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The Craft > What's In Your Writer's Library?

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message 1: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments In another discussion about the availability of writing tools and resources to study while crafting our own work, it occurred to me that other writers in Goodreads might like to post what's on their writer's bookshelves. There are so many tools and resources out there, it's probably overwhelming to a writer just coming into the fray. We all probably have close to a dozen books in common - dictionaries of various kinds, thesauri, style and English-usage manuals, desk references, etc. - but the ones that are different among us will likely reflect branches into our individual interests - history, fantasy, poetry, screenplays, romance, etc.

From my bibliography, you may find gems to add to your library, and I may find gems in yours. Here are some craft books on my shelves (mostly acquired second-hand) in no particular order:

WRITING INTERESTS: Literary/Commercial/Mainstream Fiction, Historical Fiction, American History, Copyediting.

"The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White - an essential "nut-shell" style book

"The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual"

"Crafting Novels and Short Stories" from the editors of Writer's Digest magazine

"The Art of Fiction" by Ayn Rand (cerebral, but enlightening perspective)

"Dictionary of Word Origins" by Joseph T. Shipley

"Characters & Viewpoint" by Orson Scott Card

"The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great" by Donald Maass

"Creating Fiction from Experience" by Peggy Simson Curry

"Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes" by Raymond Obstfeld

"The Art of Fiction" by John Gardnere

"Characters Make Your Story" by Maren Elwood

"On Writing Well" by William Zinsser

"The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot" by Charles Baxter

"The Lively Art of Writing" by Lucile Vaughan Payne

"A Short Guide to Writing About History" by Richard Marius

"The Art of Literary Research" by Richard D. Altick

"Error-Free Writing: A Lifetime Guide to Flawless Business Writing" by Robin A. Cormier

"Writing Down The Bones" by Natalie Goldberg

"Writing from the Inner Self: Writing and Meditation Exercises that Free Your Creativity, Inspire Your Imagination and Help You Overcome Writer's Block" by Elaine Farris Hughes

"The Reader Over Your Shoulder" by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge

"Nearby History: Exploring the Past Around You" by David E. Kyvig & Myron A. Marty

"Writing Research Papers" by James D. Lester

"The Little, Brown Guide to Writing Research Papers" by Michael Meyer

"The Complete Guide to Writing Non-Fiction" by The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)

"Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" by Charles Panati

"Family Names: How Our Surnames Came To America" by J. N. Hook, Ph.D.

"State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide" by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer

"Amo, Amas, Amat and More" by Eugene Ehrlich


message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 50 comments Nice list! (I already have a few of them, I will certainly check the others.)
I'd like to add a few from mine:

"The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Angela Ackerman

"Emotion Amplifier" by Angela Ackerman


message 3: by Sally (last edited Jan 27, 2017 11:16AM) (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments G.G. wrote: " "The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Angela Ackerman
..."


Good ones! I forgot to add the emotion thesaurus. I do have all three of Ackerman's thesauri - the positive-trait and negative-trait ones as well as the emotion one.

What is Ackerman's "Emotion Amplifier" book about?


message 4: by Marlo (last edited Jan 31, 2017 03:44PM) (new)

Marlo Johnson (marlojohnson) | 2 comments Thank you for this! I could really use more books on the craft of writing. My specialty is creativity itself, so I'm very curious what all of your favourite books for inspiration are. Mine is Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity. I'm not even sure I'm allowed to share it, because I wrote it, but it has honestly been a life-saving resource that I use constantly.


message 5: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 50 comments Both "The Emotion Thesaurus" and "Emotion Amplifier" work hand in hand. The latter, the one you are asking about is exactly what the title says. It helps finding circumstances that could amplify the emotions. For example, if your character is exhausted, he may not think as clearly as if he was rested. Hunger might make her angry and prompt to say things she doesn't mean etc.

Oh and It's permafree on Amazon.


message 6: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 50 comments Sally wrote: "I do have all three of Ackerman's thesauri - the positive-trait and negative-trait ones as well as the emotion one.
..."


I have the two trait ones on my to-buy list. :)


message 7: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Marlo wrote: ""Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity." I'm not even sure I'm allowed to share it, because I wrote it, but it has honestly been a life-saving resource that I use constantly..."

