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Writing Resources Resources for those serious about getting into publishing

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Old 30th April 2011, 07:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Writing Books recommendations

I couldn't find a thread talking about recommended books on writing. I fully understand that each book about writing can be absolutely worthless. I also understand that it all can be just trivial/ego thumping. I do not think no-one can become a good writer by reading some other writers advice on writing, but I do think you can get good information and different ideas that maybe a amateur writer may never thought about.

I am currently re-reading 'On Writing' by Stephan King. I don't even like many of his books but he brings up some good things that I never have thought about.

Any good books on writing science fiction or fantasy? I don't want ones that people know about but what people have read and thought it was good/semi good. (can you really have a great book on writing?)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 30th April 2011, 08:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

Not SFF-specific, but one I've found very good is "Writing a Novel" by Nigel Watts. And almost as good, and very funny, is "How Not to Write a Novel" by Mittelmark and Newman.
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Old 1st May 2011, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. Excellent book that raises solid points on writing that most texts wouldn't think to cover. Highly recommended.
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Old 1st May 2011, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

This is also not SFF specific, but I absolutely adore The Little Red Writing Book by Mark Tredennick. Incredibly well-written, easy to read, and full of pretty darn good advice.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

The only book on writing I've personally read so far is Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks. I would recommend it, though, as it's an entertaining read on top of covering topics from outlining to seeking an agent.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 12:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

I would second How to write science fiction and fantasy. Read it a few days ago, and it was very good.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 08:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by HareBrain View Post
Not SFF-specific, but one I've found very good is "Writing a Novel" by Nigel Watts. And almost as good, and very funny, is "How Not to Write a Novel" by Mittelmark and Newman.
Seconded. Every mistake you will ever make in writing is in that book. And yes, it is very funny.
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Old 28th December 2011, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

Stephen King's On Writing is definitely worth a look.

Note, though, that no one book can tell you all you need to know, because - as should be evident if you've read widely - there isn't just the one way to structure a book, in spite of what various boosters will tell you.


(And yes, How Not to Write a Novel is a fun read even if you're not an aspiring writer.)
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Old 30th April 2012, 07:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

I was looking for similar recommendations so reviving this thread itself. Does anyone have more recommendations? My focus is more on plots, structures and characters instead of punctuation, grammar and settings.

Last edited by mithril; 30th April 2012 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 30th April 2012, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

Searched a bit further and I came up with the following tentative list.

  • Nigel Watts - Write a novel and get it published OR Teach yourself writing a novel
  • Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman - How not to write a novel
  • Nancy Kress - Beginnings, Middles and Ends
  • (Orson Scott Card - How to write science fiction and fantasy) OR/AND (Philip Athans - Guide to writing fantasy and science fiction)
  • (Orson Scott Card - Characters and Viewpoint) OR/AND (Nancy Kress - Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint)
  • James Scott Bell - Plot & Structure
  • Stanley Schmidt & Ben Bover - Aliens and Alien Societies
  • Ralph Keyes - The Courage to Write ( I need that I suspect)
Thoughts? Suggestions? More books?
I also need help resolving the OR/AND choices...
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Old 30th April 2012, 11:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

I just bought Philip Athans Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction on Friday and I'm 20 pages from being done. I like the overall structure of the book and the many different examples. Athan goes over topics not really discussed in Stephen Kings On Writing, like: religion, magic, world building, ect. I won't recommend it since I havn't really written anything yet, so I am not sure if it is helpful, but I think it will be.
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Old 30th April 2012, 05:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

John Barnes's blog on Book Doctoring - which will one day become a book in itself.
(JB has written 25 or more SF novels.)

http://thebookdoctorslittleblackbag.blogspot.co.uk
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Old 1st May 2012, 07:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

Thanks Arkose Even I've not really written anything... just doing world-building stuff and waiting for the muse to strike

@Montero - The link looks very promising. I read just 2 of his articles, one on Dialogue and the other on Sentimentality. He explains everything really well...
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Old 1st May 2012, 12:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

I'm currently taking a class from James Blaylock, who recommended John Gardner's Art of Fiction. It's an older book, but Gardner taught Raymond Carver, who had nothing but praise for Gardner, so that's reasonable credentials. Blaylock also mentioned (in passing) Dean Koontz's How To Write Best Selling Fiction, primarily because Koontz has successfully published under something like ten different pen names. I've also heard recommendations for Elements of Style pretty regularly over the years. Finally, Jim Butcher has some semi-recent livejournal/blog posts with short tips for writing, by no means as extensive as the above works but possibly of interest.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 02:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Writing Books recommendations

The Art of War for Writers - James Scott Bell.
I really enjoyed it and it in spired and taught me loads. I gave it 5/5 on Goodreads.
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