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What "writing" books do you have in your personal library?

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mclicious
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I just realized I only read book son writing by authors I haven't previously read. The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Patricia Reilly Giff, whose book on writing I read when I was a child. But allt he other writing books I've read in recent memory are just writing books by people I've heard of but not read--ON WRITING by Stephen King, BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott, and WRITE AWAY by Elizabeth George. Does anyone else do that?
#61 - January 19, 2008, 11:38 PM

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Me too -- the same ones you mentioned

I didn't know that Patricia Reilly Giff wrote one - have to check it out! 
#62 - January 20, 2008, 06:29 AM

Catherine M

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In addition to those mentioned already--especially the Donald Maass book--I love William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Character Naming Sourcebook.

Catherine
#63 - January 20, 2008, 12:18 PM

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Many of my favorites are repeats (N Lukeman, A Dillard, EM Forster). But one of my favorites wasn't mentioned (unless I missed it) -- On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner. I love his concept of "the vivid and continuous dream."

Many of my favorite craft books are repeats too (Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Kenyon's naming book, Mogilner's age-level word book) but I think my all-time favorite is Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman. She covers everything (you're not left saying, "Well, she didn't answer that" -- at least I'm not) and entertains you while doing it. And I must cast a big, big vote for Word Magic by Cindy Rogers. Most I've learned from any book on language since I was a really green newbie.
#64 - January 20, 2008, 01:19 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
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SproutQ

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First post here; hope it comes out okay.

I have to second the recommendation for On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner, as well as for Ursula Le Guin's Steering the Craft, which is a writing course in a book, really.  For sheer amusement and inspiration, though, I love Dear Genius, Leonard Marcus's compilation of the letters of the great children's editor, Ursula Nordstrom.  My favorite is the letter to John Steptoe's mother asking her to urge him to hurry up with his next manuscript.
#65 - January 31, 2008, 05:31 PM

Mrs O

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I started out as an aspiring screenwriter (my MG novel is based on one of my spec scripts).  The best book I've ever read about writing is Creating Unforgettable Characters by Dr. Linda Seger.  Although most of Dr. Seger's books center on screenwriting, this one is great for any fiction writer.  This book really inspired my approach to character development, and how it relates to the plot.  I haven't read it in about 10 years, so now I'm contemplating a re-read for a refresh...!
#66 - February 02, 2008, 10:09 AM

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On Writing, Stephen King
Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maass
Between the Lines, Jessica Morrell
The Spirit of Writing, ed. Mary Robert Waldman

Probably Maass' and Morrell's books are the two I find most helpful for craft - both packed with great stuff! The others, more inspirational, I think.

I also really enjoyed Julia Cameron's The Right to Write (but it's not actually on my shelf... it's on my mom's) and Annie Dillard's The Writing Life.

Also, I have (and love) Madeleine L'Engle's "The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth". Very faith-focussed, as is her book "Walking on Water" -- quite inspirational both in terms of faith and writing.
#67 - February 02, 2008, 10:39 AM
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MACY MCMILLAN AND THE RAINBOW GODDESS (2017) | ROOT BEER CANDY AND OTHER MIRACLES (2016) | FOLLOWING CHELSEA (2014)

I don't have it in my personal library but I found Nancy Lamb's The Writer's Guide To Crafting Stories For Children to be an eye opener.
#68 - March 11, 2008, 08:21 PM

Sarah Miller

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Two recent additions to my must-have list:

Spunk and Bite, by Arthur Plotnik
A great style guide for pepping up your writing without forsaking Strunk & White.