Hey, if you can't toot your own horn, who's gonna toot it for you? I'm glad to know about your book! (I love the title - 'artistic audacity'!)

I developed a simple spreadsheet in Excel to track who is doing what, when, in my chapters, which I'm happy to share with anyone interested. We do well to share the tools that work well for us. The rising tide that lifts all boats...


message 8: by Alex (last edited Jan 27, 2017 01:19PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Excellent thread! I'm a beginning writer, so I only have a few.

The Elements of Style - totally agree that this should be on the must-have list.
Poetics - the very basics of story-telling.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
Publishing 101 - for the lay of the publishing market landscape.

I'll add a few websites too:

http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com - his blog entries on writing, specifically, the scene-and-sequel technique.
Janefriedman.com - for her industry insight as well as her plethora of valuable articles.
Authorearnings.com - Hugh Howey and Data Guy's report that compiles data on 1 million+ Amazon titles every quarter. The latest one just came out on 20 Jan


message 9: by Jim (last edited Jan 27, 2017 01:43PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic With the exception of just one book, to which I referred quite often, I borrowed all other books and periodicals from the local public library.

The one that I own is Getting Your Book Published for Dummies by Sarah Parsons Zackheim with Adrian Zackheim.
Published simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada in 2000 by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
909 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022


message 10: by Nicki (new)

Nicki Markus (nickijmarkus) One I didn't see on your list that I found very interesting and insightful is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.


message 11: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Nicki wrote: "One I didn't see on your list that I found very interesting and insightful is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King."

Oh, yes, that's a good one. I have read it, and used to have it, but I don't know where it went. I haven't seen it here in years. I might have lent it to someone, never to be returned...


message 12: by Sally (last edited Jan 28, 2017 06:58AM) (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Alex G wrote: "I'll add a few websites too..."

Great idea, Alex G.! I hadn't thought about listing online resources. I didn't think much about this topic before I posted it. I just got excited and ran off a wheel and posted it. ;-)

There are lots of professionals out there who do regular - daily or weekly - blog posts on various aspects of writing. Some offer online courses. Sites in particular that I have learned a lot from:

"Helping Writers Become Authors" by K. M. Weiland https://www.helpingwritersbecomeautho...
She uses powerful movies to illustrate various techniques to apply to developing stories, which is an interesting take.

"Revise With Confidence" by Joan Dempsey http://revisewithconfidence.com/
Besides her monthly newsletters and various blog posts, Joan also offers an online course in revision, with 3+ weeks of exercises, including perspective, details, point of view, and all kinds of other aspects. I enrolled in September when she was offering it, although I didn't have time to delve deeply at the time, but after signing up, the course is available forever, 24/7, as long as you like. Course members post their results and questions for each exercise, which is open for everyone in the course to see, and Joan comments and answers diligently. People from every degree of writing proficiency join the course; you don't have to be at the revision stage yet; new writers often comment that what they learn from the exercises helps them develop their story and avoid future craft issues that will require revision when they get to that point. No matter where you are as a writer, you learn from the exercises AND from the comments and experiences of your fellow students. I find the comments of others to be worth the course fee alone, which is extremely reasonable, too, for what you get.

(And no, Joan didn't pay me to write all this - I am just delighted with the course and how it has stretched my writing skills, and the new writing friends I've made on the site.)


message 13: by G. (last edited Jan 28, 2017 04:12PM) (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments The Elements of Style is like the bedrock of good writing. Anyone who doesn’t have a copy should get one. As for the AP style guide, I haven’t seen it—I just hope it doesn’t promulgate the style used by almost all newspapers of putting spaces around an em-dash. That’s considered a faux pas in formatting. I recommend The Chicago Manual of Style. It’s available online for a mere $35 per year, and is well worth the price. I use it continually.


message 14: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments CMS is definitely one of the top style guides, AP less regarded although it's up there. (The AP Stylebook website indicates several style guides specific to topics, such as food, sports, etc. No single one of these is generally comprehensive like CMS.) If you work or freelance for a publishing house as an editor, copyeditor, or proofreader, you are obligated to use the style guide that the house endorses, but if you have no contractual obligations, use the style guide of your choice, in writing or editing. I believe most writers and editors opt for CMS. As G. points out, it's available online by subscription, as well as in print, with new editions coming out every few years.

