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Fruitbat
11-10-2013, 05:19 PM
What books (or websites) have helped you with your writing, or any aspect of it, the most?

Marian Perera
11-10-2013, 05:29 PM
I've got several other how-to books - The Forest for the Trees, The Writer's Essential Tackle Box and so on, but these are my favorites.

Aliens and Alien Societies (http://www.amazon.com/Aliens-Alien-Societies-Extraterrestrial-ebook/dp/B00B2B8FOO/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384089966&sr=1-1&keywords=aliens+and+alien+societies)

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Science-Fiction-Fantasy/dp/158297103X/ref=sr_sp-btf_title_2_24?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384090050&sr=1-24&keywords=orson+scott+card)

Characters and Viewpoint (http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Fiction-Writing-Characters-award-winning/dp/1599632128/ref=sr_sp-btf_title_3_31?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384090114&sr=1-31&keywords=orson+scott+card)

And of course...

How NOT To Write a Novel (http://www.amazon.com/Write-Novel-Them---Misstep---Misstep/dp/0061357952/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384090380&sr=1-1&keywords=how+not+to+write+a+novel)

Anninyn
11-10-2013, 05:36 PM
How Not To Write A Novel (http://www.hownottowriteanovel.com/?page_id=2)

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (http://www.selfeditingforfictionwriters.com/about-the-book/)

Chuck Wendig's books and blog (http://terribleminds.com/) (Not safe for work or for those who dislike profanity)

Beasley
11-10-2013, 06:10 PM
I like James Scott Bell Plot and Structure (http://www.amazon.com/Plot-Structure-Techniques-Exercises-Crafting/dp/158297294X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z). Covers everything from idea generation to revision.

gothicangel
11-10-2013, 06:26 PM
http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/ (http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/)

MDSchafer
11-10-2013, 06:29 PM
Secret Windows by Stephen King

Ms_Sassypants
11-10-2013, 08:03 PM
Writing Tools - Roy Peter Clarke

....And any books written by Robert McCammon :D

RedWombat
11-10-2013, 11:29 PM
Sigh. I read Orson Scott Card's "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy" when I was young and it was really good at the time and I still want to kick him in the shins and yell "Goddamnit, you were the person who taught me that it's okay to use coincidence to get my characters INTO trouble but not OUT of trouble."

*grumble*

Beasley
11-10-2013, 11:34 PM
http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/ (http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/)

I love Holly's stuff. She has a way with words and I just get it when I read her.

Emermouse
11-11-2013, 05:53 AM
I second Chuck Wendig's stuff and How Not To Write A Novel. Both are awesome.

I also love Stephen King's "On Writing." It really helped demystify the craft for me and get me thinking "Hell I can do this!"

MarkEsq
11-12-2013, 04:04 AM
I also love Stephen King's "On Writing." It really helped demystify the craft for me and get me thinking "Hell I can do this!"

This is my choice. :)

Justin SR
11-12-2013, 04:20 AM
Hey, I don't post much, but I had to mention a book that I don't think is noticed as much as it should be.

"Plot" by Ansen Dibell is by far my favorite writing book. I've looked at quite a few writing books over the years, but "Plot" and King's "On Writing" are the only ones I've ever read cover to cover.

I really think Dibell takes a different approach when she details what should and shouldn't be in your story, rather than how you as a writer get it there. It was one of the rare times where I would read something in a writing book and say to myself "That's what I did wrong last time!"

I make notes of some of the things she says that are most relevant to me, and I keep them close by while I write. I really can't suggest this one enough.

triceretops
11-12-2013, 04:35 AM
It's very old--Laurence Bloch (sp?) Writing the Novel. I read it many, many times.

M. H. Lee
11-12-2013, 04:43 AM
A few of the ones already mentioned. (On Writing, Characters & Viewpoint). Plus, Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer, Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg, and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Oh, and How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright.

In terms of websites, I really like Patricia C. Wrede's posts. She posts every Wednesday and Sunday and is coming out with a book soon consolidating some of her posts.

http://pcwrede.com/blog/

Kallithrix
11-12-2013, 09:22 AM
How Not To Write A Novel for me too - the only book about writing that I actually enjoyed reading as well as finding informative. I will keep reading it again and again for pure funsies :D

bearilou
11-12-2013, 06:24 PM
Chuck Wendig's books and blog (http://terribleminds.com/) (Not safe for work or for those who dislike profanity)

Yes. This. Both.


I like James Scott Bell Plot and Structure (http://www.amazon.com/Plot-Structure-Techniques-Exercises-Crafting/dp/158297294X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z). Covers everything from idea generation to revision.

Also, this.


http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/ (http://hollylisle.com/one-pass-manuscript-revision-from-first-draft-to-last-in-one-cycle/)

And also this!

