It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
My awesome co-hosts for the August 4 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!
August 4 question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it, you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.
Despite it being a book for screenwriters, it has so much valuable information. I first read it after drafting CassaFire and the fifteen beats really struck me especially as I could see those beats in my story. I continue to pick it up and learn something new each time.
The IWSG Anthology Contest is open until September 1, so check out the details. Sweet romance – first love!!!!
It’s also the month the domain for the IWSG is renewed. I am happy to cover this, however – any purchase of IWSG swag goes to cover this expense. (Diane was nice enough to set this up for us.) Some cool stuff – please consider making a purchase this month.
Please welcome Toi Thomas as she takes over the IWSG Goodreads Book Club!
We’ve got some changes in the works and Toi will taking those head-on next month. Juneta and Ronell will continue to assist as moderators.
And finally – we need co-hosts for the rest of the year! Leave a comment or send an email if you can help one of the four months.
Jacqui Murray and Laws of Nature
The famous Lucy skeleton (found by Donald Johanson) was a 3.2 million year old Australopithecine, 1.5 million years older than this story. Why use that name?
Congratulations—you know your paleoanthropology! This story’s Lucy is more evolved than her namesake, I chose a name often associated with prehistoric man to make the story familiar to readers.
Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray
Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series
A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.
Find on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon AU, and Amazon IN
Find Jacqui website, blog, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Amazon
August Movie Preview
Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for August. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.
The Suicide Squad
Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Mikaela Hoover
Anything with Starro in it is cool with me.
*And saw the movie tonight - hilarious! One of the best films I've seen this year.
A bank teller discovers that he's actually an NPC inside a brutal, open world video game.
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Utkarsh Ambudkar
Reynolds is not the best when it comes to picking movies…
RiffTrax – Hobgoblins
At an abandoned old movie studio, security guards keep getting mysteriously murdered. The mystery: Why are there so many security guards for an abandoned old movie studio?! But forget that; the real secret is Hobgoblins! Cheap rubber puppets from outer space! Who vaguely resemble Gremlins! But not enough to bring on a lawsuit! Their power: they’ll make your wildest fantasies come true, and then you die, laughingly and embarrassingly.
Get your tickets at Fathom Events
The world needs laughter right now – go see it!
A scientist discovers a way to relive your past and uses the technology to search for his long lost love.
Director: Lisa Joy
Stars: Natalie Martinez, Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton
My wife saw that Jackman was in it, so I’m committed now…
And I’m excited to finally have a new book coming out!
Looking for tour dates next April and reviewers now.
Pre-order links: iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribed, and Dancing Lemur Press
Add it on Goodreads
What’s your favorite writing craft book? Entering IWSG Anthology Contest? (One month to go!) Into prehistoric fiction? Ready for some movies this month? And can you help with a tour date or a review for CassaDark?
I will take most of August off but watch for my thoughts on RiffTrax: Hobgoblins on Twitter.
Congratulations - and thank you (drat you) for tempting me with many others of the featured books as well.
Woo-hoo! Congratulations on CassaDark! Happy to host you on a Monday in April if you have open dates.
Congrats on your new Book, Alex!! And Congrats to all the new releases.
I would be happy to host any month, just let me know.
Thanks for continuing to look after the group, Alex! I'm up for a co-hosting session virtually any month. October would be nice and/or next February!
Congratulations on your new book coming out!
I have Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, too.
Enjoy the August break, you've earned it.
I'm excited about your book. I need to get to the others!
Congratulations on your upcoming release! The movie previews look amazing. I see several I want to watch. I love the sound of Jacqui's book. I could cohost in November and maybe January too. Have a great rest of your day and happy IWSG day.
I need to get a copy of Save the Cat. I like King’s On Writing. I’m looking forward to seeing some good movies, and live theater, now that it’s open. Hopefully, it will stay open!
Cathrina and Jemima, appreciate it.
Mary, that book would be perfect for you.
Gotta love that new book smell - wait, what happens for e-readers? Anyway, congrats. On Writing by Stephen King is my go to book on the craft. As for movies, your wife and I both turned our eyes and saw Hugh. It can't be all bad! Enjoy.
CassaDark is a great book. Congratulations! I plan to be more active on my blogs, so count me in on the tour.
