Author Topic: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources  (Read 16190 times)

Lin

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How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« on: March 09, 2006, 12:39:26 PM »
From time to time the Moderators will post recommended books on the forum for your perusal

Lin
« Last Edit: March 12, 2006, 07:53:53 AM by Lin »

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction - Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 03:00:21 AM »

1.THE 38 MOST COMMON FICTION WRITING MISTAKES (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM)
 by Jack M Bickham price around GBP8.99 ISBN No 0-89879-821-0
« Last Edit: March 12, 2006, 07:54:48 AM by Lin »

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2006, 04:06:05 PM »
How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-By-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling (How to Write a Damn Good Novel) 
James N. Frey

See www. Amazon.com

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2006, 04:19:49 PM »
Top 10 Steps for Fiction Writing
Guide Picks

From Niko Silvester,
Your Guide to Creative Writing for Teens.   web link
http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa100702a.htm

How do you go about writing a novel or short story? Even if you know all about plot and characters, that doesn't tell you where to start and what to do next. Here is a step-by-step method for writing fiction. This is how I write, so don't follow this as if it is the only way. Every writer has to find their own way of writing, but one way to do that is by studying how other writers write and trying out some of the things they do. Try these steps and see if they'll work for you.
1) Idea
Most of my stories begin with an idea. It might be something about a character (a woman who speaks to birds, for example), or about a setting (an imaginary island in the North Atlantic), or a plot (a contemporary story that borrows the basic elements of Sleeping Beauty). When I get an idea, even if I'm not sure it's a good one, I jot it down in my notebook. Sometimes I get more ideas as I write, sometimes not. Sometimes I get a whole story all at once, complete with all elements.
More: ideas and where to find them
2) Incubation
Sometimes I know everything about a story, right from the beginning, but more often I just have an idea or two. So I write it down, then go back to whatever I was working on before. The idea sloshes around in my subconscious with all the other ideas I've had, with all the things I notice as I go about my life, with all the interesting facts I learn as I read or watch television. Some of my best ideas have improved by being left alone in my mind for a while.
3) Conglomeration
As the idea tumbles around in my brain with other ideas, thoughts, memories and facts, it often "sticks" to things. The idea about the woman who talks to birds, for example, stuck to an older idea about a woman who could turn into a sea lion. Once I knew I had two characters, I knew somehow that I needed three. Three separate ideas became a single conglomeration. Other bits and pieces of ideas stuck to those ones, until I had a good conception of what the novel would become.
More: ideas and where to find them
4) Notes
Once an idea has developed into a bunch of connected ideas, I usually take a lot more notes. Sometimes I take them all along, sometimes I wait until I have more to write about. Often the note-taking process leads to even more thoughts about how to connect the pieces together. With short stories, I don't take as many notes--I might only note down the initial idea and then go straight to the writing. For novels, I tend to do more thinking and planning before I begin.
More: ideas and where to find them
5) Writing
Once I have a good idea of where the story is going to go, it's time to write. Usually, I try to just begin at what seems like a good place, and keep on going until I get to the end. Sometimes, I need to take a break and work on a different project for a while. Other times, I find it better to skip ahead in the story, write a later scene, and then go back and fill it in. But usually, I start at the beginning and go on until the end.
More: getting it down
6) Pause
Once the first draft is done, it's time to put the manuscript aside. I try not to even think about it for at least a week. Longer is better. The aim is to get enough distance from the story that I can read it as if someone else had written it. That way, it's much easier to make any changes that are needed; I can look at the writing much more objectively than I can when I've only just written it.
More: practical musekeeping
7) Reading
After a week or a month or however long I set my story aside, it's time to read it. I try to read it as if I were reading someone else's work. The first time through, I just read like I would any story in a magazine or novel I bought at the store--I read to enjoy the story. That way, I can see how the story works overall. Then I read the work again with a red pen in hand, making corrections, asking myself questions, and jotting down any notes that occur to me.
More: reading and revision
8) Revision
Working from the notes I made while reading through the story, I start the revision. I make the big changes first. Some stories need a lot of work--sections cut, sections added, sections moved. Other stories may only need a few paragraphs reworked here and there. I usually fix typos as I notice them, but I don't really look for them at this point. Revision is sometimes literally "re-vision" or seeing the story in a wholly new way, with extensive rewriting.
More: reading and revision
9) Copyediting
After the big revisions are done, it's time for the nit-picky details. Copyediting involves fixing typos, correcting grammar and misspellings, and re-writing awkward sentences. If you're ever going to publish your work, copyediting is crucial. It's not the end of the world if you miss a few typos, but the cleaner your manuscript is, the more favorably an editor will look on you and your work.
More: reading and revision
10) Formatting
Last but not least, I format the manuscript. Usually, I'll already have some of the basic formatting done--I have my word processor set up with appropriate margins and use an appropriate font. Quite often, I double-space as soon as the first draft is done (it's easier to fit comments in on a double-spaced manuscript). Once in a while, I compose in double-space. But there are always things to do at the end--setting up the headers and page numbers, for example.
More: manuscript format go to http://teenwriting.about.com/library/weekly/aa100702a.htm
« Last Edit: March 17, 2006, 02:55:55 AM by Lin »

SuzieHarris

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2006, 07:36:53 AM »
Three books worthe shelf space, in my opinion, are:

Writer's Guide to Character Traits.
45 Master Characters.
20 Master Plots.

