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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => The Craft of Writing => Topic started by: charlottejo on April 19, 2018, 06:07 PM

Title: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: charlottejo on April 19, 2018, 06:07 PM
What are your favorite books you have read about the craft of writing? What did you learn from it?
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Trine on April 19, 2018, 07:46 PM
My favorite is "Word Magic For Writers" by Cindy Rogers. It' all about powerful language for writers. I love words and the writing techniques  featured in this book are usable! :typing
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Tori on April 19, 2018, 08:05 PM
My favorite is still BIRD BY BIRD, by Anne Lamott. I learned that we need to persevere and have a light touch!
Aloha,
Tori :pizza :palmtree
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: AnneB on April 20, 2018, 05:53 AM
Seconding Tori's nomination of Bird by Bird, and adding On Writing by Stephen King.

Yes, that Stephen King. I don't care for the few novels I've read of his, but On Writing is spot on.
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Hopeful on April 20, 2018, 08:24 AM
My favorite book about writing is Just Write:  Here's How!  by Walter Dean Myers.  It's a straightforward, practical book that offers a lot of sound advice.
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Vijaya on April 20, 2018, 08:43 AM
If I have to pick just one favorite it'll be Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. I learned about making it matter, raising the stakes, not going with my first idea but writing it slant.

Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: charlottejo on April 20, 2018, 07:17 PM
Thank you all for your replies! I will have to pick those up.
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: andracill on April 21, 2018, 02:52 PM
My favorite is Orson Scott Card's Characters and Viewpoint (but characterization is definitely one of my personal challenges).
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: jodyjl on April 21, 2018, 03:07 PM
My favorite books on writing are both by Lisa Cron (Wired for Story and Story Genius). I learned about the ever-important third-rail of stories, that inner journey. It's the journey we, as readers, relate to more than the external one. We actually root for the character to fulfill his/her inner need more than the outer need.

In Story Genius, Cron writes about finding the main characters mis-belief. Then she encourages you to dig deep into their past. Find their secrets. Find what they really want. Find what they believe is standing in their way.

I wish I had found Cron years ago. I truly believe, without any doubt, that her advice is what allowed me to finally revise my novel so that it resulted in a sale.

Having said that, I also love Bird by Bird (Lamott),  Writing the Breakout Novel (Maass), and The Fire in Fiction (Maass).

Jody
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: olmue on April 21, 2018, 03:44 PM
Story Genius is AWESOME. It is particularly good if you are a pantser who finds that outlining kills your story. (Pantsers do have some inner planning, it's just that we come at it from a different angle.)
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: jodyjl on April 21, 2018, 03:55 PM
Story Genius is AWESOME. It is particularly good if you are a pantser who finds that outlining kills your story. (Pantsers do have some inner planning, it's just that we come at it from a different angle.)

YES! So true.

I'm developing an new novel right now, and all I've written so far is back story. I still have no idea what will happen to these three characters, but I'm developing a common incident that shaped all their lives before the story even begins.

Story Genius is incredible!

Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: JulieM on April 21, 2018, 03:57 PM
Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books is concise, interesting (with examples) and relevant. https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Picture-Books-Hands-Publication/dp/1582975566/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Ree on April 23, 2018, 04:16 AM
Write Your Novel From The Middle, by James Scott Bell.

I'm a bit of a pantser. This book helped me have more of an outline and helped me understand character motivation. I can't say enough about the book.

I'm intrigued by  your recommendations of Wired for Story and Story Genius, and  they are now on my list to read.

Thank you,
Ree
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: Vijaya on April 23, 2018, 09:36 AM
Jody, I, too, loved Story Genius. It's such an organic method and it's what I sort of do anyway, so it really helped.
CharlotteJo, I wrote a review here: http://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2016/10/story-genius-by-lisa-cron.html
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: 217mom on April 23, 2018, 11:30 AM
My favorite is still BIRD BY BIRD, by Anne Lamott. I learned that we need to persevere and have a light touch!
Aloha,
Tori :pizza :palmtree

Anne Lamott's book tells of taking the work seriously but not ourselves. I used to go back to it as a sort of pick-me-up, and this journey requires plenty of such.  But it is not a beginner's "how-to", for which I'd still recommend Nancy Lamb's Crafting Stories for Children.

And for a meditation on writing, Dorothea Brande's Becoming a Writer.
Title: Re: Favorite books about writing?
Post by: jodyjl on April 23, 2018, 07:04 PM
Jody, I, too, loved Story Genius. It's such an organic method and it's what I sort of do anyway, so it really helped.
CharlotteJo, I wrote a review here: http://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2016/10/story-genius-by-lisa-cron.html

Great reviews, Vijaya. I also agree on your small nit-picks. Every writer needs to work in a manner that suits her/him.