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Any Exceptional Books About Writing?

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Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:24 pm
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Jester says...

In the world of writing, we often turn to peers, mentors, and books for help. While we cannot specifically advise someone a peer or mentor, we can, in fact, offer a list of books that we found helpful.

Just list any books here that were exceptionally helpful when you turned to them while seeking literary advice. If enough people post books that they really thought aided them, then I will eventually get to posting a large list of the books you all found most helpful, and I'll find links to where they can be bought as cheapest.

When listing a book, be sure to give the title, author, and why you found it so great. Try to bold the title as well if you could, so I can pick it out of everything else easily.

To start the list, I have to say that Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell, was the best book on writing I ever read. I went through a phase of mass purchasing books to help me with my writing, but this one stood on top. I seriously read it like a novel. Never before had I been eager to read a book of this kind from cover to cover.

Not only did it incorporate excerpts that were very entertaining to read, it covered much more than just plot. I recommend this book tremendously.

And please, post away.
Last edited by Jester on Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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128 Reviews

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Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:04 pm
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Galatea says...

Stephen King's On Writing is a very excellent text.

No, really!
Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.

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Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:07 pm
Dream Deep says...

Page by Page by Heather Sellers

Galatea - Shakespeare in Love? *flinches* XD

EDIT EDIT:> Lol, Galatea.
Last edited by Dream Deep on Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:08 pm
Fand says...

Galatea >> I loved that book! I left my copy at home when I left for college... and yes, I miss it. =0)
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Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:22 pm
Emerson says...

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Gotham Writers' Workshop

it was the first book I read on writing. It changed what I do by a lot, and led me in the right direction. I still refer back to it for help, so I would suggest it to anyone and everyone. And its not one of those lame books that promises help, I think even long time writers could benefit from it. A lot of writing books out there are geared for newbie writers, but I think this one is good no matter what level you're at. Certainly makes it unique.
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Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:54 pm
Myth says...

Galatea wrote:Stephen King's On Writing is a very excellent text.

No, really!

That was really helpful, I was reading over it during summer.
.: β‚ͺ :.


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Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:49 pm
Snoink says...

Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.

...or was that too obvious?

And! The dictionary! Any dictionary. And thesaurus. I wouldn't be able to function without those two around.
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Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:57 pm
Cassandra says...

It doesn't really teach you to write, but I love Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon. I'm not sure if it's still in print anymore; I got it two years ago, and it's also part of the Writer's Digest books series. It's basically a thesaurus for your characters. It lists different eye colors, hair styles, clothing styles, the proper name for different facial hair, contains an index of diseases and mental disorders, a list of hobbies, a list of phobias and manias, and has a large collection of first and last names, sorted by nationality. I refer to it all the time, and it's so easy to navigate!

I'm not into instructional writing books very much, though, I'm afraid. Usually they're written by some snotty guy I've never heard of who's got twenty novels under his belt and spends the whole book frowning upon beginning writers. :?
"All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."
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Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:20 pm
hellstrife says...

How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey (no, not the Million Little Pieces guy) is incredible. I picked it up in 6th grade on vacation because I was bored and I try to read it again every month or so. It's a little on the short side, but it's really good. It pretty much covers everything, and while it doesnt go into a million pages on everything it gets the essential points across.
He thrusts his fists against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:47 pm
SilentGargoyle7 says...

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card helped me. And The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference by......the Editors of Reader's Digest has like everything.
Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.

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Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:53 pm
magiclukehutch says...

Get Writers' And Artists' Yearbook 2007. I've got it and I find it VERY useful. JK Rowling used it and she said it was brilliant.
Always happy to help!

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Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:08 pm
Cade says...

Snoink wrote:Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.

...or was that too obvious?

Of course it's not too obvious! least, I didn't know it existed until my freshman year of high school. *huggles Elements of Style*

I haven't actually read a lot about improving writing. I think one of the best things you can do is to read and read and read.

"My pet, I've been to the devil, and he's a very dull fellow. I won't go there again, even for you..."

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Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:20 am
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LowKey says...

How to Write a Damn Good Novel 2
Writing Dialogue ~ Chiarella
The Plot Thickens ~ Noah Lukeman

Are all really good ones. I would have added Stephen King on writing and How to Write a Damn Good Novel, but they were already up. I have read them both and like them, though. All of these are really good books.
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:42 am
Wiggy says...

Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul. Inspiring-already read it three times!

Story Structure Architect. It tells all the different situations that plots eventually boil down to. Fascinating book, although I haven't finished it yet.

Writer's Digest and The Writer magazines. They have so much helpful info I don't know where to begin. The Writer is a little more...technical, while Writer's Digest is more fun and relaxed. Depends on which I'm in the mood for, although I subscribe to Writer's Digest.

Love these suggestions!
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Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:40 am
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Kitkat_1122_ says...

Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine

I think this book was wrote towards younger writers, but it was still good. It had some good writing exercises and tips.

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