Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - April 2013

Anna Nordeman

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my second post for IWSG. For those who would like to read that post first, please go here.) For March, I wrote about my unhappy experience with NaNoWriMo and mentioned some of the how-to-books that I have been reading in order to learn to write better. But I won't be able to get back to serious writing until summer when the schools are out.

For IWSG for April I would like to share my list of how-to-write books. I have even received suggestions for more titles. Take a look and see if you have read any of these.

I have not read all of the books on this list. I have only read completely the books marked in green. Titles marked with yellow are books that I only have read half or the first few chapters. If anyone of these is to be especially recommended, please comment on it. Last month, Roland Yeoman agreed with me about liking Stephen King's book On Writing. Thank you for all the new titles! I will have a lot to read this summer!

Here's my how-to-write-novels-booklist:

Ackerman, Angela and Puglisi, Becca, The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression (2012)

Ballon, Rachel, Ph.D., Breathing Life into yout Characters: How to give your characters emotional & psychological depth (2003)

Bell, James Scott, Conflict & Suspense (2011)

Bell, James Scott, Plot & Structure [Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish] (2004)

Bell, James Scott, Revision & Self-Editing [Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel] (2008)

Bernays, Anne and Painter, Pamela, What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers (1990)

Bickham, Jack M., The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) (1992) 

Booker, Christopher, The Seven Basic Plots: Why we tell stories (2004, 2005)

Card, Orson Scott, Characters & Viewpoint (2010) 
Complete Handbook of Novel-Writing, The, Everything you need to know about creating & selling your work, Includes interviews with articles by Margaret Atwood, Terry Brooks, Octavia E. Butler, Tom Clancy, Janet Fitch, Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, J.A. Jance, Gish Jen, Terry McMillan, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, Richard Russo, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut and more (2002)

Davis, J. Madison, Novelist's Essential Guide to Creating Plot (2000)

Dixon, Debra, Goal, Motivation & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction (1996)

Edelstein, Linda N., Ph.D., Writer's Guide to Character Traits, includes profilrs and personality types (2006)

Geraghty, Margret, The five-minute writer: Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day (2006, 2009)

Kempton, Gloria, Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue (2004)

King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)

Kress, Nancy, Beginnings, Middles, & Ends (2011)

Kress, Nancy, Character, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and exercises for crafting dynamic characters and effective viewpoints (2005)

Kress, Nancy, Dynamic Characters: How to create personalities thar keep readers captivated (1998)

Lauther, Howard, Creating Characters: A Writer's Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life (2004, 1998)

Kiteley, Brian, The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon writing exercises that transform your fiction (2005)
Michaels, Leigh, On Writing Romance: How to craft a novel that sells (2007)

Morris, Roz, Nail your novel: Why writers abandon books and how you can draft, fix and finish with confidence (2009)

Rozelle, Ron, Description & Setting: Techniques and exercises for crafting a believable world of people, places, and events (2005)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters (2001)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, Ph.D., Story Structure Architect: A writer's guide to building dramatic situations & compelling characters (2005)

Schmidt, Victoria Lynn, A Writer's Guide to Characterization: Archtypes, Heroic Journeys, and other Elements of Dynamic Character Development (2012)

The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference / from the editors of Writer's Digest Books (1998, 2001)

Tobias, Ronald B., 20 Master Plots, and How to Build Them (1993)

Wood, Monica, The Pocket Muse: Ideas & Inspiration for Writing (2001)

[I'm missing some titles. But I'd better post this now. I'll add them later. I need to run to the post office now.]

Suggested additions to my list: 

Campbell, Joseph, The Heroes Journey

Engber, Martha, Growing Great Characters from the Ground up

Maass, Donald, Writing the Breakout Novel

Snyder, Blake, Save the Cat

Reading about writing has helped me, so I will continue to read parallell to my writing, when summer comes. (Right now I have lots of practical problems to solve in my offline-life.) 

Please keep coming back in April, as I am participating in A to Z, even if my posts are very, very short.

Best wishes,

First Commenter:

Annalisa Crawford


Annalisa Crawford said...

I used to read a lot of how-to books, but in the end I decided I didn't like being told how to do it. There are some great ones these days though (I had very basic ones, I'm very old). Lots of people like Save the Cat - I didn't see it on your list, have you heard of that one?

Annalisa Crawford, One of April's IWSG Co-Hosts

Unknown said...

Save the Cat? No. I've never heard of it. But I can look it up!
Thanks for visiting!You are first and get the extra link!
Best wishes,

Unknown said...

Hi Annalisa,
There is a book called Save the Cat about screenwriting by Blake Snyder. Was that the one you were thinking about?

Elsie Amata said...

Your daughter is precious!

Your blog has done what my first blog did. It has morphed from one thing into many things. Isn't it fantastic?

Welcome to the IWSG! It's great to have you!!!


Annalisa Crawford said...

Yes, that's the one Anna - I couldn't remember the author. Although it's about screenwriting, a lot of writers have found it's got great advice that relates to novels as well.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Anna, great list. I have 2 more to add to it:

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

and, Growing Great Characters from the Ground Up by Martha Engber.

Happy IWSG!

Denise Covey Writer said...

Hey ho Anna, lots of yummy books. I love the Complete Book on Novel Writing and Donald Maass' books. He has been the most help to me. I also follow Joseph Campbell's The Heroes Journey for classic structure...cheers hon. I am completely pooped from moving house and more to go yet!


Denise Covey Writer said...

That is my all-time favourite. Got me started.

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