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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sharing

I'm curious. How many of you read books to help you with the craft of writing? I have a few. Some I've skimmed through, some I've devoured in a few days. My favorite one so far is simply titled Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. I read it entirely before I started working on my character sketches. Now, many of you may be pros at creating characters, but remember, I'm brand new at this. So, for a beginner, this book is a great resource to have.

This book really got me thinking out of the box. It forces you to dig below the surface with your characters, to really examine what makes them tick. It brought up things I had never considered. The section on constructing characters has great tips to help you on your quest to create a character that everyone will love (or hate if it's the villain). I also liked the fact that Card used examples from books and movies in addition to making up his own examples to help you "see" what he's talking about.

So, do any of you have writing books that are helpful? Please share in the comments!

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation! I'm actually looking for more books on writing and I might ask for some for Christmas :) I own a book on creative writing but it's somewhat dated and only gives helpful story prompts.

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  2. I haven't heard of that one Melane. i'll have to check it out. I have a bit of an obsession with books on writing.

    Here are some of my faves:
    Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb (great one to start with)
    Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld (breaks down everything about a scene)
    The Book on Writing (Paula LaRocque)
    On Writing (Stephen King)

    And right now I'm reading the Fire in Fiction and Hooked, which so far are both great.

    Just take these books in chunks because sometimes all the advice can be overwhelming and make you feel like you're completely inept (at least that's how I feel sometimes, lol.)

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  3. Recently read Donald Maass's The Fire in Fiction. Lots of good tips there. My all-time favorite is actually a screenwriting book called, Story. It's written by Robert McKee. It just really clicked with me.

    Thanks for the rec of Characters & Viewpoint. I'll have to check it out.

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  4. Hi there. Roni sent me over. I'm a stay-at-home mom and former teacher, too. *wave*

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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  5. I haven't ever read one all the way through. I think I would prefer writing workshops to reading a book on writing.

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  6. Hey Melane! (Sorry I haven't stopped by in a bit--revisions are killing me!)

    Anyway, I have a hard time wading through entire books on how to write (maybe that's because I studied writing in college and it feels like my old textbooks) but I love reading blogs. My favorite is Barry Lyga's blog (www.barrylyga.com). Every Wednesday he posts a new writing advice blog and he's always spot on. He's also always open to letting people ask questions and he's pretty good about answering them so you might want to check it out. Hope that helps!

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  7. Hi Melane,
    I still haven't read many craft books, but I really enjoyed Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. It is full of great information.

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  8. I found a book from the eighties called "Writing for Children and Teenagers". The parts about typewriters aren't so relevant anymore, but I've found the writing advice really helpful.

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  9. Hi Melane,
    Since I have eleventy-three hundred books to help me write and I read and refer to them constantly, I couldn't narrow it down to just one. However, I think the one thing that has helped me more than anything is the help and encouragement I've received by joining the Writer's Retreat at The Institute of Children's Literature. Here's the address: http://institutechildrenslit.net/.

    You don't have to be a student to access the boards and anytime I have a question, there is always someone to show me the way to overcome a writing challenge. Wander on over there. I think you'll be glad you did. Just Joany

    http://redwagonflights.blogspot.com

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  10. I don't know if it was mentioned in any of the previous comments, but Ann Lamont's Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books on writing.

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  11. I am such a fan of Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card!

    A few others are: Plot & Structure (Bell), On Writing (King), and most recently - this is my new absolute favorite: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Browne & King)

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  12. I can't say that I've read any books that have helped me. However, I can't say that I've read any that hurt me either. LOL I don't get to read as much as I want, so I haven't read enough on writing as I most likely should. Although, there are some books out there on writing that cramp my style. :)

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  13. The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. Also, Donald Maass has written a few good books but I can't think of any titles. Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird is good if you want a laugh.

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  14. Yikes. I haven't read any, but I know I should. Maybe I will put some of the suggestions on my xmas list.

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  15. Hello missy, I gave you an award on my blog =]

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  16. I love "Stein On Writing" by Sol Stein.
    "Bird by Bird" Anne Lamott. I have "Fire in Fiction" Donald Maas.

    Hoping to get my hands a few others by James Scott Bell.

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  17. Hi Melane, I just wanted to say thanks for your kinds words on my blog :)
    And for the record, I read author blogs for writing advice ALL THE TIME.

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  18. I'm currently reading Lukeman's The First Five Pages which is great. I am asking for writing books for Christmas, so I will have to put Card's on the list.

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  19. I loved Characters and Viewpoints too. Very helpful. I really benefited from Donald Maass'(apostrophe after "s" or is it "'s" I don't know) Writing the Breakout Novel, that is my all time favorite so far. Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell is also good!

    I really want to read, Maass' The Fire in Fiction!

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