Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Favorites: Writing Books

Okay. I blew it yesterday in coming up with a craft topic. It just seems like so many of them have been covered all over the Internet, adding mine to the mix would be like spitting in the ocean and expecting the sea level to rise.

Anyway, I know I've written about writing books in the past, but in the spirit of combining today and yesterday's topics, here are my three favorites:

1. On Writing by Stephen KingOn Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
2. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.Writing the Breakout Novel
3. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

In my opinion, those are the definitive resources every writer should have on his/her shelf, read and reread in the above order.

Another book I've been getting a lot of use out of lately (even though I don't write chick lit these days) is Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel. Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit NovelCathy Yardley, a friend of mine, is a plotting genius and a fabulous teacher of craft. For inspiration, check out her new writing blog,

What are some of your very favorite books on writing?


Catherine/Suburban Vampire said...

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is one of my favorites (thanks to you introducing me to it, Ara).

Years ago I read How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey, and I still recommend it to people. It's been a long time since I've read it, but I still remember Frey's suggestions about creating gripping chapters.

More recently, I found Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird by Mary McDonagh Murphy to be packed with great examples of how to write enduring literature.

Thanks for your suggestions, Ara!

Jonathan said...

Hi Ara! Definitely agree with your list - have read 1. and 3., but 2. is a new one for me. Look forward to reading it!

Ara Burklund said...

Cathy~Frey's book is a good one! It's part of my collection. I'll have to look for Murphy's book. Sounds like it's full of great advice.

Jonathan~Great to see you here! Going to any of the U.S. SCBWI conferences this year?

Jonathan said...

Unfortunately, won't be making to any conferences this year. We're looking to buy some real estate soon, and want to hold off on certain expenses. Man, will I miss going though~

Ara Burklund said...

Bummer! We'll miss you there. Real estate is important, though, so I totally understand.

Hopefully next year! : )