All published by Writer's Digest Books and available from Amazon UK and dot com.


Suzie

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2006, 03:57:50 AM »
  Re: ref AUTHORS RESOURCE CENTRE CONTRIBUTIONS PLEASE
Reply #9 on: Today at 04:35:43 PM      

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The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook - secong edition by Sherrilyn kenyon ISBN 1-58297-295-8,

this is a wonderful source for names of characters. It includes the origin of each name, and a small translation of what each name means.


Stephen King On Writing ( A Memoir of the Craft) ISBN 0-340-82046-2, this is a useful book full of tips from a great writer. It also pretty much tells his life story, which makes for interesting reading.

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 01:52:22 PM »
Lilith
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     Re: ref AUTHORS RESOURCE CENTRE CONTRIBUTIONS PLEASE
Reply #12 on: Today at 18:49:23      

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Two books I find most useful are[/i]Story by Robert McKee, Methuen, isbn 0413 715507, and The Seven Basic Plots, By Christopher Booker Continuum isbn 0-8264-5209-4
Eve

Offline Sondra

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 03:51:59 PM »
Thank you for all the helpful info. I am thinking of creating a spreadsheet of all these references.

S

Perhaps this is something other readers might like to consider -  Lin




Please leave only reference material on this page
« Last Edit: April 11, 2006, 05:38:09 AM by Lin »

Lin

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 03:16:47 AM »
Scarlet
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     Re: ref AUTHORS RESOURCE CENTRE CONTRIBUTIONS PLEASE
Reply #13 on: Today at 00:17:28      

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I can recommend 'How To Write Damn Good Fiction' by James N. Frey - Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling.
ISBN 0 333 90759 0  Publishers: Macmillan

I'd describe this book as a step-by-step process to grabbing your readers by the throat, shaking them half-to-death, dropping them from a great height to land starry eyed after a great read!

Offline medman

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 09:08:27 AM »
One of my favourites is a book called Write Away by Elizabeth George.

It's a different perspective on writing than the usual "how to" books, and includes extracts from her own diary, which give a good insight into her creative thoughts and processes.

Offline gemgem567

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2006, 07:43:03 AM »
I would like to recommend How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books and get them Published. It has lots of help on writing the children's book and then getting it published (cover letters, MS, etc.)

A good read and reference book.

Gemma

Offline AtlasOfTheTitans

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2006, 11:14:50 AM »
How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-By-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling (How to Write a Damn Good Novel) 
James N. Frey

See www. Amazon.com

Im reading this book write now, just checked it out of the libary last night from school !!!

Dave Driver

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2006, 06:54:19 PM »
Thanks for the recomends,I`ll check some of them out.


Offline bry

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2006, 09:58:37 AM »
A book with a wealth of information, is: Cracking the short story market, Writers Bureau Books, By Iain Pattison. It's available on Amazon.

Offline Allie

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Re: How to write Fiction -- Recommended Reading Resources
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2007, 10:35:04 AM »
I hope I'm not going to double post this, because I was writing it when it suddenly vanished from the screen.

I had a look at The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook recommended by Lin, and thought it was a bit dear for what it is, which is basically a book of names. There are some very good, reasonably-priced baby names in the bookshops now. I would particularly recommend A World Of Baby Names, by Teresa Norman, which I think is particularly good for writers because it gives names from all over the world, all divided into handy country categories, with a blurb under each telling the origin and a phonetic pronunciation guide. With this you need never again be stuck for a name for a character.

I also find The Baby Name Survey Book very good. It's subtitle is 'What people think about your baby's name,' and obviously for us this translates to 'What people think about your character before you have had a chance to introduce him or her properly'. You might say that you're not interested in this, but that your character should forge her or his own impressions in the reader's mind. However, I think there is no doubt that readers have certain likes and dislikes in names. If you are interested in whether or not the book works, what do you think of the names Emily, Stacy and Edmund? If anyone wants to know how their idea of these names line up with what the book claims, they can contact me offline. Or if there are enough people interested maybe we could set up a new topic? I don't even mind posting them here, but don't want to hijack the original topic.