Books Bought to Help with Writing

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Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit19124 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:24 pm

This year I have decided to really put in the extra effort to see if get over the hump in my writing. So not only am I taking a writers workshop with Cat Rambo, but I bought a bunch of books too.

I bought about 10, but these are the three I am reading now:

Storyteller Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop by Kate Wilhelm
---So far it is largely about how Clarion can to be. I read this one years ago, but I had to buy a new copy. Where my old one went I don't know.

On Writing by Steven King
---I read this one a long time ago too, and has a lot biography stuff too. In the first few pages it made cringe and laugh.

Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine
---This one I had not read before. It's a little more juvenile than I thought it would be when I bought it. I hoped it would be about incorporating magic into your writing, but so far not a word about magic. She recommends you save everything you write. She says you don't need lots of ideas to be a writer. Also she doesn't plot as she writes, so how the story ends may be different from where it started, which means she has to start the beginning again. In fact she says she often dumps information that she needs to know but the reader doesn't.

I am not done with any of these books.

Have any of you read these?

What books have you found helpful in regards to your writing.
Name: Mari Mitchell
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit22441 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:32 am

I quite enjoyed Stephen King's book; I've read it twice over the years. Here are two more I adore:

Nascence by Tobias Buckell. Buckell presents a whole mess of stories that didn't work, along with tremendously cogent and helpful discussion of each. Most pro writers are too embarrassed to bare their failures like this. He doesn't tell you what to do, like most books, but instead shows you exactly what mistakes he made and how his writing evolved past them. This book was worth five times the $4.99 I paid for it.

Writing Short Fiction by Damon Knight. I try not to buy books on how to write genre unless they've been written by someone who has clearly mastered the genre. Damon Knight was as much as a master as you'll ever find. He doesn't give you a roadmap to success, but what he provides is the closest thing you're likely to get without years of practice. An enjoyable and enlightening read, and Knight will forever hold my affection for introducing me to Fred.

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." -- Ray Bradbury
Name: Sarah Grey
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit19124 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:29 pm

I did buy the one by Damon Knight. I just haven't read it yet.

I hadn't heard of the other. It sounds great. Thank you!

Name: Mari Mitchell
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit30069 » Thu May 01, 2014 11:00 am

This thread hasn't been updated for a while, but I'll take the opportunity to highlight Self-Editing For Fiction Writers (Second Edition) by Renni Browne and Dave King. THE best book for improving my writing I've ever read. It's aimed at just this kind of audience - people who've completed stories or books that now need a critical eye - not for beginners. ... 0060545690
Name: Ray O\'Brien
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit30303 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:53 pm

Personally, I've thumbed through a few, and one of the books I find most helpful, if not only to read about writing, but to laugh at myself it was Bird By Bird by Ann Lamott. She is so funny, and so real you'll feel like you're reading a note from a friend :) I found it helpful.
Name: Ashley
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit30221 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:07 pm

John Truby: "The Anatomy of Story"
Ben Bova: "How to Write Science Fiction that Sells"
Robert McKee: "Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting" (good for novels and any other kind of story, too).
Nancy Kress: "Beginnings, Middles, and Ends"

There are others, but these and the Damon Knight one are my top five.
Name: Gail Marsella
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit24618 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:11 pm

I read and enjoyed the Stepen King one too. I've also read a few others.

Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maas is pretty good, as is Million Dollar Outlines, by David Farland.
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Name: Cheryl Sonnier
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit30338 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:45 pm

"Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder
"Scene and Structure" by Jack Bickham
"The Deluxe Transitive Vampire" by Karen Gordon
Orson Scott Card's book on Character
"Beginnings, Middles, and Ends" by Kress
"Telling Lies for Fun and Profit" by Block
Name: Michael Cho
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Re: Books Bought to Help with Writing

Postby crit30998 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:10 am

I try not to buy books of writing advice because thee's so much good stuff for free on the 'net. Here are my favorites: --- a new, short article each day, plus an archive. --- this blog site has won multiple awards. They've had year-long series on writing. Excellent. --- the coauthors of this blog have published The Emotion Thesaurus and the Positive and Negative Trait Thesauruses. I have all three in hardcopy; also available as ebooks. I highly recommend them. ... h_KXbzXFuA --- a free online style guide. --- I recommend signing up for the mailing list. --- I recommend signing up for the mailing list.

All free! Eat 'em up!

Name: Curtis Manges
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