Looking online at a comparison of AP vs. CMS use of em dashes, yes, AP says to use a space before and after, and CMS says not to.


message 15: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Cronin | 114 comments A good hard cover dictionary plus online dictionary sites remain my daily writing companions. The dictionary that's hand-held is easy to flip through and doesn't go down during power outages. The online sites offer "breaking news" on slang usage for contemporary dialogue.


message 16: by S.Q. (new)

S.Q. Orpin (sqorpin) | 20 comments Thanks for the great references! I've ordered some of the mentioned books to add to my resource library.


message 17: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Sheila wrote: “A good hard cover dictionary plus online dictionary sites remain my daily writing companions. The dictionary that’s hand-held is easy to flip through and doesn't go down during power outages. The o . . .” I use the desktop Merriam-Webster combined Dictionary and Thesaurus. If the power goes out, I don’t write, because I do it all on the computer. But I do have some good hard cover dictionaries, including the German Langenscheidt, which is encyclopedic in depth. Good foreign dictionaries are a must if you like to slip in an occasional foreign phrase in your writing.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Sally wrote: "Revise With Confidence" by Joan Dempsey http://revisewithconfidence.com/"

thx! very catchy title "HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR WRITING IS REALLY ANY GOOD"! it caught me. i signed up. (but it's just a signup website and there's no link to her books. ?_?). just got the emails. really effective direct email.


message 19: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments A good site to check for affordable books (and other stuff) is Half.com, a subsidiary of eBay. I've picked up a number of books over the years for a price less than that of shipping. I always check there first. There are probably other such sites out there equally good, but I don't hunt much when I am so happy with one site.


message 20: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Paryla (wandasparyla) | 6 comments Here are a few of mine...

*Characters & Viewpoint - by Orson Scott Card
*Action Grammar - by Joanne Feierman
*Creating Unforgetable Characters - Linda Seger
*Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction- by Jeff Gerke
*Bitches, Bullies & Bastards - by Jessica Page Morrell
*The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investiagation - by N.E. Genge
*Police Procedure & Investigation - by Lee Lofland

I also like to keep encyclopedias and books on various topics such as ghosts, vampires, monsters, magic, and serial killers.


message 21: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Paryla (wandasparyla) | 6 comments G.G. wrote: "Nice list! (I already have a few of them, I will certainly check the others.)
I'd like to add a few from mine:

"The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Angela Ackerman
..."


These sound great. I'm going to check them out. I think I can definitely add something like The Emotion Thesaurus to my shelf. Thanks for sharing!


message 22: by Alex (last edited Jan 29, 2017 02:36PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Wanda wrote: "Here are a few of mine...

*Characters & Viewpoint - by Orson Scott Card
*Action Grammar - by Joanne Feierman
*Creating Unforgetable Characters - Linda Seger
*Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Appr..."


Sally wrote: "In another discussion about the availability of writing tools and resources to study while crafting our own work, it occurred to me that other writers in Goodreads might like to post what's on thei..."

thx, guys! added to my list of writing craft books.

love those CSI ones. ^_-


message 23: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Alex G wrote: "Sally wrote: "Revise With Confidence" by Joan Dempsey http://revisewithconfidence.com/...it... just a signup website and there's no link to her books..."

Joan hasn't written books on writing-craft revision, she offers online courses, videos, and emails with posts and tips.


message 24: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Gehret | 16 comments Sally wrote: "Marlo wrote: ""Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity." I'm not even sure I'm allowed to share it, because I wrote it, but it has honestly been a life-saving resource that I use const..."

Sally wrote: "Marlo wrote: ""Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity." I'm not even sure I'm allowed to share it, because I wrote it, but it has honestly been a life-saving resource that I use const..."
I would love to have a copy of the spreadsheet to track characters, since I made similar documents myself but they were pretty messy. Am I allowed to give my email here? (I'm new)


message 25: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Gehret | 16 comments Sally wrote: "In another discussion about the availability of writing tools and resources to study while crafting our own work, it occurred to me that other writers in Goodreads might like to post what's on thei..."
http://www.nownovel.com/ give me some great writing advice twice a week or so. I like that it's specifically for novels.


message 26: by Eric (new)

Eric Westfall (eawestfall) | 178 comments Jeanne wrote: "Sally wrote: "Marlo wrote: ""Create Now!: A Systematic Guide to Artistic Audacity." I'm not even sure I'm allowed to share it, because I wrote it, but it has honestly been a life-saving resource th..."

