Monday, September 11, 2017

Really, Really, Amazing Must-Have List of Books for Beginning and Established Writers




I love lists, especially book lists.  I used to browse the brick and mortar bookstores for hours, looking through displays and shelves, selecting books I wanted, and putting some back when it came time to pay for the ones that fit within my budget.
Nowadays, I rely on word of mouth, especially book club suggestions on Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon.  I see a book list and my curiosity goes into CSI mode.  I read reviews, compare what one reader says versus another, and then make my online purchase. 
I offer you my list of Really, Really, Amazing Must-Have Books for Beginning and Established Writers. They can be read in any order, but I thought you would like a bit more description before you decide to own any of them.

I.        Starting List of Really, Really, Must-Haves:

On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Good, basic advice, so purchase any edition.  This is a good place to start planning this writing venture.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. The title says it all.


II.      The Really, Really, Must-Haves When Getting into the Nitty-gritty of Writing:  

The Art of War by James Scott Bell.  The man is a genius when it comes to craft.  Any book by Mr. Bell is a great investment.

Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins.  This book helps dig deep into character building, and how the main character affects every aspect of the story.

Guerilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Conrad Levinson.  It is exactly what it promises.

The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman.  Here is a manual on how to read (and use) body language to show your characters’ actions.

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder. This is a great book on pacing and plotting.

Understanding Show, Don’t Tell by Janice Hardy.  Best book I have found on how to show, not tell, and how point of view affects prose. Show, not tells is not as simplistic as made out to be, so this is a definite must have.

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron. Another must have, this book is the best book on plotting and character and prose on the market. Backed by scientific proof, the author argues that all human beings need story, not just for entertainment but for basic survival


III.    The Really, Really, Necessary Book List When the Writing Road Gets Tedious, Weary, or Dead Ends:

We all have inspirational books on our shelves, so don’t go out and buy more.  Dust them off and read those you have. You might try reading the Bible, poetry books, the newspaper, magazines, anything that invigorates your soul and keeps you on track, but here are some of my favorites:

      Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

    On Writing by Stephen King

    Walking on Alligators by Susan Shaughnessy

    Writing Down the Bones by NatalieGoldberg

      Zen and the Art of Writing by RayBradbury

           
IV.      And the Really, Really Necessary Book List When It’s Time to Revise or Edit: 

Art of Styling Sentences by Longknife and Sullivan

     The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

    The Synonym Finder by J.I.Rodale. Sure, you can find words more easily on the Internet but nothing compares to the thoroughness of this gem.

       Revision and Self-Editing by JamesScottBell

       Writing Tools by Roy PeterClark.   

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