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Topic: Books on Writing

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Subject: Books on Writing
Date Posted: 4/21/2008 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 25
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Are there any suggestions for decent books with advice about writing fiction?  The only book I own on that subject is Steve King’s On Writing.  I am searching for Orson Scott Card’s book on writing as well, but I am curious to know if anyone here has found any paticular book to be helpful.  Thanks!

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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One book I found interesting  is  Reading like  a Writer- Francine Prose, teaches you how to read books slowly and pick up on the techniques the writer used to convey the story.

But I have found alot of online writers groups that have given me alot of advice on how to write, so dont limit yourself to just books.. Orson Scott Card has a web site with alot of information about writing..And even some writing courses.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2007
Posts: 4
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I really like Gilbert Morris' book 'How to Write (and Sell) a Christian Novel'. It is really good even if you don't write Christian material. In fact, he barely talks about the subject. This is the table of contents: Plot Construction, Scene, Esposition, Point of View, Character development-appearance and speech, character development-behavior and psychology, dialogue, setting-elements, setting-uses, and marketing your writing. It is a really easy read and this guy has over 180 books in print. There are exercises to get you started in every chapter. I have been writing for a while and I wish I had this when I started. It hits all the important parts of writing. I also really like the course 'Write Any Book in 28 days...or less' by Nick Daws. You find it at writequickly.com. And I found it is possible to do this.


Date Posted: 5/10/2008 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.  I just finished that one and it helped me quite a bit.  It has a lot of practical information.

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 9
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"The Writer's Idea Book" by Jack Heffron (ISBN : 0898798736) is a pretty good tool, and an interesting read as well. It also gives you writing prompts (so it's great for those with "writer's block.")


Another good one is:

Fiction: The Art and Craft of Writing and Getting Published.

ISBN: 0938817469

Not only is it a resource on how to write well, it also delves into the business side of writing, which definitely helps if you plan on selling your work.


And for those non-fiction writer's there's:

On Writing Well :The Classic Guide to Writing Non-fiction

By William Knowlton Zinsser


Date Posted: 5/20/2008 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 9
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Oh, another good one I picked up at the local bookstore and am currently reading is:

On Writing Horror-A handbook by the Horror Writer's Association

ISBN: 1582974209

Date Posted: 5/21/2008 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
Posts: 32
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I enjoyed If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland.  If you're interested, it's on my bookshelf.


Other Suggestions:

Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon

Scene & Structure: How to construct fiction with scene-by-scene flow, logic and readability by Jack M. Bickham

Body Trauma: a writer's guide to wounds and injuries by David W. Page, M.D.

Last Edited on: 5/21/08 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 13
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Hi, I'm new to this site and loving it so far.  I'm always looking for good books on writing as I'm in the middle of writing a novel at the moment.  I'd have to agree that Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell is one of the best I've found so far along with Stephen King's 'On Writing'.  I did have 'How To Write A Damn Good Novel' on my bookshelf but somebody snagged it right away when I listed it.  I know it's a well known writing guide but personally I didn't think much of it.

Date Posted: 6/11/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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If you want to write mysteries, the best book I've read is Don't Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden. The book has great examples, entertaining and the author gives helpful advice without trying to impress the reader with their knowledge. (I've had this trouble reading a few how to write books, it seems the author was more concerned about 'telling' me how great they were or how much they knew without making it practical)

Last Edited on: 6/11/08 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 2:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 13
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I've often wondered about that.  So many of these authors act as if they are authorites on writing and yet I've never heard of them.  That's why I take Stephen King's book much more to heart than most of them.  Plus it's just a really good read.

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
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Jason, you might also like Tom Piccirilli's book, Welcome to Hell : A Working Guide for the Beginning Writer.


Subject: Books on Writing
Date Posted: 6/20/2008 3:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 254
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Hi folks! I just discovered this discussion forum. I've authored six nonfiction books (astrology, psychology, spirituality) , and I'm currently working on a novel based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Here's my contribution below.
Tracy Marks  tracymar

The First Five Pages - Lukeman (very worthwhile)---------
Writing the Breakout Novel - Maass----------
The Art of Subtext - Baxter (really made a difference in my writing)----------
Your FIrst Novel- Rittenberg----------
Setting  - Jack Bickman----------
From Where You Dream - Butler----------


The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor :: Gail McMeekin----------

At a Journal Workshop: The Basic Text and Guide for Using the Intensive Journal :: Ira Progoff----------

Becoming a Writer :: Dorothea Brande----------

The Creative Process :: Brewster Ghiselin
(this one isn't in the greatest shape but more than anything it inspired the first four books I published - which sold over 200,000 copies)----------

Editorial and Persuasive Writing: Opinion Functions of the News Media (Humanistic Studies in the Communication Arts) :: Harry W. Stonecipher----------

Interview With the Muse: Remarkable Women Speak on Creativity and Power :: Nina Winter

Last Edited on: 6/20/08 3:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: More Writing Books
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 254
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Other writing books I've read in the past six weeks that I highly recommend:
Anne Lamott - Bird by Bird
Peter Selgin - By Cunning and Craft

I also think Stephen King's On Writing was worthwile, as is John Gardner's book on writing a novel.

Date Posted: 11/2/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 15
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I've read Word Paiting by Rebecca McClanahan (ISBN 0898798612) and it was really good because it worked a lot with description.

For Chick Lit writers there's See Jane Write: A Girl's guide to writing Chick Lit (ISBN 1594741158).  It was really good because it was practical.  It's by both a writer and an editor, so it gives a really great view overall and it talks not only about writing but about getting published. 

I'm currently reading Stephen King's On Writing and it's really good.