Sunday, April 25, 2010
I've bought my share of these books, some more helpful than others. If I had to make a list of my favorites (and I do because that's what I've decided to blog about today) I'd rate these books as my top 5.
1. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
I read this book for a college writing class many years ago (no I'm not going to say how many) and this is the book that really inspired me to write on a regular basis. It's the perfect book for a beginning writer. Goldberg's approach is more personal than academic, but tremendously helpful none the less.
2. Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney
Whitney is most well known for her juvenile books and her romantic suspense books. But she was also a good writing teacher - to me at least. Natalie Goldberg got me into the habit of writing. Phyllis Whitney showed me how to take all those scribblings and make a story out of them. This book was more about structure and organization than inspiration. Following Whitney's suggestions definitely put me another step closer to being ready for publication.
3. Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Market Guide
Actually Stuart's guide isn't the only one I use and I don't recommend that it should be the only guide any writer uses. I think it's a good guide to start with because it contains lots of small markets that are open to working with beginners. It also has information on writing conferences and organizations.
Market guides are expensive and buying two or three every year is out of my budget. I recommend buying your favorite market guide every year or two and then supplementing a library copy of another market guide when you need to check on a market not listed in that guide. If your library doesn't have a copy, they can request it through interlibrary loan.
4. Writing the Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin
This is a solid basic guide for writers who are trying to break into the inspirational romance market, especially if you are aiming at category romance publishers like Steeple Hill or Heartsong Presents. Martin has written extensively for both of these companies.
5. From the Inside Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You by Susan May Warren
This is my latest discovery. I enjoy Warren's books, so I looked her up on the internet. It turns out that she and fellow author Rachel Hauck started a blog and then a Ning community called My Book Therapy. Their Monday night chats are better than any class I've paid for. I actually take notes! The book was a recent purchase and I admit I haven't finished it yet, but I have no doubt that it belongs in this list.
There they are - my top five. If you're a writer, please leave a comment and tell me what's on your list.
Posted by Kara Lynn Russell at 2:17 PM