended by my local NANO (National Novel Writing Month) group, Rock Your Writing is actually a series of four smaller books: Rock Your Plot, Rock Your Revisions, Rock Your Query, and Write Every Day. As I happened to be plotting the third novel in my fantasy trilogy and finishing up the second book in my science fiction trilogy, I had ample guidance from reading each section of the book as I needed it.
Ms. Yardley is another writer who enjoys spreading the wealth and telling others about her writing process. She writes simply and understandably. At the end of each chapter on establishing your plot points or writing the Black Moment when all seems lost is a short exercise. The Rock Your Plot section deals with scene construction, conflict, and other basic plot elements. She uses Deb Dixon’s book on GMC (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict) for each character in each scene.
While I used Rock Your Revisions most, I didn’t analyze each scene for its GMC as recommended as it takes too long, and I hope I include them instinctively. I did use the suggestion to read my entire 350-page space opera aloud and was amazed at how much it helped catch echoes (words repeated often) and unnatural dialogue. It reads much smoother now (and lots of green tea helped.) I should have made an audiotape while I was at it
I really appreciated the information on writing my book’s blurb, synopsis, and query just when I needed them. Ms. Yardley steps you through the process to create them, and I used her exercises in my final product. I found the synopsis every bit as difficult as she said but felt good about it when I finished.
For a hand’s on tutorial, Rock Your Writing is a perfect companion, and I’d recommend it to everyone who writes novels. Things are explained well, she doesn’t talk down to you, and you learn new and helpful things. A section on roadblocks in Write Every Day makes you feel less alone on your writing journey.
Thank you, Ms. Yardley.