Right now I am available to cohost in September and October, if you still need someone.
Congratulations on CassaDark! I would be happy to host you and review it!
Laws of Nature sounds interesting and I love the cover!
I like Save the Cat, but I recently read Save the Cat for Writers and found it even more helpful.
Congrats on CassaDark! I added it to my want to read list on Goodreads and would be glad to shout out about it in my Follower News when it releases. Just email me at email@example.com to set it up. Also, I hope I'll be a co-host again soon.
It looks like a better August for movies than most years.
Big congrats on the new book. I'm happy to help in April.
I have heard Save the Cat mentioned a lot, so I should check it out.
Love Save the Cat and Jacqui’s book! Congratulations on your latest book, Alex.
I am not having good luck with new movies. Watched a Quiet Place II and wished I hadn't. Sigh.
Thanks for another great hop and thanks for the opportunity to admin the book club.
I too enjoyed Save the Cat. It's a good one for working out ideas.
I would LOVE to review CassaDark!
Sorry you are committed to Reminiscence. It's not my cup of tea but I have a feeling I may be seeing it as well with "the girls".
I'm up for The Suicide Squad. Looks fun.
I kinda second your vote for Save the Cat. The difference is the version I read was Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.
Save the Cat! is definitely one of those books that left an impression. I'll end up watching a movie and whisper "whiff of death!" when it hits that point.
I'm looking forward to Free Guy. It might be ridiculous, but I usually have fun with a Ryan Reynolds movie.
Woot for the new book!
Save the Cat sounds like a book I should check out. I've been writing ideas for a screenplay that I've already written a song for. Maybe that can be some of my leisure time vacation time expenditures.
Reminiscence sounds like my kind of movie. And my wife and I both like Hugh Jackman so that will be a film I'll look for when we can watch it at home.
Tossing It Out
Alex, please put my name down as I am available to co-host from November and every month after.
I've never heard of Save the Cat. Taking a look later today. Happy IWSG Wednesday.
Congratulations Alex, on Cassa Dark.
I've been thinking of buying Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. Have heard so much about it.
So excited about Jacqui's new book!
I can host you for your blog tour -- you have my email address.
And I can co-host in October -- tried to email you, but it didn't go through.
Congratulations Alex and thank you for IWSG. Im reading Save the Cat Writes a Novel at the moment.
Also, forgot to mention. I can help co-host. One of the fall months.
Congratulations on the new book, Alex. That's the feel good part of this writing adventure.
I've heard good things about Save The Cat, but haven't gotten that one yet.
Just let me know when you need a co-host. I'm your gal! And thanks for hosting my new book!
Teresa, double thanks!
Appreciate that Natalie.
Toi, glad you are on board. And thanks - will email you.
Ronel, appreciate it!
Congratulations to Jacqui and to you!
Love the movie snark.
I can definitely help in April next year.
The rest of this year is a bit...full at the moment.
Save the Cat is one of my favorite craft books, along with Dean Koontz' book on how to write genre fiction. I would be happy to host for your book should this hurricane season not make me homeless again! And I would happily review your book if you would want. Best of sales!
Save the Cat is one of the books I've seen recommended so often, and it's one I don't own yet. I'm always on the lookout for good writing craft books, because it helps me to be a better editor.
Hobgoblins sounds like a hoot! Looking forward to that one.
Also looking forward to the release of CassaDark!
I loved Save the Cat A non-nonsense, spot-on book that I still have on my Kindle and can't part with.
I'd love to co-host in September/October.
Congrats on the next book! Skin the Cat and the fitting beat sheets are my favorite, too.
I'm so excited you're writing another book in the Cassa series! Congratulations.
Wow! Congratulations on your new novel. Thanks for the recommendation on the writing craft book. I know nothing about screenwriting but I'm intrigued by it. Have you written a screenplay? The IWSG swag is really cool!
Congrats to Jacqui! I do like prehistoric fiction. I loved Clan of the Cave Bear.
Congrats on your upcoming book, Alex! And also to Jacqui Murray on her new release.
@Tyrean--thank you! I'm thrilled to be finishing up this trilogy. Lucy deserves to get on with her life!
