This is my first article on writing. I am comparably new at this whole process. I do know certain truths and I’m sure that any writer, novelist, author will agree to this next statement. Everyone has a list of must haves in their writing library. I am also sure that everyone who has a writing library will have their own personal opinion on what is to go on to that list. So please understand that this is my list. It is not set in stone. It is what I feel has helped me on my journey into this wonderful world that we as writer’s try to navigate.
Books: ( These are in no Particular order. Not even alphabetical)
Stephen King’s- On Writing: If you enjoy reading Stephen King and have always wondered how he really is. This book gives you insight to the man. He talks about his life from childhood through the accident that nearly cost him his life. Right smack dab in the middle of it he teaches us how to set up a writing tool box. Which contains everything from grammar tips, helpful concepts about how to put together thoughts on plot and character. He even talks about getting rid of adverbs.
James Scott Bell-Plot and Structure.
James Scott Bell does an amazing job of making a complex ideas easy to understand.
He goes into some detail on Beginning, Middles, and Ends of a good novel,( in a book of 245 pages approximate) He can not go into much more than general ideas. But those general ideas have carried me a lot further than the tedious in depth books that have nothing to say.
He gives you ideas, techniques, and practice exercises on plotting, crafting the story, tightening up your editing and how to pourthe suspense on for more than a brief two sentence paragraph. He also helps you understand the structure of a book.
James Scott Bell- Revision and Self-Editing
As with Plot and Structure James Scott Bell takes the bite out of Revision and Self-Editing of you novel that has been your baby for the last six months. He explains how to look at that Work-In-
Progress and be able to put it into three acts. Each with its own unique qualities that will make your novel better. He explains Theme and the use of it. He also gives you solid information on (POV) Points of View. He again give you examples and exercises and techniques to make you a better writer.
Jeff Gerke-The art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction
Mr. Gerke is founder and publisher of Marcher Lord Press a christian publisher for alternative fiction, He takes us through each of the Major parts. Character, Show vs. Telling, Point of view, description, and Dialogue. He brings up question for you the author to ask yourself. Why are you writing this and is it for the right reasons. (Mind you there are no wrong answers just ones too make you stop think about.)
the Complete Handbook of Novel Writing 2nd edition- by the editors of Writer’s Digest
A Compilation of articles from Writer’s Digest Magazine on techniques, point of views, How to’s, and all the neat things that you come to expect from Writer’s Digest. Quotes and interviews that you might have missed. Informative and easy to read all in a easy to handle book.
A Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus– A good dictionary and thesaurus is as good as an whole library in my book (You choose the one you prefer) it has dates, mini-biographies, usually at least a pencil sketch of someone or something your looking at. and the usual definitions.
The Holy Bible- King James Version (My opinion again) The holy bible is good for inspration no matter if you are using it as a reference or as a cry because you have edits due and not enough time to do them in. (version is strictly a matter of choice.)
A style Manual-Chicago, or Strunk it doesn’t matter as long as you have it and use one. It will answer those tiring questions on, comma’s, quotation marks, and so many other punctuation and grammar questions.
We are in this business because we love to write. Why not be the best we can be. I have tons of other writing books. The one thing I have learned is if you can a glean a single kernal from a book than that book is never wasted.
I know that there will be others that don’t agree with my list. Hey that’s okay this is just fodder for you to chew on. Then go get the ones you believe and make your own list.