The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard
A bit highbrow, but nicely reassuring if you're having a rough time...
#69 - March 12, 2008, 06:10 AM

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On Writing,  Stephen King
(My favorite quote: "The road to Hell is paved with adverbs...") :skull

20 Master Plots and how to build them, Ronald B. Tobias
Writing the Breakout Novel (and workbook), Donald Maas

The First Five Pages,  Noah Lukeman

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life, Noah Lukeman
#70 - March 16, 2008, 06:51 PM

Magic Steps to Writing Success, by Charles Sasser
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting, by Skip Press
Writing Copy for Dummies
#71 - March 20, 2008, 12:44 AM
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LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

missrodeo

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My collection has gotten a little bit embarrassing--it's taken over an entire shelf. The ones I like the most are Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Stein on Writing, Katherine Paterson's A Sense of Wonder, Stephen King's On Writing, and Bird by Bird.
#72 - March 20, 2008, 06:26 AM

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The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keys is a must-have for every writer, IMHO.   :getmail
#73 - March 20, 2008, 03:47 PM

ghoulinpajamas

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Ditto on the    Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King.

I thought You Can Write a Novel by James V. Smith was also helpful when first starting out, but then again I was an absolute beginner.

My most used reference books on my shelf are my Oxford dictionary of Slang and Webster's Word Menu. For when you're saying "What's that thingy  called . . . on a boat. . ." Well. I've never actually have had that particular wonderment, but you get the jist.

I have the online Urban Dicationary on a bookmark, but am waiting for the reverse look-up.
#74 - March 20, 2008, 07:17 PM

Nancy Lamb's "The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children"
Jack M. Bickham's "The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)"
Stephen King's "On Writing"
J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter"

Various other Writer's Digest books on Plot, Novel Writing, etc, but I didn't get as inspired as I did with those listed above.


#75 - March 23, 2008, 08:18 AM
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I've always loved John Gardner's The Art of Fiction and, more recently, Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer.

For great, practical inspiration, I often go back to Writing the Breakout Novel. It really helps when I can't figure out what's wrong with a scene.

One book which I don't think was mentioned: A Writer's Time by Kenneth Atchity, which has some great insights on harnessing the subconscious mind during the writing process (something I'm trying to do more of!).
#76 - March 23, 2008, 10:30 AM

Cana

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Whew. Okay you guys. It took me over 30 minutes to find this thread. (Alright, I'll be honest. Due to all the wonderful threads here, I allowed myself to be distracted, and I've probably been here for an hour or more.) But my purpose in coming here to begin with is to see what you think about a novel revision book I'd heard about. I knew I'd seen this thread and searched for "books on writng", "books on the craft of writing", searched through book talk, education, book reviews, writing, writing exercises, etc. Ok, you get my point. I finally searched for "Bird by Bird" and found nothing. It wasn't till I searched Anne Lamott that this thread finally popped up.

So why am I telling you this, dear moderator? Because I'd like to propose another topic on the boards. Can we find a place for "Books about the craft of writing" or something like that? Each thread would have the book's title/author in the subject line, and comments could then be posted about that book, how writers found it useful, what they liked most, etc.  Just a thought.

Ok, my question that brought me here:

In the July/August 2008 SCBWI bulletin, the book Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison was featured in an article by Franci McMahon. I believe I've heard of this book before and am considering purchasing it to help me through revisions of my current YA. Has anyone else used this? What are your thoughts?
#77 - July 15, 2008, 07:38 AM

Noodler & doodler
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Here's one to add to the list:

SPUNK & BITE by Arthur Plotnik - It's an updated, punchier version of Elements of Style. Something to keep around for inspiration when you want to spice up your locution.  :smile
#78 - July 15, 2008, 09:20 PM
Forthcoming books:
HONU AND MOA (fall 2018), author/illustrator
THANKU picture book anthology (fall 2019), contributor

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Just bumping this up to let you know that I finished BETWEEN THE LINES by Jessica Morrell and thought it was excellent. It's all about subtlety and taking your prose to the next literary level. If you're interested here's my review with the details:
http://jeanreidy.blogspot.com/2011/03/writing-book-review-between-lines-by.html
 :eyeballs:
Jean
#79 - March 19, 2011, 03:28 PM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Pup 681, Truman, When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Specs and Specs II.
Others at www.jeanreidy.com

I recently inherited my late father's writing books--he was a faithful subscriber to Writer's Digest but never published anything.  None of these books deal directly with writing for children, but the concepts might translate well--I may get around to reading them someday!

