"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Writer's Recent Purchases

A friend of mine recently bragged to me about the number of books she owned on the craft of writing. I began questioning her about several of them explaining I was looking into brushing up on some skills and some of my weaknesses.
It became apparent she had not read most of them and could not give me specifics on more than a few. What good are books if you don’t read them? After discussing the topic with her and several others I made some purchases of my own.
1.      45 Master Characters – I use books by Christopher Vogler and Joseph Campbell when I teach archetypes (see my “For Writers” page above). I chose to purchase this one because it came cheap in a bundle package with:
2.      20 Master Plots – I’m interested in this one because of the following description I found on Amazon: “Find 20 fundamental plots that recur through all fiction - with analysis and examples - that outline benefits and warnings, for writers to adapt and elaborate in their own fiction. Each chapter includes brief excerpts and descriptions of fiction from many times, many genres - myth and fairy tale, genre and mainstream fiction, film plots of all types, short story and novel.”
3.      The Art of War for Writers – I came across a description and quote from this book several weeks ago that caught my attention. You can see which one here.
4.      Guide to Query Letters – I’ve never had to write a query letter before and feel pretty lost in the whole process. I found this book on the Writer’s Digest website when I was checking prices on some of the other books.
5.      Revision and Self-Editing – This book was recommended by a friend and while I saw it offered in a bundle with several others, I chose only this one because it has sections on character, plot and dialogue as well.
6.      2011 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition – I did not have a recent Writer’s Market and I found this one on clearance since the 2012 is already available.
I’m excited about reading these. They WILL NOT just sit on my shelf and collect dust. Have you read any of these? Did you find them beneficial? Are there any others you would recommend?


Unknown said...

Yes, Dwight V. Swain is my hero, couldn't have moved on without him, still obtainable second hand.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I always enjoy the Writer's Market volumes. Even if not looking for agents or publishers, they are an excellent resource to see what is being looked at in submissions. And I like the tips/essays on all aspects of writing at the end. I've bought a few like this on clearance.

shelly said...

I will have to check these out when I get out of the pile of OVERWHELMED.

Anonymous said...

I've bought and read a lot of such books in the past, and have all the tips and information I need in my files. And now if I need Writer's Market, I go to the library. But the latter is great for writers who are actively engaged in writing for lots of different markets. It's the best!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Rachel Brooks said...

I have the Novel & Short Story Writers Companion, Your Novel Proposal, and Getting Your Novel Published on my shelf. I consulted all of them when I was writing my manuscript and query letter. Some of the information was useful, other bits were dated. I found online information to be more current and helpful a lot of the time.

Also, I’m a new follower— wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :) http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/

Jenny Milchman said...

I've read all of the except THE ART OF WAR--which looks very interesting; I will check it out. I also love Al Zuckerman's book on the blockbuster novel and Donald Maass' on breaking out. I adore books on craft--they're basically all I read when I'm writing a first draft!

Shawn Lamb said...

Guide to Query Letters & Writer's Market are two I keep around. The 2 books you listed that look interesting are 45 Master Characters and 20 Master Plots. They might be akin to several books my husband and I used during our screenwriting days.