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Books on Novel Writing Worth Reading

May 28, 2008

I know I set four goals last week.  I haven’t been procrastinating.  The past couple of days have been filled with personal and professional demands.  I have been working on my second goal — the writing timeline, but have yet to commit it to the web.  And my fourth goal — not to make excuses any more starts here. 

So for today’s post, I thought I would share some of my favorite books on writing.  Here is the shortlist. 

1. Writing the Breakout Novel + Workbook by Donald Maas.  By far, this is one of my favorite books.  It is comprehensive by a man who has read thousands of manuscripts over the years.  He is a critic, a literary agent, a teacher.  His teachings are interactive and has a nice even hand with all the literary elements.  Retail cost: $36.98 for the two book set.

2.  Another very good writer and teacher of how to write a novel is Noah Lukeman.  Although I have only read articles he has written and bits and pieces of his books, I find his writing style very engaging and his knowledge on how to craft a story insightful.  Here are three of his books:

The Plot Thickens: Ways to Bring Fiction to Life – 2002 – 252 pages
The First Five Pages: A Writer’S Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile – 2000 – 208 pages
The Art of Punctuation – 2006 – 200 pages

3.  How to Tell A Story:  The Secrets of Writing Captivating Tales by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost had to be one of my all time favorite how to books.  I think you too will find it helpful in crafting your story line. Retail cost was about $18.

4.  Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman connects the dots for you.  It breaks down why novels such as Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, and The Thornbirds achieved popularity.  It also has a chapter on how to get your books on the Bestseller’s Lists.

5.  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is inspirational in that it helps one get focused on writing by discovering and working with your own personality.  It is a must read, no matter what your occupation.   It will open up your creative self and work with your self doubts.  Retail cost: $16

There is one more book on the list that I perused at Barnes and Noble this past weekend.  Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt is very well organized, user friendly and perfect to carry with you while you are between tasks.  I am tempted to buy it because it could very well be the umpf to get my would-be novel onto paper.  I know what I should be doing, but is another prompt going to help me get there?  Good question. 

Let me know what books you found useful.  If you have read any of the books in this post, I would like to hear your thoughts.

 

 

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