Tuesday, April 8, 2008

warning: if you don't like lists...

...then ignore this post.

Once upon a blog, I said I'd eventually post a list of all the writing books I've read/referenced in my quest to craft and sell. Even though I've been writing in earnest since 2001 (and sporadically before that), I'm kind of embarrassed by the sheer number of books here. Anyway, here it is.

For technical issues:
- THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE, 14th ed. (now you know roundabout what year I stopped working in publishing)
- WORDS INTO TYPE, 3rd ed. (just because, even though I'm more of a Chicago girl)

For sales info.:
- 2002 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, Rachel Vater, Ed.
- 2002-2003 WRITER'S GUIDE TO BOOK EDITORS, PUBLISHERS AND LITERARY AGENTS, Jeff Herman
- 2004 NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER'S MARKET, Anne Bowling, Ed.
- 2006 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, Kathryn Brogan, Ed.
- WRITER'S AND ILLUSTRATOR'S GUIDE TO CHILDREN'S BOOK PUBLISHERS AND AGENTS, 2nd ed., Ellen R. Shapiro

For craft, inspriation, and general advice:
- SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, Browne & King (absolutely essential to any writer's library)
- DYNAMIC CHARACTERS, Nancy Kress
- WRITING FOR CHILDREN & TEENAGERS, 3rd ed., Lee Wyndham/Arnold Madison (not as good as Nancy Lamb's book, below)
- THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO CRAFTING STORIES FOR CHILDREN, Nancy Lamb
- HOW TO WRITE & SELL YOUR FIRST NOVEL, Oscar Collier/Frances Spatz Leighton
- HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL, James Frey
- THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND A PUBLISHED BOOK: 20 STEPS TO SUCCESS, Susan Page (this one wasn't so helpful to me, but maybe that's because I've worked in the industry)
- THE CAREER NOVELIST, Donald Maass
- STEIN ON WRITING, Sol Stein (dry but solid advice)
- A WRITER'S BOOK OF DAYS, Judy Reeves (if you're in the mood to procrastinate)
- THE FIRST FIVE PAGES, Noah Lukeman
- WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, Donald Maass (amazing advice here)
- THE PLOT THICKENS, Noah Lukeman
- WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, Donald Maass (a butt-kicker of a writing book with more solid advice)
- THE 2006 SCBWI PUBLICATIONS GUIDE TO WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING FOR CHILDREN (nuts & bolts)
- THE FOREST FOR THE TREES, Betsy Lerner (if you've never worked in publishing, read this one--editors are nice people, really!)
- THE 38 MOST COMMON FICTION WRITING MISTAKES (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM), Jack Bickham (I liked this book a lot--great advice)
- THE WRITER'S DIGEST HANDBOOK OF SHORT STORY WRITING, VOL. II, Jean Fredette, Ed. (for my short story phase)
- WRITING THE SHORT STORY IN GENERAL AND IN PARTICULAR, Rust Hills (ditto above)
- THE NOVEL WRITER'S TOOLKIT, Bob Mayer
- ELEMENTS OF FICTION WRITING: BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES & ENDS, Nancy Kress (solid advice about the nuts & bolts of writing)
- SCENE AND STRUCTURE, Jack Bickham (I can't find this one, so the title might be wrong, but all of Jack Bickham's writing books are great)
- 78 REASONS WHY YOUR BOOK MAY NEVER BE PUBLISHED & 14 REASONS WHY IT JUST MIGHT, Pat Walsh (solid insights)
- ON WRITING, Stephen King (amazing and inspriational)
- SOME WRITERS DESERVE TO STARVE: 31 BRUTAL TRUTHS ABOUT THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY, Elaura Niles (not helpful, but again, maybe because I've worked in publishing, so none of her revelations were news to me)
- BIRD BY BIRD, Anne Lamott (every writer should have this book)
- WRITING FICTION: A GUIDE TO NARRATIVE CRAFT, 6th ed., Janet Burroway (the definitive writing textbook--solid but dry)
- THE ARTIST'S WAY, Julia Cameron (the cure to writer's block)
- THE ENNEAGRAM, Helen Palmer (for characterization)
- THE VERY BEST BABY NAME BOOK, Bruce Lansky (again, for character development)

Whew! Hope this helps!

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