Recommended books for novelists
- Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain -- a must-read book on the mechanics of writing scenes and structuring your book to hook the reader
- Writing for Emotional Impact, by Karl Iglesias. -- Great book! Tells you how to manipulate the emotions of your reader to great effect.
- Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish, by James Scott Bell
- Book In A Month, by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, by Lawrence Block
- Stein On Writing
- Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver
- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
- Finding Your Voice by Les Edgerton
- The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein
- Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D
- Page by Page by Heather Sellers
- The Shortest Distance between You and a Published Book: 20 steps to success by Susan Page
- Formatting and Submitting your Manuscript by NEFF, et al.
- Writer's Market
- If You Want To Write : A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit - Brenda Ueland
- The Writer's Journey : Mythic Structure for Storytellers and
- Screenwriters - Christopher Vogler
- How to write tales of fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
- Writers on Writing
- The Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing edited by Tom Clark et al
- Telling lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block
- You Can Write a Novel by James V. Smith
- The Fiction Writers Brainstormer by James V. Smith
- The Writer's Partner by Martin Roth
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published
- The Writer's Guide to Fantasy Literature published by Writer's Digest
- How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N Frey (books I and II)
- Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood
- What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter
- The Writer's Idea Book by Jack Heffron
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King
- Your Novel Proposal: From Creation to Contract (The Complete Guide to Writing Query Letters, Synopses, and Proposals for Agents and Editors) by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook
- Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
- Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew by Ursula Le Guin
- If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland
- Living the Writer's Life by Eric Maisel
- The Complete Guide to Editing Your Fiction by Michael Seidman
- How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling (How to Write a Damn Good Novel) by James N. Frey
- Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing) by Nancy Kress
- Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within by Dennis Palumbo
- The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (14th Edition) by Chicago Editorial Staff
- Word Work: Surviving and Thriving As a Writer by Bruce Holland Rogers
- So You Want To Write by Marge Piercy
- Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing: A Novelist Looks at His Craft by David Morrell
Books on World Building
TrudyG wrote: So, does anyone have any good book recommendations for worldbuilding, in any categories of world creation, maps, culture, creatures, beings, political units, etc? I have the start of a collection of them, and I’m always interested in new ones. Note that all the ones I list have at least some things in them I’ve found useful, even if it’s basics.
Available at Amazon:
- Creating Life: The Art of Worldbuilding Book 1 by Randy Ellefson: Looks at creating creatures, beings, and some elements of culture.
- Creating Places: The Art of Worldbuilding Book 2 by Randy Ellefson: Looks at creating worlds, continents, countries, etc. including basics of mapping.
(Note that both the above do have a potentially irritating amount of references to the author’s website, but they can be useful.)
- Way With Worlds Book 1: Crafting Great Fictional Settings by Steven Savage: Looks at basic philosophies, essentials, magic & tech, religion, sex, species, and characters.
- Way With Worlds Book 2: Details and Discussions by Steven Savage: Looks at heroes, villains, & author’s pets, utopias & dystopias, conflicts, communication, tools & techniques, skills, and originality.
Available on Smashwords
- Pantheon Building by Julie Ann Dawson: Looks at creating gods and religions, for both stories and RPGs
- Worldbuilding 101 by Julie Ann Dawson: Looks at the basics of worldbuilding for both stories and RPGs; based on a workshop that she holds.
Both the above are short and were created more for RPGs, but can be useful for fiction worldbuilding as well.
Storyworld First by Jill Williamson is the best!
Favorite SF books for reading/inspiration (feel free to add yours)
- The Childe Cycle by Gordon R. Dickson (also known as the Dorsai books. Tactics of Mistake and Soldier, Ask Not are very good)
- Cities in Flight, by James Blish (imagine New York city in flight through space...)
- The Riverworld series, by Philip Jose Farmer (imagine everyone who ever lived on Earth suddenly all being resurrected on the banks of a million-mile long river...)
- Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
- Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
- Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card
- Pastwatch, Orson Scott Card
- Startide Rising, by David Brin
- Eon and Eternity, two excellent, thought-provoking novels by Greg Bear
- Last Legends of Earth, an epic SF adventure by A. A. Attanasio
- Replay, by Ken Gibson
Favorite Fantasy books for reading/inspiration (feel free to add yours)
- Black Easter and the Day After Judgement, by James Blish (what if the forces of heaven lost?)
- Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson (fantasy about Ogier du Danske)
- The Compleat Enchanter, Le Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
- The Gift, by Patrick O'Leary (wonderful adventure tale with magic)
- Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card
- Lyonesse, by Jack Vance
- The Green Pearl, by Jack Vance
- Madouc, by Jack Vance
- The Black Company, by Glen Cook (great fantasy series with terrific, memorable characters and neat concepts)
- Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- Stardust, Neil Gaiman
- The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
- 9 Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny
- The Hollowing, Mythago Wood and Lavondyss, by Robert Holdstock