@HRSinclair--thank you! This is that type of theme--strong female trying to survival against the unsurvivable. But my folks are 1.8 mya instead of 40,000 (ish) for Ayla.
@Erika--thank you! Much appreciated.
@Jill--thank you! I am also excited about another Cassa book. And your next one--December, I think?
@Ronel--thanks! I drafted this Book 2 and Book 3 together. It seemed to make the writing go faster.
@Carol--thank you for your congrats. It's been almost a month but I'm still on a cloud.
So much to comment on! Congrats on the new book. Got it pre-ordered. Thanks for footing the bill for the domain name. Not cheap. This coffee lover has to get that IWSG mug.
I'm always happy to cohost. Plus, I'm happy to help you promote CassaDark. Best wishes.
Jacqui's "Laws of Nature" is so good! And I can't wait for your new book! I can do October or December is you still need volunteers. Have a good IWSG Day!
Congrats on CassaDark release.
I'd like to offer to be a host one month, but I'm wary. Last year, I offered, and then got sick and couldn't do it. I hate it when people rely on me, and I can't deliver. I hope it won't happen again this year.
Congratulations on CassaDark! You must be so excited.
Ha! I'll have to check out Hobgoblins. Can one ever have too many security guards protecting us from rubber puppets from outer space? Love the premise!
"Laws of Nature" sounds good. Congratulations, Jacqui!
"Save the Cat" is one I don't have, but now I plan to get it ;-)
Have a terrific August!
Love Save the Cat. It has become a popular recommendation because the story telling principles are truly universal.
@FundyBlue--thank you! I'm working on it! Maybe we'll end up co-hosting together here. That would be nice.
@diedre If you like strong women who do the impossible, I think you'll like it!
Congrats on your book, Alex! And, thanks for your movie reviews. My husband and I loved the fast-paced ride of 'The Jungle Cruise' - pure Disney, lots of sardonic humor, derivative of every other action hero (Indiana Jones came instantly to mind) and a call back to 'Romancing the Stone' -
I would be please to host again - this blog is important duty because we all recall our early days as newbies in dire need of support.
Congratulations on the next release. Love, love your covers!
A commitment so far out is hard to make, but if things work out I'll let you know. I haven't been as reliable as I used to be so playing it more careful now.
I've written 3 different stories for September, and still don't think I'll make this one. LOL
Roland, appreciate that.
Lynda, you helped make it good.
Jennifer, no, but it was still helpful.
Diane, double thanks.
Louise, appreciate it.
Olga, I can place you on a month with plenty of co-hosts.
Save the Cat is a classic. My go-to writing book is On Writing by Stephen King, short but packed with practical writing tips and inspiration. I also love K.M. Weiland's books about story structure and character arcs. Tons of great information.
Congratulations on the new release, Alex!
I believe we picked the same book as our favorite writing book. Great minds...
That's great news about Cassa Dark! I'm sure it will be another bestseller!
I love finding a craft book I can keep going back to - helps me settle into the story!
You're always welcome on my blog - and if you still need reviewers, let me know
I'll have to read Reminiscence because that sounds pretty good and I do like Hugh Jackman.
Not many interesting movies this August. Everyone's saying the new Suicide Squad is either really awesome or really terrible.
Save the Cat is one of my favorites too. I'm always pulling my copy out and checking my beats. Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is another one I like.
Congrats on your upcoming book. I'd be happy to join the tour when you're ready or have you as a guest or spotlight the book on my blog. Just send the info my way when ready.
Congratulations, Alex, on your upcoming release.
All the best.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
Hey congrats on your new book, Alex!! How great! Ok so Hobgoblins sounds right up my alley. :)
I believe they later determined Lucy was ape, not intermediate. I researched it awhile back, but it's been a minute.
I also love Save the Cat. I use the beats for every story. So so helpful.
Thanks so much for letting me host today. :)
I'm always up for co-hosting! I could help out for the tour, as well.
I liked Save the Cat. I feel like I'm always noticing the "all is lost" moment in everything I read/watch now.
JE, I've only heard really awesome.
PK, thanks for helping out.
Double thanks, Sarah!
If you need me to host again, I'd be happy to. Also would be happy to review.
I am keeping a list of all the great writing books folks are recommending.Looking forward to reading and learning.
