July 23, 2013

My Top 10 Writing Resources

If you're looking to learn how to write a book, plot a novel, or self-publish your own cookbook, here are 10 resources I strongly recommend (and why):
  1. 21 Days To A Novel by Michael A. Stackpole:  Mike Stackpole is a bestselling author I've had the good fortune to learn from.  This eBook is basically a "quick start guide" to writing a novel.  If you want to learn the basics and just get writing, this is the book you want.
  2. Plotting: A Novelist's Workout Guide by Aaron Allston:  If you've ever wished you could peek inside an author's brain as he or she took a vague idea and turned it into a finished plot outline, this is the book you're looking for.  In it, bestselling author Aaron Allston does exactly that while teaching you to plot.
  3. Story Engineering by Larry Brooks:  Larry Brooks teaches some very successful writing seminars in Chicago.  This book shares his knowledge and insights for much less than the cost of a trip to Illinois. 
  4. Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich:  This is a complete fiction writing workshop course in a book.
  5. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon:  This inspirational book is designed to help any artist (including writers) learn the right way to "steal" ideas from those who came before, to replenish the creative well, and succeed.
  6. Literature and Latte's ScrivenerThis relatively inexpensive software helps you brainstorm and write a book (fiction or non-fiction), and even makes it possible to store research, character notes, and more right with the manuscript.
  7. A Newbie's Guide to Self-Publishing:  Bestselling thriller author Joe Konrath uses this blog to share his learning and results in the world of self-publishing.  It's an excellent resource.  (You'll often hear about free and reduced-price copies of his books here.)
  8. National Novel Writing Month:  If you need a push to start that first draft, this is the project for you.  Participants commit to writing 50,000 words of original fiction (a small novel) during the month of November.  Online progress tracking and community support will help you reach that goal.
  9. Immediate Fiction – A Complete Writing Course by Jerry Cleaver:  Cleaver's book condenses the development of a scene and a plot into a fairly simple formula. Don't confuse the word "formula" with "formulaic".  It's not about that at all.  It's showing you the elements you should try to include in every scene, and why.
  10. Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur (APE) by Guy Kawasaki:  If you are thinking about self-publishing your work, this is the book to read.  It covers writing, layout, software to use, how to market the book, etc.

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