Jeanne,

It's probably not a good idea to post your email address here. Then everyone and the world has it. The best thing to do is send a PM (private message).

I'm not really tracking who created the spreadsheet you're talking about, but the best thing is to find the original post where it's mentioned and then click on the poster's name.

That will take you to his/her personal page. Right below the image (whether there is one or not) there should be either a down arrow for a drop box that includes sending a message.
You click that and it leads to a message page.

Of course if the person who created the spreadsheet has a privacy setting on then you can't send a PM. The alternative is to ask him/her to send you a PM...and GR will notify you when one arrives.

Hope this is of some help.

Eric


message 27: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Jeanne wrote: "I would love to have a copy of the spreadsheet to track characters..." then Eric wrote: "not a good idea to post your email address here...send a PM (private message)...

Hi, Jeanne, I will send you the spreadsheet via private message, as recommended by Eric.


message 28: by Eric (new)

Eric Westfall (eawestfall) | 178 comments Sally wrote: "Jeanne wrote: "I would love to have a copy of the spreadsheet to track characters..." then Eric wrote: "not a good idea to post your email address here...send a PM (private message)...

Hi, Jeanne,..."


Sally,

I've never seen a way to send an attachment with a PM. So I meant using it to provide an email address to which the attachment/spreadsheet can be sent. If there is a way to send an attachment with a PM, enlighten me, please!

Thanks.

Eric


message 29: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Gehret | 16 comments That's what we did, Eric, and it's working fine. Sally PM'd me and I sent her my email. Thanks for your help!


message 30: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Yes, Eric, I just PM'd Jeanne with my email address. I sent her the spreadsheet last evening. I hope it's useful to her and she has fun with it.


message 31: by Doug (new)

Doug Hill (goodreadscommightymanhattanscom) | 6 comments I see several books on these lists I need to check out. "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser was probably my first "eye-opener" to the art of putting emotion into my writing by taking it beyond the ordinary and mundane "real world."
Now, I would like to offer two books that made me rewrite all my previous works. And both books deal with writing dialogue. I'm sure all of you have a favorite, but I read a chapter and head to my edit my writing because I just read something and said, "I'm doing that." I don't think I have an adverb left in my books, seriously.
Okay, the books. First, "Crafting Dynamic Dialogue" it is a Writers Digest featured book and it is a compilation of short chapters from established authors. This book is GOLD!
The second I had to pre-order and it was worth the wait. The Emotional Craft of Fiction" by Donald Maass.
Now I get to mention my latest book, Girl Wanted:Apply in Person the ATOMICAS Series, only because these two books saved my book from being a bottom feeder due to bad dialogue.
I have a couple books I am reading now that have good plots and characters, but the dialogue is so bad that it wrecks the book. I want to tell these authors about these books and save them as well. If you write dialogue (technical writers can ignore this advice) get these two books.


message 32: by S.Q. (new)

S.Q. Orpin (sqorpin) | 20 comments Thanks for the information. I've ordered both books and I'm curious to read them and then re-read my novels to see how they can improve.


message 33: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Doug wrote: ""Crafting Dynamic Dialogue" it is a Writers Digest featured book and it is a compilation of short chapters from established authors. This book is GOLD! ... The second I had to pre-order and it was worth the wait. The Emotional Craft of Fiction" by Donald Maass..."

Both of these sound like great resources. I'm going to check into them, too. Thanks!


message 34: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Doug wrote: "I see several books on these lists I need to check out. "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser was probably my first "eye-opener" to the art of putting emotion into my writing by taking it beyond the..."

thx. added the dialogue one to my long-list. writing dialogue is difficult.

add "On Writing Well" too since that's on two people's list in this thread.


message 35: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Doug wrote: “ I don’t think I have an adverb left in my books, seriously.” Well! First it was adjectives that were the bad guys of writing. Now it’s adverbs? Give me a break! Did it ever occur to those who write these stupid rules that adjectives and adverbs are in the language because they are useful? I agree that they should be used sparingly in prose, but not in dialogue. Listen to real, live people talk. You will hear them using lots of adjectives and many adverbs. If you leave them out of your dialogue, it will sound dry and stilted. Dialogue should sound like real life. If it doesn’t, it will not sound believable to your readers.