Way to go, Alex! Congrats.
I'd be willing to host again sometime. Just let me know when I'm needed most.
Happy IWSG Day
Yaaay on CassaDark! And congrats to Jacqui on her new release.
Love Save the Cat. A classic. I've got a weird thing for Harley Quinn, so will have to check out Suicide Squad.
I just hosted in June, but if you hit a "last resort" moment, I'm happy to take another month.🤣
Save the Cat is a great craft book. Have you read the sequel?
Also, I'm always available for co-hosting whenever you need it.
Congrats on your latest book! I haven't read Save the Cat, but based on the comments, I am really missing out. Thanks for the recommendation.
I love Save the Cat. It's really good for structuring your novel--or even for editing and see if it has good structure. Congrats on your new book! Love the cover!
I have Save the Cat as well and it was very helpful. Congrats on your next book coming out! and nice cover! I'd love to share when it gets closer to the time.
Congrats on the new release! If you'd like me to post or tweet about it, let me know. Love the cover.
Funny thing, I had put in my blog post from Saturday that nothing seemed of interest to me in theatres this summer (except Shang-Chi but that doesn't release until September). But Free Guy and Reminiscence sound like they may be fascinating and so I might go see them. Congrats on your upcoming book! I wouldn't mind hosting a blog tour for it but April is a little too far in advance for me to make a decision. When is the latest you need to know by?
I'd be happy to co-host in September or October.
Save the Cat is a helpful book, though I don't quite think in the same cinematic way :)
Save the cat is a great one.
Some good movies coming out... Hope they are good, anyway ;)
Save the Cat is a good book. Congrats on CassDark!
I can co-host again in November.
Ever since the Island where dreams come true turned out to be so unexpectedly horrible in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I've been a big fan of the dreams becoming reality trope. Add in Hobgoblins and I'm there. Definitely watching it.
Even though it is so sad, I still feel so inspired when I read The Diary of Anne Frank. She was a remarkable girl whom I admired since I was a teen. I also feel so much when I read To Kill a Mockingbird plus the film bios by Barry Paris who has written insightful, shocking but not sensationalistic accounts of Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo( they did have a one night stand together too). What is a NPC?? And yeah, I like Reynolds but this movie looks horrible. Is the hobgoblin film with real people or is it animated? I might want to see this because it reminds me. Little of Mars Attacks. Congrats on your book!
FreeGuy looks funny to me.
Congrats on the book coming out. Perhaps you'd like to do an alphabet letter post for AtoZ on your tour?
I could volunteer for October to co-host.
On the edge of my seat waiting to see what's going on with the book club.
Have a great end of summer, bro!
STC is a good one indeed. Yeah, some good movies this month by the looks of them. Reynolds can sure be hit or miss but he makes trailers look fun, sometimes.
Congratulations, Alex! And ooh, I forgot about Save the Cat, that's a good one.
Any book about a cat is on my list! And I'm one who appreciates the "No animal was harmed . . ." codicil. Congrats on the upcoming release! Reminds me to get busy with my own. Your movie list matches mine again this month. Have already slipped cautiously back into the theater once (for the popcorn!) and look forward to doing so again.
Karen, appreciate that.
Ken, not yet, and thanks.
Steven, not for a while. Just planning at the moment.
J, that would be awesome!
@Deniz--Thank you! . Lots of great books coming out, aren't there?
Wow! Jacqui's book sounds so intriguing. I need to check it out. And Alex, I've heard so much about this book, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, I need to check it out as well. Thanks for all you do to assist your fellow Writer in this scary world of creating story.
I can help out in November or December, if you'd like. All best to you, sir!
Congrats on the new book coming out! Great cover!
Congrats on the new book! I can co-host if you need me to.
Congrats on the new book. Not a Hugh Jackman fan? He's for guys, too ;)
I don't have a favorite writing craft book but after reading this I see several to choose from. Thanks. Glad to be back.
@Victoria--thanks for your interest. If you love unstoppable females, I think you'll like this story!
I think Reynolds picks things that he thinks will be fun.
The only movie I've ever heard him talk about regretting is Green Lantern.
I'd like to welcome Toi to the Book Club. She'll be a great asset.
