Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

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a_r_williams
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Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by a_r_williams » December 13th, 2009, 9:06 am

I didn't see any topics of this already created, so I decided to start one here. Since a lot of us use how to books occasionally or often I thought it would be good to list any books that have helped you learn something about fiction writing. It could be anything from general writing advice or more specific topics like character creation, dialogue, plotting, etc.

What was the book about? How did it help you improve?

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Marla Warren
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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Marla Warren » December 13th, 2009, 9:18 am

Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a book I would highly recommend. King examines his own writing process, and gives advice to beginning writers as well. He used to be a high school English teacher, and judging from this book, I would say he was a good one.
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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Mira » December 13th, 2009, 11:43 pm

I liked Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Very accessible and encouraging. Helpful ideas, too.

Probably my favorite writing book is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. It's alittle outdated, but very inspiring. She really captures why people should write, no matter what. So, it's not so much instruction, but inspiration.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by MosesSiregar » December 14th, 2009, 11:24 pm

Hm, why not a top ten list from Moses :-) I've read all of the following books and they were each very helpful to me:

1) "On Writing" by Stephen King.

2) "The First Five Pages" by Noah Lukeman.

3) "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King.

4) "Zen in the art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury.

5) "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maas.

6) "The Successful Novelist" by David Morrell.

7) "How Not to Write a Novel" by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.

8) "Rules of Writing: Twenty rules to make your writing the best it can be." by Michael Stackpole. You can get it as a pdf on his website.

9) "Techniques of the Selling Writer" by Dwight V Swain.

10) "The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice for Writers" by Betsy Lerner.
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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by kristi » December 15th, 2009, 3:58 pm

My favorite is also On Writing by Stephen King - in fact, I just wrote about it on my blog today. It's more about the process of writing rather than the fundamentals and I found it very inspiring.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by SuzieQ » December 17th, 2009, 8:28 pm

If I could have only one book on writing, it would be Sol Stein's Stein on Writing. An often overlooked essential.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by a_r_williams » December 18th, 2009, 1:44 am

Between the Lines by Jessica Page Morrell

This book covers the small details that can add the finished touch to any story. It has the ability to deepen a stories structure by teaching a writer how to apporach theme, suspense, and tension. It can add to characters by allowing a writer to understand how epiphany plays a role in showing change and growth. It talks about prologues and epilogues and shows when and how to use them. This book will give a writer an ability to notice the small details that make a story feel complete and the ability to make those details blend seamlessly with the tale being told.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Dankrubis » December 18th, 2009, 2:58 am

I've read a ton of writing books, and I second or third or sixth King's book. But my all-time fav is John Garder's The Art of Fiction. Also, Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell is pretty decent.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Eric C » December 18th, 2009, 4:57 am

Gardner's book is great. That and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers are my two faves.

On second thought, I'd also put "The Art & Craft of Novel Writing" by Oakley Hall in the same pantheon.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by charity_bradford » December 21st, 2009, 10:59 pm

So many great books mentioned already! I also enjoyed:

1. Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
2. Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by David Gerrold
3. Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino
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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by tabwriter » December 28th, 2009, 10:55 pm

One of my absolute favorites is Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. Loved it!

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Katrina Stonoff » January 2nd, 2010, 5:37 pm

Moses, I love your list!

I would add Donald Maass' new book, Fire in Fiction. For a more experienced writer, I think it's even better than the Breakout Novel book.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by Crystal » January 2nd, 2010, 10:09 pm

Your First Novel: An Author Agent Team Share the Keys to Achieving Your Dream by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb

This is the one I am reading. So far I like it and it has been helpful. At the end of each section it also gives other self help book suggestions.
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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by casnow » January 4th, 2010, 3:05 pm

I just read the first chapter of the "Fire in Fiction" by Donald Maass tonight... it's just about how to make your readers connect to your protagonists. I can tell it is going to be a quality read from just the first chapter. Although it might make your books cliche, it will definitely make them more readable and publishable.

I've already had a few ideas that I need to incorporate into my WIP and into my "completed" manuscript.

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Re: Recommendations: How to Books on Fiction Writing

Post by MosesSiregar » January 4th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Katrina Stonoff wrote:Moses, I love your list!

I would add Donald Maass' new book, Fire in Fiction. For a more experienced writer, I think it's even better than the Breakout Novel book.
Thanks Katrina, I'll check it out. The night after I finished my first draft, I had an amazing dream in which I talked to Donald Maass for a really long time about my book (and I'm someone who almost never remembers his dreams). I am a little disappointed that Nathan didn't show up, but I know he's super busy. Still ... you know? What's up with that? I mean blogs and forums are great, but he's missing out on a major new avenue for reaching new authors by skipping out on our dreams.
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