message 36: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Never heard that adjectives were the bad guys. I've always heard the adverbs were the bad guys. Point taken that both are useful, otherwise they wouldn't exist, but some writers do use them to extremes.


message 37: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Sally wrote: "Never heard that adjectives were the bad guys. I've always heard the adverbs were the bad guys. Point taken that both are useful, otherwise they wouldn't exist, but some writers do use them to extremes."
Actually, it all goes back to Strunk & White in their chapter on “An Approach to Style,” where they write under the heading “4. Write with nouns and verbs.": Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place. This is not to disparage adjectives and adverbs; they are indispensable parts of speech. Occasionally they surprise us with their power, as in
Up the airy mountain,
Down the airy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men . . .
The nouns mountain and glen are accurate enough, but had the mountain not become airy, the glen rushy, William Allingham might never have got off the ground with his poem.

This book is a classic all authors should read and memorize.


message 38: by Mike (new)

Mike Lee (dmlangel1101) | 9 comments I'd love to quote the last two lines of the poem, if I could do it without breaking copyright of course in my new Science Fiction / Dystopian Novel FEAR. It is quite appropriate to the theme of the book.

We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men.

I would also agree that An Approach to Style is extremely important, but those of us in the Science Fiction biz. should not
ignore Stephen King's On Writing either. Hard to find anyone
who has sold more books than that guy.


message 39: by Mike (new)

Mike Lee (dmlangel1101) | 9 comments Mike wrote: "I'd love to quote the last two lines of the poem, if I could do it without breaking copyright of course in my new Science Fiction / Dystopian Novel FEAR. It is quite appropriate to the theme of the..."

I won't quote it, but I'd love to.


message 40: by G. (last edited Feb 05, 2017 09:39AM) (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Mike wrote: “I’d love to quote the last two lines of the poem, if I could do it without breaking copyright of course in my new Science Fiction / Dystopian Novel FEAR. It is quite appropriate to the theme of the book.”
Mike, go ahead and use the quotation. Allingham died in 1893, and although The Elements of Style is still in copyright, one cannot copyright another person’s words when quoting them in a book. Wikipedia says this about those very words: “We daren’t go a-hunting / For fear of little men . . . was quoted by the character of The Tinker near the beginning of the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, as well as in Mike Mignola’s comic book short story Hellboy: The Corpse, plus the 1973 horror film Don’t Look in the Basement. Several lines of the poem are quoted by Henry Flyte, a character in issue No. 65 of the Supergirl comic book, August 2011. This same poem was quoted in Andre Norton’s 1990 science fiction novel Dare To Go A-Hunting (ISBN 0-812-54712-8).
“Up the Airy Mountain is the title of a short story by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald; while the working title of Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men was For Fear of Little Men.”


message 41: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Mike wrote: "I'd love to quote the last two lines of the poem, if I could do it without breaking copyright of course in my new Science Fiction / Dystopian Novel FEAR. It is quite appropriate to the theme of the..."


Both the poem and the author date from before 1923, so the work should be in the public domain. A bit of Google research into it should enable you to make sure. I used a Lewis Carroll poem in my published novel (credited, of course), and checked with the Lewis Carroll Society, who confirmed that the work is in the public domain, but I suspect they appreciated being asked.


message 42: by G. (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Sally wrote: “A bit of Google research into it should enable you to make sure.”

I already did the Google research. See my previous post. The lines have been used by numerous sources without requiring any permission. What more do you need?


message 43: by Doug (new)

Doug Hill (goodreadscommightymanhattanscom) | 6 comments G. wrote: "Doug wrote: “ I don’t think I have an adverb left in my books, seriously.” Well! First it was adjectives that were the bad guys of writing. Now it’s adverbs? Give me a break! Did it ever occur to t..."