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald Tobias
Writing Articles from the Heart  by Marjorie Holmes
Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham
Writing A to Z edited by Kirk Polking
Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress
Writers Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing  vols. 1 & 2
Capturing the Magic of Fiction Writing by Jack Creed
The 30-minute Writer by Connie Emerson

#80 - March 19, 2011, 03:51 PM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

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I would HIGHLY recommend Cheryl Klein's SECOND SIGHT (found here: http://cherylklein.com/second-sight/).  It's my favorite writing book!
#81 - March 19, 2011, 05:04 PM

Jenn Bertman
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Olmue, I'm in the middle of SECOND SIGHT right now and already I would agree with you. It's fantastic. I keep putting it down because I've made a connection for my WIP, then can't wait to pick it up and read more.

Jean, BETWEEN THE LINES sounds really interesting. I'll have to check into that one.
#82 - March 19, 2011, 09:24 PM
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

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I just got my copy of SECOND SIGHT this week. I'm anxious to have a look, but I'm wondering how much of it will repeat what has already been posted in Cheryl's talks - which are fabulous.
Jean
#83 - March 20, 2011, 12:37 PM
Jean Reidy
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Olmue, I'm in the middle of SECOND SIGHT right now and already I would agree with you. It's fantastic. I keep putting it down because I've made a connection for my WIP, then can't wait to pick it up and read more.

LOL, that's what happened to me, too. It's very practical, which I liked.

JR, a lot of it is her talks, but there is a large section toward the end that I hadn't seen before. (I think she used it in some kind of workshop, but it's not on line.)
#84 - March 20, 2011, 04:36 PM

writerdebm

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on SECOND SIGHT! I've been a fan of Cheryl Kleins blog for a long time, especially like what she has to say about picture books--it would be great to have all that (and more from the sounds of it!) in a book.
#85 - March 20, 2011, 04:56 PM

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Thanks, Olmue. I'm anxious to dig in. And even if her online info was repeated, it would be nice to have it all organized in one place. When I ordered the book, I also got a free e-download. I haven't taken a look at that yet. Lots of reading lies ahead.
Jean
#86 - March 21, 2011, 10:38 AM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Pup 681, Truman, When the Snow is Deeper Than My Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Specs and Specs II.
Others at www.jeanreidy.com

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I didn't see these two listed but I'm using them on a revision and they're FABULOUS, especially for someone like me who doesn't plot easily - SAVE THE CAT and SAVE THE CAT STRIKES BACK by Blake Snyder. (These are the first and third books in the series - the second one mostly takes apart movie plots, so I skipped it). My writing buds Robin and Eve ecommended them on a retreat and I haven't put them down since. They're on screenwriting, but all of the info applies to novels as well.
#87 - March 22, 2011, 12:08 PM
Transcendence (Walker) - June 2012
Sequel (Walker) - June 2013
Dirty Little Secrets (Walker) - Feb 2010
6:00 in SF - 2009
www.cjomololu.com

Just bumping this thread in case any of the rest of you are making goals and looking for some books on craft or writing inspiration (or both).  Took me forever to find this thread, and I didn't want anyone else to have to repeat the madness.

You're welcome.  :grin3
#88 - January 04, 2013, 07:17 PM

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Good thread to bump--especially at the start of a new year.

Here are a few I find particularly helpful:

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D    because it's easy to understand and written in a humorous style that makes it fun to read
Writing It Right! by Sandy Asher    because it shows how revision improves a piece and helps explain the back and forth process
Anatomy of Nonfiction by Margery Facklam and Peggy Thomas   because it's full of really helpful pointers

And for inspiration I still like The Spying Heart by Katherine Paterson  (Although Bird by Bird is good too!)
#89 - January 04, 2013, 09:57 PM
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I've recently added Mary Kole's Writing Irresistible Kidlit and Steven Pressfield's Do the Work. Great stuff in both!!
#90 - January 11, 2013, 06:10 AM

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