The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day and guess what, it’s the first Wednesday in August! Post your thoughts, talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered, discuss your struggles and triumphs, and offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Every month we have volunteer co-hosts who keep the conversations flowing and the blog posts on point. This month we owe our thanks to PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

There’s also always a (totally optional) question to get your creative juices flowing. For August 4th, the question is What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time your read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique.

I’m sure some readers are expecting me to say On Writing, by Stephen King or Save The Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. I also occasionally glue my eyeballs to Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. All three of these are valuable resources, and all of them contain points I return to again and again when I need a refresher. While reading them, I’m forever running into a technique which makes me smack my forehead and say ‘why did I forget that? Get your act together, brain!’ I recommend them wholeheartedly if you’re interested.

But I can’t forget that I write in one specific genre. I’ve outlined it before in detail, but to briefly recap: writing a romance you must know the basics of crafting an engaging, plot-filled story, and also how to write a believable, emotional relationship between two people. Mush those two things together (it must look effortless) and then you have a romance book.

So the one book which inspires every time and continues to teach me is Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes. When I need to ground myself in my genre, it’s the book I turn to. It has some detractions (short, not enough examples) but it’s a solid technique manual and reminds me to mind my plot points.