1. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    What books on writing fiction would you recommend?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mrieder79, Apr 30, 2016.

    I have read ON WRITING by King. I intend to read TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING AUTHOR as well. I am interested in books that discuss aspects of storytelling as well as the mechanics of setting up scenes and structuring a novel.

    Thank for your responses.
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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  3. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    King On Writing was great, but while it did a great job of entertaining and inspiring me, it didn't teach me much about writing.

    Donald Maass' books are a treasure. The guy is reading (and rejecting) manuscripts for a living, and offers great insights about the publishing industry and how to surpass yourself as a writer. I've read Writing The Breakout Novel which I can't recommend enough, and currently I'm going through another one of his books : Writing 21st Century Fiction.

    I've also ordered Stein on Writing which was highly praised on these forums.
     
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  4. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have read a few books by K.M Weiland on outlining and structuring a novel. They are...ok but fail to truly inspire me to follower her advice. I do like what I have read on Donald Maass and do want to read his books someday soon.
     
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    The Writers Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe by George Ochoa and Jeffery Osier. :p
     
  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wired for Story. It tells you how to structure your plot and develop your characters in a way the reader will enjoy reading. It is a pragmatic book that does not talk about "good" or "bad" writing, but effective and ineffective writing.
     
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  7. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I watched the anthers TED Talk.. I like what I hear, think I will add the book to my what list.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This. One of these managed to kick around with me up from grade school in the 1970's to high school in the 1980's. I think I must have technically stolen it during a move (military family, lots of moves). I know this isn't what the OP is asking about, but it remains my answer. Everything begins at the beginning, and a poor foundation makes for a wonky building.

    51JiFbvTesL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
     
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  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    As well as those listed in my sig (see below):
    Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion by John Morreall
    Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
    Dramatica Process (not actually a book, but you can find it here)

    Those are the ones that stand out from the dozens and dozens I've read. I'm not sure I recommend it, but what I did was go to a library and start at one end of the books on writing (808.3 if memory serves) and work my way to the other end. If you have a few years to spare, it might be worth a try. ;)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My top recommendation as well. Lisa Cron also has a blog that is good, and a new writer's guide coming out in August.

    I didn't find Orson Scott Card's books useful because they essentially listed the basics I felt were common sense. But for a brand new writer, they might be useful.

    Hooked by Les Edgerton has some useful information on writing a story people can't put down.

    Just a reminder folks, if you buy from Amazon go to their site via the bookstore here because I think we get some kind of credit for it.

    The way I found books on how to write was to check out everything on the library shelf on the subject, take them home, look more closely and take the ones back that didn't work for me. Writers' guides are very much individual taste/need. What works for one may not work for another.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    anthers TED Talk ?????
     
  12. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    At first I read "Warrior's English Grammar" and I was ready to buy 20 copies of that book.
     
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  13. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    On the chance to be off-topic but I think actually that writing and reading a bunch of writer's blogs during this process is teaching me more right now than a reading of any one single book could ever provide.

    Maybe that is the consequence of my preference for practice before theory but I enjoy writing and then - when I have reached the proper level - a blog entry jogs my brain and something which I had not considered before falls into place. I realise that this is maybe not the most straight or easy path in learning to write but wayhay, it is fun!

    And nothing in writing is ever wasted I figure so I go and enjoy my 'mistakes' and their correction down the line :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  14. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    and that's what lack of coffee does to my mind... :coffee::coffee::coffee: I know I am a bad speller but that one even surprised me.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Ohhhh! Authors! I get it now. :p
     
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  16. Mikmaxs
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    Mikmaxs Active Member

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    How Not to Write a Novel is good. Rather than giving rules on what makes a good story (Which are always going to be subjective,) it instead gives warnings about what makes a bad story, so that you can avoid those mistakes.
     
  17. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    John Gardner's classic pair: The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist. The most inspiring books on writing I've ever read.
     
  18. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like John Garner's The Art of Fiction. Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. Short Cuts to Effective English by Harry Shefter and I'm reading one right now called The Essence of Writing ; a practical handbook for successful writing by Malcolm McConnell. It's quite good. He's a writer and a writing teacher so he shows you the importance of drafts by using examples from his own students so that you can see the writing process rather than look at professional finished writing. ( rather like a writing site ) He also believes character is the most important aspect of the novel and scenes above all bring them to life. That writers get too caught up in plot & theme and bungle the elements of a scene. He shows you how to work conflict, use setting, and metaphor to improve your work.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  19. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    I have been adding a lot of these to a wish list, but can't find this one - is it old (ie out of print) do you know?
     
  20. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It probably is out of print. 1987? I found it on the Open Library website.
     
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  21. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    Found it! The Essence of Fiction. Out of print, but used copies available: thanks! :)
     

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