Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Resources for writers

Seeing as no picture really suits this post, except for a snap of my toppling bookcase, which would be not just boring but worrying, I figured a pic of me with the former Australian Publishing Director, Lisa Highton, launching my book in Sydney would do. It was a great night but I was so nervous that afterwards I had to run away to a pub and have three very big pints of Coopers ale in quick succession. My parents even flew over from Adelaide for it and the bookstore served my Vodka Dialogue cocktail (albeit in shot glasses so no one passed out). Hodder (Hachette Livre) are an amazing publisher and I was very lucky to be on the receiving end of such enthusiasm and encouragement for my books.

Resources at your Fingertips
Good books about writing that can inspire and teach you. While reading in your genre is the best education, I think, reading books about writing can sometimes help you will issues and bad habits you didn't know you had...

There are hundreds of books available to you that deal with every conceivable aspect of writing. Some of these titles will inspire, excite and drive you to write with the thrill of anticipation, others just don’t click. I recommend them, either of your own choice or from this list and to focus on books dealing in your genre, or with issues you know to be a problem in your own work (mastering dialogue, making the setting convincing, etc) .

As writers, we never stop learning and this includes traditional learning (TAFE, University, etc), magazines, literary journals, and internet resources.

The more you read about good writers, the more you can about the life of a writer and if it is for you. The books below include such details as the books they treasure, the author’s first sale, the research they do, the way they order their day, their approach to publicity, etc.

There are some great books that can stimulate your mind, unstop your writers’ block and get you thinking about your characters, setting and plot with fresh eyes.

I’ve been lucky to find books by authors I admire and love (Joyce Carol Oates, Elizabeth George) and to discover writers whose advice has stayed with me throughout my career. I re-read a couple of the following books every year – for the sheer joy of it - and there is always something new to learn from them (Lawrence K Block, Stephen King). I order many of these over the internet as your local library or bookstore generally doesn’t stock a wide range of these books.

And remember, as with any advice, go to someone whose work you admire or who is successful in their field.

And most importantly, have fun with it. Researching an industry you want to be involved in should be exciting. There is much reading to do, and as becoming a writer is going to be a career for you, reading novels and non-fiction books about writing, is part of that necessary research. There are no short cuts to getting published, but you can make it a LOT easier to get your work read and to improve your manuscript. It’s up to you to get the information you nee. This workshop and these books are a great step towards this goal. Remember, you’re the best salesperson for your work because it’s YOUR manuscript you need to sell.


Resource Books for Writers

• Writing From Start To Finish: A Six Step Guide by Kate Grenville
• The Writing Book: A Workbook for fiction Writers by Kate Grenville
• Not Now Jack – I’m Writing a Novel by Carmel Bird
• Write to the Heart: Wit and Wisdom of Women Writers Edited by Amber Coverdale Sumerall
• Telling Lies for Fun & Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block (with a new introduction by Sue Grafton)
• The Writers’ Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
• The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing by Norman Mailer
• Dear Writer by Carmel Bird
• Tasting Life Twice: Conversations with Remarkable Writers by Ramona Koval
• The Sound on the Page: Style and Voice in Writing by Ben Yagoda
• Spider, Spin Me A Web: A Handbook for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block
• The Writer’s Guide: A Companion to Writing For Pleasure or Publication by Irina Dunn
• On Writing: A Memoir of a Craft by Stephen King
• Writers on Writing: Top Australia and International Authors Talk About Their Work Edited by James Roberts, Barry Mitchell and Roger Zubrinich
• The Faith of the Writer: Life, Craft, Art by Joyce Carol Oates
• Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print- A step-by-step guide from idea through outline to the final sale by Lawrence Block

• Viva La Repartee by Dr. Marty Grothe (inspiration of good wit)
• How to Write Funny: Add Humour To Every Kind of Writing edited by John B. Kachuba

Crime Writing
• G is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone by Natalie Hevener Kasufman & Carol McGinnis Kay
• You Can Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts
• A Suitable Job for A Woman: inside the World of Women Private Eyes by Val McDermid
• The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World’s Most Baffling Crimes by Colin Evans
• The Crime Writers’ Handbook: 65 ways to Kill your victim – in print by Douglas Wynn
• Write Away: One Novelist’s Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life by Elizabeth George

Romance Writing
• Writing Romance Fiction: How to Make a Success of Your Creative Work by Marina Oliver
• Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernit
• The Art of Romance Writing by Valerie Parv

Thriller and Popular Fiction Writing
• Bodies of Evidence: The Fascinating World of Forensic Science and How it Helped Solve More than 100 True Crimes by Brian Innes
• Writing the Thriller: How to Craft Page-turning Suspense with instruction from best-selling authors by T. MacDonald Skillman
• Chapter One: Everything You Want to Know About Starting Your Novel by Jennifer Bacia
• Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
• Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America edited by Sue Grafton
• Just the Facts, Ma’am: A Writer’s guide to Investigators and Investigation Techniques by Greg Fallis
• Creating Popular Fiction: How to Write Novels that Sell by Jennifer Bacia

Getting Published Resources
• The Australian Writers Marketplace Guide: Every Contact You Will Ever Need To Succeed In the Writing Business by the Queensland Writers Centre – a new updated copy is published each year
• Write to Publish: Writing Feature Articles for Magazines, Newspapers and corporate and Community Publications by Vin Maskell & Gina Perry
• Between the Lines: A Legal Guide for Writers and Illustrators by Lynne Spender
• Writing as a Business by Ken Methold
• Public Speaking: Just for the Fun of it! By Peter Middleton
• How to Write Attention Grabbing Query & Cover Letters by John Wood
• The Handbook for South Australian Writers by the SA Writers’ Centre

• Editing Made Easy: Secrets of the Professionals: A Basic Guide for Editing and Writing Students and Anyone Who Wants to Write Plain English by Bruce Kaplan
• The Simple Subs Book: A Manual for Sub-editors (and would be subeditors) on Newspapers, Trade Papers and House Journals by Leslie Sellers
• Fowler’s Modern English Usuage Edited by R. W. Burchfield
• The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
• The Little Book of Style complied by Shirley Purchase

• Writing Dialogue: How to Create Memorable Voices and Fictional Conversations that Crackle with Wit, Tension and Nuance by Tom Chiarella

• Making a Good Script Great: A Guide for Writing and Rewriting by Hollywood Script Consultant Linda Seger
• Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood by William Goldman
• Writing Radio Drama by Keith Richards
• Getting your Script Through the Hollywood Maze: An Insider’s Guide by Linda Stuart
• Radio Drama: Theory and Practice by Tim Crook
• Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
• Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Television by Joe Nazzaro
• The Lavender Bus: How a Hit Movie was Made and sold (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) by Al Clark

Listening to: Camille
Wearing: unflattering top while waiting for clothes to dry (and wash themselves)
Reading: The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
Eating: Stu's brilliant avocado and tomato salad omlette
Thinking about: Doing my filing
Watching: Death of a Salesman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great list, Kirsty. Thank you for taking the time to write and share it with everyone. Hopefully one day I may be able to avail myself of your manuscript services too! Keep the information coming so hopeful writers like myself have something to do about when we are unable to invoke the muse :-)

6:43 pm, November 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for these resources. I can definitely find more than enough useful material to develop my writing.

2:09 am, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Carmela said...

Thanks for posting this list of writing resources. Grenville's Six Steps to Writing is indispensable!

6:55 pm, May 31, 2007  

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