#booksforwriters July 2017

This month, I would like to take a look at a resource by a writer I admire, Bryn Donovan.


Ms. Donovan first came to my attention through her blogs at bryndonovan.com. She has an enormouse treasure of writer’s resouces posted there, as well as a plethora of other goodies under Semi-Charmed Life, Reading and Geekery, and My Work.

The book title is linked to Amazon. And here’s a delightful spoiler: YOU NEED THIS BOOK.

Master Lists for Writers by Bryn Donovan, 2015. 270 pages

Bryn Donovan’s Master Lists for Writers is many things in one. It’s a thesaurus. It’s a primer on characterization. It’s an idea machine. It’s a gold-mine for newbie-writers and veterans alike.

Suffering from Writer’s Block? Here’s your cure.511Mc-7CyFL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

But Master Lists is more than just Master Lists. It’s a primer. It’s a textbook. It would be gold in a creative writing classroom.

Ms. Donovan provides instructive insight into the purposes, uses and applications behind each subtopic she explores.

I keep this book on my most-used reference shelf at arm’s reach from my computer.

Master Lists provides nearly fifty pages of descriptive tags for characters. If you find that some of your characters always have the same “look,” or you rely on the same old descriptors, this book will give you plenty of other ideas to populate your pages with fresh blood. Besides that, there are lists of actions and responses that will help round out your tags.

But if you need more than that for your characters, you’ve found the right resource. Master Lists provides over fifty pages of names from many time periods and locales, positive and negative character traits, quirks, and ways to show the character’s character.

There’s a small section on setting and it is divided by types of sensory descriptors. Donovan packs a major punch in only ten pages though.

Do you struggle writing dialogue? This book is for you. Same goes for action and sex scenes. Donovan will help you get through the touchiest of situations.

Hands down, the best part of this book for me is the big section on PLOT. If you need ideas for your next story, Bryn Donovan’s got suggestions for many types of stories and also covers character motivation.

Wait a minute. I lied. The best, best, best part of this book is the cheerleading that Bryn does for other writers.  She ends her book with a list of ten, thoroughly discussed reasons why you should write your book. This is a writer who is paying her own success forward.

Thank you, Bryn Donovan. You rock. And I love seeing your blog arrive in my mailbox every week.

Run over to Amazon and grab this resource for $12/paperback and $4.99 Kindle.foxy

May your muse be strong and your writing struggles be few,

Susan J. Anderson, Foxy Writer Chick



3 thoughts on “#booksforwriters July 2017

    1. Hi Jo-Ann! Yes, I have the emotional thesaurus and use it often. It’s a great resource for writers. If you don’t have it, you should definitely check it out–especially if you’re like me and trying to plumb deeper levels of characterization. I have a writer friend who nails emotional description naturally, but that’s not my strong suit. Susan

      Liked by 1 person

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