I love the beat concept too. I really like Save the Cat Writes a Novel.
Many congratulations on the new release!
Congrats to you and Jacqui on your new book releases! Looks like I'm going to have get Save the Cat and not just because of that clever title.
Congrats on Cassa Dark and to the other author featureed today at your blog. So exciting! I am toying with a few ideas for the anthology, but nothing is grabbing me yet. This theme is out of my writing style, but I honestly would like to submit something fresh, fun, and sweet. The world needs sweet first love stories right now.
I haven't really read many books on writing, so I don't have a special one. Does the Thesaurus count? LOL
@JQ--thank you! You know the joy of launching a book. There's nothing like it.
Interesting to find out about your favorite book on the craft, Alex. I had never heard of Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. And, fun to both be featuring Jacqui this month during the IWSG hop.
I hear you about those domain renewals and fees for running our blogs. It's not cheap anymore. I have been contemplating finding a way to receive some income to cover this, but my swag would surely not be as appealing and professional as that of the IWSG!!! :-) Enjoy your August!!!
Congrats on CassaDark - I'd love to host you on my blog.
Congrats to Jacqui too.
I've heard so many good things about Save the Cat, I'm going to have to check it out one day.
@Annalisa--thanks for the kind wishes! It feels good to get this one out there.
Congrats on your new release, Alex! I have the other addition of STC, and I love it! Since I'm starting to get more into screenwriting, I'll have to get the original version.
Thanks for taking over the Goodreads Club
AND thanks to you, Alex, for handling the IWSG website.
Ryan Reynolds, for all his brilliance, doesn't choose his films wisely.
So eager to see Suicide Squad. Loaded with good names. Good director and writer. Will enjoy Reminiscence.
Hobgoblins sounds like our type of movie.
Thanks, Victoria - will email you.
Liz, I like him. My wife likes him more.
Michael, we do! And yes, someone else named that one last week.
Leisbet, the members came through and it is now covered.
Hi Alex - I'm sure I bought 'Save the Cat' - because you recommended it. The question has provided many suggestions across the membership posts - excellent idea. I'm just reading more and learning about the world, rather than about how to write ... but thankfully blogging gets me by. Thanks for organising things for us ... cheers Hilary
Congrats on your book Alex! Congrats to Jacqui too!
Your craft book sounds excellent Alex! I wanted to see Free Guy, now you are saying, I shouldn't? LOL! Big Hugs and Take Care, Alex!
A new release, always a great thing.
We want to see these movies!
Thanks Alex for all your book and Film reviews this month. Interesting that your favourite craft book is written by a screen-writer. Guess it figures as I sense that your fiction comes from a film playing out in front of your mind's eye.
Congratulations on another Anthology and for visiting everyone on the master list again this month. I so admire your dedication, which regretfully I strive to follow without ever succeeding....
Lots of great movies coming out. The most recent one we've seen is Jungle Cruise at the drive-in, and that was loads of fun. You can't miss with Dwayne Johnson! I want to see Free Guy, but maybe from the comfort of my own home. Yes, and we definitely need more laughter. Rifftrax is perfect for that! :) Congratulations on the new book! I would be happy to do a review for you.
Ha ha. I like Jackman too:) I'm not sure what to expect from this movie.
Congratulations on the new book!!!
Congratulations on Cassa Dark! And also to Jacqui. All the best to you both.
I don't have a favourite book but the shape of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut is something I return to quite often.
Hallo Alex, so good to see you again, still busy, still writing YaY a new book!!! I wish you the most magical response to it.
Thanks for letting me know in your post about the IWSG swag. I think I shall peruse when I get a moment. I plan to see Free Guy, but this month has been hell on my schedule. I also plan on seeing Suicide Squad. But it's the 23rd already as of me writing this, so you can see how well my plans are holding up.
Congrats on the new book! Among my favorite craft books are Story Genius by Lisa Cron and Sin and Syntax.
@magiclovecat--thanks for the kind wishes!
@Nilanjana--I appreciate your good wishes, too!
I'm still reading you although I'm not writing more than vlog posts these days and have given up going to the movie theaters...too peicy.
I've really got to finish Save the Cat! Mine would be King's On Writing, which got me writing fiction again after a long hiatus.
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