1. mrieder79

    mrieder79 Probably not a ground squirrel

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    The Brazos Formation

    What books on writing fiction would you recommend?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' 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

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Location:
    Denver
    js58 likes this.
  3. Rebel Yellow

    Rebel Yellow Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Quebec
    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.
     
    ZoeyGirl likes this.
  4. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    fargo, ND
    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.
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Science are fun! :P Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4,892
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    The Writers Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe by George Ochoa and Jeffery Osier. :p
     
  6. daemon

    daemon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,360
    Likes Received:
    986
    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.
     
    GingerCoffee, ZoeyGirl and DeadMoon like this.
  7. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    fargo, ND
    I watched the anthers TED Talk.. I like what I hear, think I will add the book to my what list.
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    21,317
    Likes Received:
    13,742
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    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
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  9. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,420
    Likes Received:
    1,625
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    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

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,952
    Likes Received:
    6,283
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    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

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,952
    Likes Received:
    6,283
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    anthers TED Talk ?????
     
  12. Rebel Yellow

    Rebel Yellow Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Quebec
    At first I read "Warrior's English Grammar" and I was ready to buy 20 copies of that book.
     
    GingerCoffee and Wreybies like this.
  13. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,318
    Likes Received:
    2,572
    Location:
    UK
    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
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  14. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    509
    Location:
    fargo, ND
    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

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,952
    Likes Received:
    6,283
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Ohhhh! Authors! I get it now. :p
     
    DeadMoon likes this.
  16. Mikmaxs

    Mikmaxs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    166
    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

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    9,579
    Likes Received:
    6,359
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    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

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    2,539
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    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
    minstrel, BruceA and GingerCoffee like this.
  19. BruceA

    BruceA Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    France
    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

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    2,539
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    It probably is out of print. 1987? I found it on the Open Library website.
     
    BruceA likes this.
  21. BruceA

    BruceA Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    France
    Found it! The Essence of Fiction. Out of print, but used copies available: thanks! :)
     
  22. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    ETB, @Wreybies, to Resources.
     
  23. Segow

    Segow Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    The Earth .... usually
    Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing. It is a very quick read (having been adapted from a NYTimes article of the same title). You can find it online quite easily, but I just love the book itself. It has become a tradition of mine to give away copies to gifted, new writers I meet on my travels.

    ~S
     
  24. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2017
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    283
    Location:
    Texas
  25. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,959
    Likes Received:
    2,882
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Steven James' Story Trumps Structure. Entertaining and helpful.
     
    minstrel likes this.

Share This Page