Point taken, but "the" point (at least the one that i got) was how to write the dialogue that makes the setting without "telling" the reader what they should feel or see. I will say that I read a "famous" author yesterday that wrote, "He looked 'longingly' at the sidewalk" and this was supposed to make me "feel" his claustrophobic problems. Because of the Dialogue book, I took a look at it and thought, "He tugged at his shirt collar and backed towards the sidewalk away from those bumping to get past him. The smell of cologne, sweat, and stale carnival funnel cake wrapped around his head, choking him to find fresh air...any open space, but there." And if it helps me to drop an adverb to better write the scene, then it helped me. As far as adjectives, sir, after years of writing arrest reports, I fear adjectives especially when a defense attorney asks me to define a "strong" smell of marijuana, alcohol, blood, etc. Just my opinion, it works for me. It's not a debate, it's a discussion.


message 44: by Doug (new)

Doug Hill (goodreadscommightymanhattanscom) | 6 comments G. wrote: "Sally wrote: "Never heard that adjectives were the bad guys. I've always heard the adverbs were the bad guys. Point taken that both are useful, otherwise they wouldn't exist, but some writers do us..."

I agree. Strunk is like a when there is a style poker game and anyone lays down a hand and you slap down Strunk and White...you rake the pot IMHO


message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Campbell | 8 comments G.G. wrote: "Nice list! (I already have a few of them, I will certainly check the others.)
I'd like to add a few from mine:

"The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Angela Ackerman
..."



message 46: by Jill (new)

Jill Campbell | 8 comments I am wondering about the content to this-it sounds enchanting,but maybe I need the emotion thesaurus to tell me what word to use??


message 47: by Doug (new)

Doug Hill (goodreadscommightymanhattanscom) | 6 comments Nicki wrote: "One I didn't see on your list that I found very interesting and insightful is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King."

Agreed, this book changed the way I saw Stephen King. When he said that all of our characters are ourselves just pushed to the edge. And this is why, he said, he could write as a psychotic nurse in "Misery". And after I read how his wife saved "Carrie" from the trash and told him that he didn't have a clue about high school girls...well I just wrote a superhero story about young girls trying out for a spot in the big league superhero business. You can bet I ran every character through my wife and daughter. Oh, men, listen to me...we are clueless, just like Mr. King, and trust me. the opposite gender to call you out on any mistakes. If I can provide an example and not offend anyone, I asked my daughter and wife where would a teenage girl hide drugs from a snooping father that has a habit of finding and flushing her drugs. They both said, "Pamprin" box. If you are a guy, you probably just said, "What's a Pamprin box? Hidden in plain site, it was perfect. Now if I said she hid it taped under her desk drawer, ladies would have called me out on it because a guy would look there first...it is a standard movie theme. And ladies, if I overstepped my bounds, I apologize. I do spend a lot of time on research to get it right. An example, I was the Head of Security at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO. John Sandford of the xxx "Prey" series staged a crime there in one of his books. We laughed at his description and methods because it was obvious he had never been there.


message 48: by Doug (new)

Doug Hill (goodreadscommightymanhattanscom) | 6 comments Jill wrote: "G.G. wrote: "Nice list! (I already have a few of them, I will certainly check the others.)
I'd like to add a few from mine:

"The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" by Ang..."


AND there is a Kindle version...thank you for turning me on to this reference.


message 49: by G. (last edited Feb 06, 2017 01:09PM) (new)

G. Thayer (flboffin) | 115 comments Doug wrote: “if it helps me to drop an adverb to better write the scene, then it helped me. As far as adjectives, sir, after years of writing arrest reports, I fear adjectives. . .”

I agree with you entirely. Adjectives are only useful in the way Strunk and White illustrated with the quote. It is, however, true that in ordinary every day speech adjectives are overused. I was just warning that leaving them out of dialogue could strip it of the feeling of reality. But in body text (as opposed to dialogue) adjectives should be used sparingly if at all. Ditto for adverbs.

BTW, great rewrite on the guy with claustrophobia!


message 50: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments G. wrote: "leaving [adjectives] out of dialogue could strip it of the feeling of reality. But in body text (as opposed to dialogue) adjectives should be used sparingly. . ."

Good point. When we are beta readers or editors - for our own work or that of others - we need to remember that the dialogue (and monologue) of common, everyday folks like you and me is rife with cliches, idioms, adjectives, adverbs, over-used words, filler words, incorrect grammar, double negatives, etc. Not that we want to include ALL that stuff verbatim in our written rendition, but some of it is the spice that gives the dialogue life.

One of my beta readers pointed out the grammatical error of one of my characters who says, "To who?" She noted correctly that it should be "To whom?" But in the story this is a teenager speaking; even most adults, in conversation, will say "To who?" So in this case, my grammatically incorrect question will remain.


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