1. Hannibal Alexander
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    Hannibal Alexander Senior Member

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    Suggest some good books to help with the Writing process

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hannibal Alexander, May 15, 2013.

    you know, some quick reads that give tips on writing a novel... setting up plots, characters, crap like that.
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    The Writers Digest Elements of fiction writing has a good collection of writing books. Usually each one covers a specific need. Plot , Dialogue,
    Scene and structure. They're not perfect but they're good for starting off.
     
  3. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    How to Grow a Novel, by Sol Stein

    Plot & Structure, by Scott Bell

    Scene and Structure, by Jack M. Brickham

    Beginnings, Middles & Ends, by Nancy Kress

    How to Write a Damn Good Novel, by James N. Fry

    Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks

    The 38 Most Common Fiction Mistakes, by Jack M. Brickham

    Stein On Writing, by Sol Stein
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    The newest edition of Adele Ramet's Creative Writing. :)
     
  5. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    I highly suggest Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are several threads on this topic. If you search for them, you'll find a lot of writing book recommendations.

    I like Self Editing for Fiction Writers and the Gotham Writer's Workshop book.
     
  7. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Yeah, but you will also find that most of them (well...all of them really) degenerate into arguments over whether how too books actually help or not. Not that the one's arguing that they do not have read enough to be able to back-up their assertion...but whatever.
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    All the same, you can still find suggestions of books various people have found helpful. And I'm sure someone will chime in on this thread too, to express the opinion that such books are useless.


    Someone will also suggest King's On Writing, and someone else will say they didn't like it at all, and still someone else will say they found it useful as a biography but not as a how-to guide, and someone will also bring up his rule about adverbs, which will be answered by the assertion that he is wrong about adverbs and uses them himself...
     
  9. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Many of them are. But there are a number of pretty decent ones out there that can help in some ways. 'Course the best way is to learn under a master--who will take it as their duty in life to beat it into your skull to Write Write Write...and Read Read Read.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Freeze-dried author is no good. Slow simmering from choice ingredients is the only way to go.

    Read good fiction by good writers, with a sharp eye on technique. That will serve you better than any How-To guide.
     
  11. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    Do you have any authors or specific novels to recommend Cogito?
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I like the way Hemingway shapes characters, although his writing doesn't exactly fit today's market.

    Sue Grafton is a great role model for first person writing.

    I've always liked Larry Niven for science fiction, especially his earlier works. However, his human characters don't shine as brightly as his aliens.

    Asimov, of course, is one of the greats, and he values the art of the pun.

    There are many, many more, of course. Those are just a shop teacher's handful (fewer than average fingers) off the top of my head on a quickie post.
     
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  13. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Off the top of my head, I recommend Anton Chekhov,Raymond Carver,Tobias Wolffe, and Hemingway.
     
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  14. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    Thanks a lot. I'll check into those.
     
  15. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    A Few Authors of Interest:
    (no particular order)

    James Lee Burke

    Val McDermid

    Ross MacDonald

    Margaret Atwood

    Dennis Lehane

    Kate Atkinson

    Frank Herbert

    Robert Crais

    William Gibson

    Kazuo Ishiguro

    Robert Stone

    Anne Lamott

    John Updike

    Ian Rankin

    Ray Bradbury

    P. D .James

    Stieg Larsson

    Randy Wayne White

    H. G. Wells

    James W Hall

    Elmore Leonard

    Douglas Adams

    Thomas Pynchon

    John Steinbeck

    Robert A Heinlein

    Ian McEwan

    Tony Hillerman

    J. K. Rowling

    Jack Kerouac

    Henning Mankell

    Anton Chekhov

    Denise Mina

    George Orwell

    James M. Cain

    T. C. Boyle

    Neal Stephenson

    Joseph Wambaugh

    Walter M. Miller

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Leo Tolstoy

    Donald E Westlake

    Neil Gaiman

    Hakan Nesser

    George Pelecanos

    Isaac Asimov

    Ngaio Marsh

    Kurt Vonnegut

    Philip K. Dick

    Harlan Coben,

    Ed McBain

    Chinua Achebe

    Janet Evanovich

    Franz Kafka

    Daphne Du Maurier

    Martha Grimes

    Barnaby Conrad

    China Mieville

    Victor Hugo

    Haruki Murakami

    Iain M. Banks

    Raymond Chandler

    P. G. Wodehouse

    Hunter S. Thompson

    Paul Auster

    Edgar Allan Poe

    Barry Eisler

    Chuck Palahniuk

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Ben Bova

    Nick Hornby.
     
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