Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | October 23, 2010

Highly Recommended Books for Writers

I’ve posted ideas/reports on Vogler’s book, “The Writer’s Journey” and Stephen King’s, “On Writing.” Both are excellent books for writers’ development.

Two books that are next to my desk at all times are: “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” by Renni Browne and Dave King and “The First Five Pages,” by Noah Lukeman.

These books are aimed at the more “technical” end of the craft. In “Self-Editing…”, there are invaluable tips about handling dialog. Also, one of my favorite chapters is titled, “Once Is Usually Enough,” reminding writers to respect their readers’ intelligence and not bore them with redundancy. I once critiqued a book in which the protagonist drove a pickup he’d named, “Trusty Rusty.” Over and over again the writer used that cutesy name. After the first time, “truck” would have been enough.

Both books have excellent chapters about showing vs. telling. Both give the reader unusually good advice about handling dialog. “The First Five Pages” speaks to different types of dialog in separate chapters, such as, “Commonplace” and “Melodramatic.”

Both books are in paperback are literally worth their weight in gold –even at today’s astronomical prices–for the writer. Put these on your Christmas list along with a Kindle.


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