What books do you recommend for writers and artists?
-- republished from Cyber Age Adventures (iHero Entertainment)
Writers read. There's no way around it. And good writers read a lot. They're the kind of readers who can't eat cereal without reading the back of the box, even when it's full of boring health facts and that pyramid food chart. They're the kind of readers who skim even medical journals or GOOD HOUSEKEEPING (though they prefer HIGHLIGHTS if it's available!) while they're waiting in the doctor's office.
But if you want to bone up on your fiction-writing skills, that Captain Crunch or GOOD HOUSEKEEPING may not be the best use of your reading time. Why not check out a few books on the craft or writing?
MAKE YOUR WORDS WORK, by Gary Provost, Writer's Digest Books
THE KEY: HOW TO WRITE DAMN GOOD FICTION USING THE POWER OF MYTH, by James N. Frey, St. Martin's Press
THE TRIGGERING TOWN, by Richard Hugo, W. W. Norton & Company (ignore that it's a book about poetry; just read it and see how you learn to listen to your word choices)
Hands down, these are the three most helpful books about writing that I've ever read. Period. And I'm not making a cent off that endorsement.
More Great Writers Guides
Some other great resources I've checked out and recommend include:
WHAT IF? WRITING EXERCISES FOR FICTION WRITERS, by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter, HarperPerennial
THE SCRIBBLER'S GUIDE TO THE LAND OF MYTH: MYTHIC MOTIFS FOR STORYTELLERS, by Sarah Beach
WRITING FICTION: A GUIDE TO NARRATIVE CRAFT, by Janet Burroway, Harper Collins
BUILDING FICTION: HOW TO DEVELOP PLOT AND STRUCTURE, by Jesse Lee Kercheval, Story Press
SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS, by Renni Browne, and Dave King, HarperPerennial
DIALOGUE, by Lewis Turco, Writer's Digest Books
THE ART AND FORM OF THE SHORT STORY, by Rick DeMarinis, Story Press
WORD PAINTING, by Rebecca McClanahan, Writer's Digest Books
WRITING DIALOGUE, by Tom Chiarella, Story Press
CREATING CHARACTER EMOTIONS, by Ann Hood, Story Press
THE AGONY AND THE EGO, edited Clare Boylan, Penquin Books
ON WRITING, by Stephen King, Scribner
Writing in Tights
UNDERSTANDING COMICS, by Scott McCloud, HarperPerennial
REINVENTING COMICS, by Scott McCloud, HarperPerennial
COMICS AND SEQUENTIAL ART, by Will Eisner, Poorhouse Press
GRAPHIC STORYTELLING, by Will Eisner, Poorhouse Press
HOW TO DRAW COMICS THE MARVEL WAY, Stan Lee and John Buscema, Touchstone
So, next time you have to hit up the local medical practitioner for an expensive prescription request, don't waste your time on those picked-over copies of PEOPLE from 1986. Take a good book on the craft of writing. After all, with that family of five in line before you, you'll make it through at least three chapters easily.
Addendum: I got one for Christmas yesterday that I have a feeling will soon join this list. It's about the art of writing villains. The title: BULLIES, BASTARDS & BITCHES - HOW TO WRITE THE BAD GUYS OF FICTION. I'm really looking forward to it.