Saturday, November 12, 2005

So . . . What's in Your Library?

As fiction writers we all want to get the edge on our competition and there are a plethora of writing how-to books to help us gain any advantage.

So, how do you choose a book to help you get started. Well the first start would be a book on the basics - sentence structure, grammar and word tenses. Next would be a book relating to POV (Point of View) writing. I begin here because you have to know how to write (believe it or not, not everyone can write a book) and you have to know how to show the story (POV).

Some of the best books I know of for beginners are:

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Write Tight by William Brohaugh
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
On Writing by Stephen King

No need to spend any more money as these are the most crucial tools and there are hundreds of books out there. In fact in the forward of On Writing by Stephen King, he writes " This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit." - Stephen King, On Writing, xvii, July 2002.

I'm sure some will have a different view but I believe The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman is one such useless book. I could get the same information from my twelve-year-old.

Okay, now you have your first draft completed. Now what? Well, you edit of course. A few books I refer to often in the editing process are:

Word Painting - A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClannahan
Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
The Art and Craft of Poetry by Michael J. Bugeja

There are countless others, but these are the ones I use . . . and use often.

Utilize your local library if you don't want to spend the money. If they don't have them, they can get them for you.

After you've polished your manuscript you then need to find an agent who in turn will find you a publisher. Then the real work begins with marketing and promotion, your next book, more marketing and promotion, etc.

In short, the process really begins once you've typed THE END!


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