Writing books and writing career advice

Forums Fiction Writing Level & Journey Plans Discussions Writing books and writing career advice

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  • #61103

    What books helped you progress on the writing journey? Has anyone decided to write full time?
    I was thinking of getting James Scott Bell’s Writing Pulp Fiction.d

    K. A. Grey

    I think I’ll follow this.  I need to do a “Vocation Project” for school (I picked being a writer 🙂 ), and I’m having a hard time preparing my bibliography.  Two out of the four books I checked out contained inappropriate content and didn’t help much.

    Jane Maree

    @kjames0813 Great question! There’s a lot of great books on writing out there, and I’ve listed some ones I’ve read/had recommended to me if you wanted to check any of them out.



    Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development

    The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing

    The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

    Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

    Go Teen Writers: Edit Your Novel


    I will be honest, though: I’m actually most inspired and encouraged me to press on and learn more as I write is other fiction books. I’ve got a few of my top most inspiring authors below, but they might not be inspiring for you, since it really depends on what genre you enjoy and write in. 😉


    Inspiring Authors:

    Nadine Brandes, Jill Williamson, Sara Ella, J.K. Rowling, Lindsay A Franklin, Gillian Bronte Adams, K.M. Weiland, Marissa Meyer, Brandon Sanderson.

    Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.au

    Daeus Lamb

    I didn’t find James Scott Bell too helpful, honestly. I definitely recommend any of K.M.Weiland’s writing craft books. Also, I thought Orson Scott Card’s Character & Viewpoint was pretty good, and I’ve just checked out a book by him on writing scifi and fantasy which I hope to read. If you write fantasy, ready On Fairy Stories by JRRTolkien.


    @daeus-lamb, @jane-Maree, I will try both recommendations. I did not know Tolkien wrote a writing book.

    I have a confession to make. I have never read Lord of the Rings.



    This is amazing Providence!! I think I’ve FINALLY found someone here who haven’t read The Lord of the Rings yet. (not sure if you can see emojis but I’m inserting a laughing face in here right now :D)

    LOTR is on my To Read list though.

    Anyway, I agree with what Daeus said about K.M. Weiland and Tolkien. Tolkien wrote an essay (not quite a book) about writing/fantasy called “On Fairy Stories.” It’s absolutely amazing and gave me a lot of food for thought about the essence/purpose of fantasy, which is a genre I’m trying to write in. If you’re not into fantasy it’s still helpful in determining why we write stories and why we need stories.

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson


    @pursuewisdom, oh! A kindred spirit.

    I plan to read LOTR as well. Are you a beginning writer?



    The Story Embers (I call it SE) ranked me into a 43; I consider myself a beginner writer with some learning but not a lot of experience. I struggle with outlining/plotting out my stories right now. How about you?

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson


    @pursuewisdom, I am intermediate according to SE. I have some magazine writing under my belt. Does that count as experience?


    I am not the best plotter ever, but am learning and getting better.




    Oh, that’s definitely called experience in my book! I’ve never been published. 🙂

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson


    @pursuewisdom, why not try it?



    Hmm… I think I’ve not written anything quite worth publishing, yet. But I’m working on it!! 🙂

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." ~Th.Jefferson

    Maddie Morrow

    I second the vote for K.M Weiland. I’ve also really enjoyed every craft book I’ve read by Jeff Gerke, and the Go Teen Writers: Edit Yoir Novel book.

    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)

    The Anatomy of Story was a great book for me.

    *Forum Signature here*

    Taylor Clogston

    Sorry for the obnoxious tone to this copy, I wrote it for my casually-toned web site:

    Articles, Essays, and Freebies

    • How to Write Better Sentences by Daniel David Wallace – Does what it says on the tin: “A simple ten-part guide to writing really, really well.” You’ll need to sub to a mailing list, but Wallace’s is pretty decent.
    • On Fairy Stories by J. R. R. Tolkien – Can escapism be valuable? One WWI vet says… Maybe. News at eleven.
    • Politics and the English Language by George Orwell – On the importance of purposeful language-use.
    • The Four Types of Conversations by David W. Angel – For when how your characters say is more important than what they say (that is, always).

    Books What Require Currency

    • Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write About Anything by Dorsey Armstrong (The Great Courses) – Explains how you can learn from fiction, essay, poetry, drama, and autobiography to create a profound, thoughtful writing style.
    • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster – Solid survey of symbolism that will serve you soundly in your search for skill.
    • Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald – If you only ever buy one more book on writing, let it be this one. The best explanation of literary theme you will ever read. See also McDonald’s expansion on the topic, The Golden Theme.
    • Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Margas Llosa – The collective of quirky Tumblr writing tip lists crumbles beneath the behemoth that is this book. Not that this is a quirky book, or a list of tips, but read this and those lists will hold nothing for you again (assuming they do now).
    • Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool – A remarkable clarification of the so-called 10,000 hour rule, and examination of the mindset required to become excellent at anything. Caveat that the methods of deliberate and purposeful practice described in this book don’t make immediate intuitive sense for fiction writing, but the principles will nonetheless serve you well.
    • Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose – After Invisible Ink, if you only ever buy one more book on writing, let it be this one. Even if you are accustomed to active reading, Prose’s dissection of some of the greatest masters of the English language are well worth the read. See also Prose’s expansion on the topic, What to Read and Why.
    • The Art of Fiction by John Gardner – Some of Gardner’s advice is arguably outdated in the modern fiction environment, but at least as much will endure forever. Read for his obsession with character and the powerful worldview of a man who believed fiction is the strongest form of propaganda, a tool for justice and righteousness.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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