Writing Resources

These are either actual books I own, or checked out from the library, that have helped me with different parts of my writing. (Pics are linked, all links go to Amazon, and, as a disclosure, I’m an Amazon associate so I do get some money if you buy using these links. Not much, but I do get something.) This list is not comprehensive. I will be adding to it from time to time. Brief notes on each book are below the pics.

The Writer’s Digest Guide to Good Writing – This is a marvelous book with articles from a good portion of the 20th century. It’s what helped me realize why my poetry sucked, that every writer has a different way of approaching revision (and that’s not a bad thing), and that writing is a wonderfully complex thing that hasn’t gotten any easier to learn.

Writer Mama – Though it’s geared more toward non-fiction, the principles she discusses, as well as the various tips, worked well for me when I applied them to fitting in fiction between changing diapers.

Character and Viewpoint – Good for character, excellent for choosing a POV. Another highly recommended book.

Create a Character Clinic – Lots of interesting stuff here. I love her Shadow Room Exercise for creating characters.

Holly Lisle’s Create a Language Clinic – This was one of the first things I bought from her store and I don’t regret it. Her Reductionary Alphabet is a fascinating system that I find myself using more than I expected and that’s just one out of many useful things in this ebook.

Holly Lisle’s Create a Culture Clinic – This is the system I use to keep my worldbuilding/culture building straight (I keep both in the same notebook). She also has excellent points about aspects of culture we often forget.

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy – This was my first book on the subject and I still think it’s well worth the time for those who want an overview of what’s required.

The Poet’s Handbook – I have this terror that someday a book I write will require some poetry (The Trial of the Ornic series has tortured me with this nightmare more than once as I plot it out). I came across this book when I was in college many years ago, and I still enjoy using it for practice.

The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines – More for fun than anything else, though I do sometimes use this as a template for interactions. Nowadays, I find myself using the MBTI (or something closely related) instead.

The Chicago Manual of Style – From what I can tell, this is the preferred style guide for those writing in the sf/f genre. You probably won’t need this unless you’re an editor (or writing a dissertation) but I found it very useful for explaining the mechanics and more technical aspects of the craft.

Copyediting: A Practical Guide – Okay, so this isn’t really a writing book. Plus, it’s outdated in some ways. But it’s fantastic in others. Though its focus is editing, I found it useful as a writer for keeping things straight when revising. I also feel it has value for those who want to learn more about what to expect from a professional copyeditor and how the process of editing works/worked. YMMV.

Thoughts?

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