As well as: Story Engineering (http://www.amazon.com/Story-Engineering-Larry-Brooks-ebook/dp/B004J35J8W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384265687&sr=8-1&keywords=story+engineering) by Larry Brooks, and Techniques of the Selling Writer (http://www.amazon.com/Techniques-Selling-Writer-ebook/dp/B0099P9UI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384265696&sr=8-1&keywords=techniques+of+the+selling+writer) by Dwight V. Swain and The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing (http://www.amazon.com/The-Marshall-Plan-Novel-Writing/dp/1582970629/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384265815&sr=8-1&keywords=the+marshall+plan) by Evan Marshall and The Snowflake Method For Designing A Novel (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/) by Randy Ingermanson (as well as his article Writing The Perfect Scene (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/writing-the-perfect-scene/)) and Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success (http://www.amazon.com/Outlining-Your-Novel-Map-Success-ebook/dp/B005NAUKAC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1384266063&sr=8-3&keywords=km+weiland) by K. M. Weiland...

I could go for days. I have a long list of books that when I closed the covers, I came away with something.

KTC
11-12-2013, 07:00 PM
Definitely THE SUMMING UP by W. Somerset Maugham.

This is a bit of an autobio...I see it as a past generation's On Writing (Stephen King). It's rich in advice. Just dries up a bit in the end, as he gets mired in philosophical blather.

By far my fav. http://kevintcraig.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/summingup/

Maggie Maxwell
11-12-2013, 07:05 PM
Came to say On Writing and How Not To Write a Novel only to find myself beaten like a dead horse. I'll just echo those two, then.

CrastersBabies
11-12-2013, 08:03 PM
I second Chuck Wendig's stuff and How Not To Write A Novel. Both are awesome.

I also love Stephen King's "On Writing." It really helped demystify the craft for me and get me thinking "Hell I can do this!"

This. I've read a plethora of stuff out there, from fancy-mancy stuff to commercial "how to" works. And Chuck is awesome. So is King.

Ketzel
11-12-2013, 08:33 PM
I despise Orson Scott Card's political viewpoint, but I have to say his book "Character and Viewpoint" is a brilliant and helpful exposition of an aspect of writing a lot of writers struggle with.

LupineMoon
11-14-2013, 06:04 AM
*goes to look at GoodReads account because I'm awful with titles*

"A View From the Loft" by David Slager
"Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them" by Francine Prose
"The Writer's Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters" by Marc Mucutcheon
"Bird By Bird" by Anne Lamott

Filigree
11-14-2013, 08:46 AM
The first one I read on the subject: Lawrence Block's 'Telling Lies for Fun and Profit'. I've read many others that I loved and learned from, but that one kickstarted me into writing.

Phaeal
11-14-2013, 10:46 PM
Thomas McCormack's The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist. I'd say this is for a writer who's been at it for a while, has mastered the usually covered basics, and wants to delve deeper into technique, especially as involves structure and character interaction.

virtue_summer
11-14-2013, 11:11 PM
Everything I've read about writing has helped. I think the more information you get and the more exposure to different views the better off you're going to be. I've never found a how to book where all of the advice worked for me, though I've found all sorts of helpful bits and pieces scattered here and there. My favorite book on writing, though, is Ray Bradbury's "Zen in the Art of Writing" not so much used as a how to, but as a reminder of the joy of writing.

Gravity
11-15-2013, 12:17 AM
I like James Scott Bell Plot and Structure (http://www.amazon.com/Plot-Structure-Techniques-Exercises-Crafting/dp/158297294X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z). Covers everything from idea generation to revision.

Jim's a longtime friend of mine, and over the years I've told him many times of the good feedback I've gotten from people about Plot and Structure. He never tires of hearing it. :D

Gravity
11-15-2013, 12:19 AM
The first one I read on the subject: Lawrence Block's 'Telling Lies for Fun and Profit'. I've read many others that I loved and learned from, but that one kickstarted me into writing.

Yep, same here. Plus the thing's frigging funny.

GardeningMomma
11-15-2013, 12:40 AM
It's not really a "how to", but I recently got The Emotion Thesaurus and it is helpful.

Taran
11-15-2013, 02:16 AM
Aristotle's Poetics, the first ever crash-course in how to construct a plot.

Laer Carroll
11-15-2013, 01:29 PM
I found a lot of good stuff in many books, but not one that impressed me as The Compleate Guide to Writing Goode Bokes.

Interviews with writers have also given me much to think about. One important idea coming from them was that every writer is unique, with different ways of working. Some outline in enormous detail, some improvise everything, most combining both approaches. Some prefer and make work very bare bones styles, some very florid ones.