Author of the Epic Fantasy
Wycaan Master series
On Writing – Stephen King
Read the book 3- 4 times. Heard it on audio another couple of times, but still can’t pluck up the courage to read one of his novels or see a King movie. Still, On Writing is also for wimps like me.
The book is divided into two parts. The first is autobiographical, and is all about the struggling author. I won’t spoil it by revealing the challenges he overcame, but you can’t help but admire the man, despite the very humble way he presents himself. He has truly entered my Top 10 People to Meet.
The second part of the book is a very unpretentious toolbox of practical ways to improve your writing. It is straightforward and easy to follow. Many other writers on writing could learn a lot from Stephen King.
Writing Down to the Bones, Wild Minds, Long, Quiet Highway – Nathalie Goldberg
Simply inspirational. I am not sure if Nathalie Goldberg’s books would appeal to someone who has no connection to Eastern philosophy, but I would hope so.
How I Got Published – Edited by Ray White & Duanne Lindsay
This is an anthology of authors who have made it. My advice: place it by the side of your bed and read a chapter (usually only a couple of pages) each night before you go to sleep. It might not help you get published yourself, but it sure helps with the optimistic dreams!
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Renni Browne & Dave King.
While this is an excellent workbook, it is no replacement for the professional editor (a recent argument with a fellow writer). Should definitely be on any author’s bookshelf and periodically dusted off, like after a first draft has been completed and prior to the first round of editing.
Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents
THE reference book. If they ain’t listed, they should probably be avoided. There are also some good tips here in the articles.
Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published – Sheree Bykofsky & Jennifer Basye Sander. I love these books. You find what you need quickly and the explanation is...well simple enough for even an idiot can understand!!
Blogging for Dummies – Susannah Gardner & Shane Birley. The jury is still out whether blogging is the future and not a fad. In four months, I have received offers for two magazine interviews from people who read the blog...and I'll be the first to admit that I haven't really plugged it beyond my friends and colleagues.
Blogging for Dummies is exactly what it claims to be – it helps you get going quickly with the easy-to-read approach of its series.
The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform – Stephanie Chandler
Creating an online presence is now a fact of life for…well anyone, but specifically for authors. I enjoy maintaining my blog, though it’s not clear whether it is helping me to rake in the millions. I have also taken her advise while building this website. Stephanie Chandler’s book is impressive and straight to the point. It is packed with tips and links and is already showing signs of page and spine creases, as any How To book should.
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We all seek inspiration. Writing is a rocky road, full of highs and lows: cutting criticism, writer's block and computers crashing, are just some of the times we need to reach for a glass of wine, tuck ourselves into bed and read an inspiring book from someone who's made it.
The first section contain books that teach writing, but that I primarily remember for their help in dusting myself down and getting back on that literary horse.
The second section is all about how-to. It is Stephen King's proverbial toolbox. I think it takes a certain recipe to succeed as a book for writers. I feel that most of us don't want to get caught up in too much detail. Give us the facts and let us get back to pounding the keyboard.
CAUTION: Books, workshops, Internet articles are important and will make us all better writers. But they should never be a replacement for simply writing, writing, writing.
If you are driven to purchase one of these books, please click here and order through my Amazon.com bookstore.