We are often asked which books on writing have been the most helpful in our careers. Here is how each member of the crew responded to that question.
Janette Rallison - Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Rennie Browne - Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham - Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain
Brock Booher - Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Mass - The 90 Day Novel by Alan Watt
Randy Lindsay - The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler - GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon - Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories.
In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.
Craft your fiction with scene-by-scene flow, logic and readability. An imprisoned man receives an unexpected caller, after which "everything changed..." And the reader is hooked. But whether or not readers will stay on for the entire wild ride will depend on how well the writer structures the story, scene by scene. This book is your game plan for success. Using dozens of examples from his own work - including Dropshot,Tiebreaker and other popular novels - Jack M. Bickham will guide you in building a sturdy framework for your novel, whatever its form or length. You'll learn how to:
"worry" your readers into following your story to the end
prolong your main character's struggle while moving the story ahead
juggle cause and effect to serve your story action
As you work on crafting compelling scenes that move the reader, moment by moment, toward the story's resolution, you'll see why...
believable fiction must make more sense than real life
every scene should end in disaster
some scenes should be condensed, and others built big
Whatever your story, this book can help you arrive at a happy ending in the company of satisfied readers.
Techniques of the Selling Writer provides solid instruction for people who want to write and sell fiction, not just to talk and study about it. It gives the background, insights, and specific procedures needed by all beginning writers. Here one can learn how to group words into copy that moves, movement into scenes, and scenes into stories; how to develop characters, how to revise and polish, and finally, how to sell the product. No one can teach talent, but the practical skills of the professional writer's craft can certainly be taught. The correct and imaginative use of these kills can shorten any beginner's apprenticeship by years. This is the book for writers who want to turn rejection slips into cashable checks.
Take your fiction to the next level! Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.
Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share - regardless of genre - then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.
You'll learn to:
establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place
weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story
create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page
explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers
sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish
develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition
Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors - including novelist Anne Perry - Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You'll capture the eye of an agent, generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career.
The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler's ongoing work on mythology's influence on stories, movies, and man himself. The previous two editons of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a 'classic' for screenwriters, writers, and novelists.
Goal, motivation, and conflict are the foundation of everything that happens in the story world. Using charts, examples, and movies, the author breaks these key elements down into understandable components and walks the reader through the process of laying this foundation in his or her own work.
Learn what causes sagging middles and how to fix them, which goals are important, which aren't and why, how to get your characters to do what they need for your plot in a believable manner, and how to use conflict to create a good story. GMC can be used not only in plotting, but in character development, sharpening scenes, pitching ideas to an editor, and evaluating whether an idea will work.
Be confident your ideas will work before you write 200 pages.
Plan a road map to keep your story on track.
Discover why your scenes aren't working and what to do about it.
Create characters that editors and readers will care about.
How does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course?
With Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, you'll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot, including:
Techniques for crafting strong beginnings, middles, and ends
Easy-to-understand plotting diagrams and charts
Brainstorming techniques for original plot ideas
Thought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapter
Story structure models and methods for all genres
Tips and tools for correcting common plot problems
Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidance, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro.