Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | September 1, 2010

Writer’s Books

There is no substitute for reading the works of good writers. I have mentioned a couple, and will mention a few more later.

Today, I’d like to share with you some of the books that I’ve found useful. “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King; “The First Five Pages,” by Noah Lukeman and “The Fire in Fiction,” by Donald Maas are the first three that come to mind. Each has its virtues. Maas, a literary agent, speaks to maintaining readers’ interest through the use of tension-producing mini-conflicts so that the “down” portion of the novel’s rhythm doesn’t become boring. Lukeman talks about avoiding a “weak opening hook” and “underdeveloped characterization and lifeless settings.” In “Self-Editing,” the writers provide a virtual toolkit for the writer, starting with one of my personal favorites, “Show and Tell.” Maybe my personal weaknesses point the way, but for many reasons, this is the one I revisit most frequently.

I highly recommend them all. If you have suggestions, let me know.

T.

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