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Topic: Books on writing

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Subject: Books on writing
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 14
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I have a few books on writing but I want to find out what some of you consider your most helpful one!

I had Stephen King's On Writing and can't find it anywhere but I loved it!

any other suggestions??

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I really liked Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, I reread that one from time to time. I was first introduced to it in playwrighting school.   Holly Black has a bunch of wonderful resources and suggestions on her site.   Neil Gaiman's blog has become a go to inspiration/resource fo me.  As a slow writer (I've finally come to terms with the fact that this will never, ever change) I find his output both inspiring and daunting.  This is kind of different, but Zadie Smith has two published pieces on writing and reading that I found really inspiring:  One was in the June 08 issue of The Believer (I loved it so much, I blogged about it), the other is the introduction to The Best American Non-Required Reading 2003 (which happens to be on my shelf). 

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 14
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Thanks so much for the feedback!  I will definately take at look at those suggestions!

Shaun (sec) - ,
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 80
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Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" has been a long-time favorite of mine.  Depending on the type of writing you're doing, you'll no doubt break many of their rules on purpose -- this is more about proper writing, grammar, and style in general.

Everyone should have a copy of this book!

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Strunk & White is definitely a must.  And the Transitive Vampire is a really fun grammar book.

Shaun (sec) - ,
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 80
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Also, forgot that some writers I know use mind mapping software.  Here's a selection:  http://lifehacker.com/5188833/hive-five-five-best-mind-mapping-applications

And here's some other free writing software (I haven't used any, but a few people I know do):  http://www.spacejock.com/

 

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 14
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Thank you all very much!!

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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That free writing software is the best :) I love ywriter and have been using it for a few years :)

I think one book that helped me write was  Reading like a writer.  

As well as a few of the Holly Lisels books she also has a few short and free writing courses :)  Forward motion I think her site is called.



Last Edited on: 7/9/09 6:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 14
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Thanks again guys!

Subject: Writing Books
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2009
Posts: 11
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This book about writing is quite sobering.  Read it at your peril.  The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.  Here's an example of what he advises and please notice the emphasis which is mine.  "This book's objective is much simplier [than other writing books], much more humble.  It is like a first reader who has been hired to make two piles of manuscripts, one that should be read beyond the first five pages and one that shouldn't.  Ninety-nine percent of today's unsloicited manuscripts will go into the latter.  This book will tell you why."

Tom

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 23
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Hi, everyone. I noticed this discussion about books.....I am thinking about giving the lifelong dream a try and of course you know what that means....reading everything that I can find on the subject. Can anyone tell me what the best books on writing are? Any suggestions at all?

Thanks!

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Penny- I think the best way is to find what area you want to write in, read loads of books in that genre and work out what you DONT want to do.
There are no hard and fast rules for writing and what books work for me might not for someone else.

But I found an online course called F2K that is free and gives great basics in learning to write. http://4-writers.com/  The quarterly magazine will tell you when the next one will be. It is apart of the Writers Village University, I joined after doing the F2k and learned alot.

Stephen Kings book -on writing is a great book.

What If by Anne Bernays is also something that has helped me stay creative.

 

Date Posted: 7/10/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 23
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Thanks Xengab. I am also doing the "read loads of books in the genre I want to write about"  technique.  Or atleast I am trying to...I work full time, go to business school full time and I am married (that is sort of full time too, lol.) I will graduate in a little under a year so I am doing what I am thinking about as the "research and getting my feet wet" phase.

Thanks for the link I will give it a try. I am also glad to hear that King's writing book is good, I just ordered it several days ago here on paperbackswap.

 

Oh yeah, and my idea of hell is being trapped in a room without books too!

Penny

Date Posted: 7/15/2009 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2005
Posts: 35
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My absolutely favorite writing book is A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves. It's a book with several daily writing prompts and inspirations. No matter what project you're working on, or how deep in writer's block you are, there's something in this book to get you fired up again  :)

On the technical side, I have to agree with the posters above - The Deluxe Transitive Vampire is awesome. I'm pretty shaky on grammar fundamentals, and that book really helped me to get a grip on the basics.

I have an entire shelf of books on writing, and I've found something of use in every one - particularly the ones by fiction authors. Stephen King's On Writing, Steering the Craft by Ursula K LeGuin, Zen in the art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, How I Write by Janet Evanovich...  I've got one by Rita Mae Brown, too, but the name escapes me right now. So many books, so little time  :)

 

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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There's a series called Elements of Fiction Writing that I've found quite useful. In particular, I enjoyed Orson Scott Card's book on Character and Viewpoint and Monica Wood's book on Description. The others in ther series are:

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, by Nancy Kress

Conflict, Action, and Suspense, by William Noble

Dialogue, by Lewis Turco

Plot, by Ansen Dibell

Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Bickham

Setting, by Jack M. Bickham

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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This is a great thread.   I picked up a few books at my local thrift store today on writing, one was mentioned here :).

I am looking at writing some poetry.   Anyone know of some good books to help me find my muse?



Last Edited on: 8/6/09 7:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 157
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If anyone is interested, I just posted a 2007 copy of Writer's Market.   It's clearly not current, but may give ideas on the market to someone who can't afford the cost of a new one.