Supposing is good, but finding out is better

Writer’s Post #1 (title by Mark Twain)

A short post due to one of our writers being away.

Writing is only a part of the process, (a big part, to be sure). But we’re also constantly reading.  Learning.  Educating ourselves.

So here are some of the things we’re looking at…

Writer’s Digest.   A great source for inspiration, tips, and advice.  (For example, character names.)

Publisher’s Weekly.  THE source for serious writers, especially for industry news.

A nifty find by Paula.  Synonym Finder.

I am re-reading this as the moment.  On writing.  Hey, it’s Stephen King. And he knows his stuff. Other books I’d recommend to help writers … Elizabeth George, Write Away.  Don Maass, Writing the Breakout Novel. Hallie Ephron, Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel.  Oh there’re a lot of great books on writing out there, some by agents, some by authors, some even by publishers themselves. Not every book will speak to every writer, but it worth checking out as many as you can.

Writing programs being used.  Scrivener (for PC) and Storymill (for Macs.) MS Word (me!). Next book, I’m going to give Scrivener a try.

So those are some of the things we’re doing or using to make ourselves better writers. If anyone has any other links or suggested sites, please post them, we’d love to see what other people are reading/using.

— Joe

3 thoughts on “Supposing is good, but finding out is better

  1. Oh, my. Becoming a Writer by Dorthea Brande; Passion for Narrative by Jack Hodgins; Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott; The writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler. Ernest Hemmingway on Writing; The Weekend Novelist, Robert J. Ray; The Writing Life, Annie Dillard; Negotiating with the Dead by Margaret Atwood. And of course, my procrastinator’s bible: The War on Art by Steven Pressfield. King is also a great writer’s read. Random picks here.

    Scrivener is working out well for me, but my learning curve is slow and I’m not using all of what’s available to me yet – although the statistics is helpful for word and scene counts, and the ability to move text is phenomenal if you organize yourself properly.

  2. Having recently organized my writer’s bookshelf (yes, another diversion from getting on with my own writing), I can actually (physically) see the following books and highly recommend them:

    Plot and Structure — James Scott Bell (a must for neophyte writers like me)
    If You Want to Write — Brenda Ueland (inspiration on every page)
    The First Five Pages — Noah Lukeman (an agent’s perspective)
    The Seven Basic Plots — Christopher Booker (weighty, but worth it)
    The Lineup — edited by Otto Penzler (great crime writers profile their detectives)
    How to Find Out Anything — Don MacLeod (research techniques beyond Google)
    How NOT to Write a Novel — Howard Mittelmark & Sandra Newton (hilarious and instructive)

    And so, so many more including anything by Don Maass and anything in the excellent “Write Great Fiction” series published by Writers Digest Books.

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