Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Verdicts Are In

The first verdict: the majority of my readers are scaredy-cats. A couple people emerged from their anonymity, but many many did not. But that's ok, you're still welcome. :)

The second verdict: I can't decide which writing books to request. All of your suggestions were wonderful and I was only able to eliminate three or four (for various reasons).

Here's my list, in order of preference:

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.) by Francine Prose

Plot & Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) (Write Great Fiction) by James Scott Bell

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints (Write Great Fiction) by Nancy Kress

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Gotham Writers' Workshop

The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner

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


Did you notice I slipped one in that no one recommended? Stupid Amazon and it's endless supply of books... I really, really want the first five on the list. Well, who am I kidding? I really, really want all of them, but I think the first five will be a good start. I think it's funny the book with "the first five" in the title is number six on my list, but I think that's just my lack of sleep talking.

Thank you all for your suggestions!


ETA: This just in. My benefactor has offered to purchase all of the above books. :)

I have a wonderful mother.

20 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

Orson Scott Card has a great book on writing, though I can't recall the title and I loaned my copy out several years ago.

Melanie's Mom said...

I just want you to be able to support me in my old age with your lucrative writing career...

Capt Gary Hooyenga said...

But did she check in with the captain? Not that he would object but it might get to the $50 charge for an extra suitcase!

Melanie Avila said...

Thank you mom!

Gary, I have several heavy things I'm bringing home - including books I've borrowed from you guys - so the new books will take their place.

Problem solved. :D

Janna Qualman said...

Your mom rocks!

Nadine said...

Those books looks awesome! I was going to suggest On Writing by Stephen King but I saw you already had it.

Melanie's Mom - You rock!!!

lostgirl said...

Hey does your mom want another daughter??? :D That totally rocks you're going to get all the books...

I want your mom.. :D

Jes said...

will your mom adopt me? Poor Boz, every time he goes home he has to bring back so many books, he always goes over on his baggage.

Melanie Avila said...

Yes, she's a good mom. Especially when it A) involves books, and B) could potentially further my career.

:)

Melanie Avila said...

Jes, we'll just have to plan a get together after I get back. Then we can sit on the beach and read writing books.

Zoe Winters said...

awwww you do have a wonderful mother. LMAO though, she's totally mercenary! :P Look at that!

Zoe Winters said...

I THINK the Orson Scott Card book is "worlds of wonder" but I could be getting it confused.

Melanie Avila said...

I have to share... I emailed my mom to tell her there were several requests for adoption and she said, "A few books I can afford. Another daughter I cannot!"

Hee hee.

spyscribbler said...

Melanie's mom is awesome! :-) I found the book I was thinking of: Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood. That one book has probably affected my writing the most. One of the best, definitely.

I LOVED that Noah Lukeman book.

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, I think I saw that one in my amazon search, but I had to draw the line someplace.

I'm already excited for all my reading. I think the editing one will be first on my list; possibly even on the plane ride home.

Jen said...

I have a copy of the Donald Maass book, and I've really liked it a lot, FYI. :D

Happy reading...I'm totally jelus.

Melanie Avila said...

Good to know. :)

colbymarshall said...

heehee- benefactor..hehe!

Anonymous said...

The Donald Maass book is smegging phenomenal. I just went through a stack of how-to-write books and it was far and away my favorite, with the possible exception of The Art of Fiction.

Melanie Avila said...

I just double checked to make sure I ordered the Art of Fiction. I did. Sweet.