This past weekend I have been working on a wish list of items for Christmas. Yes, for some this may seem early to be working on this, but I have family members that like to shop early and want to know what to buy so we work on wish lists in October.
Years ago, as a new author, I would request books on the writing craft. As with books on any topic, some were helpful and others not so much. My main complaint with many of these books is they don’t give out a lot of good, useable information. There is too much fluff, history, or filler information. I want just the meat of the subject without all the other stuff. I want to know how the information pertains to actually writing a novel or more importantly, my novel.
So this year, I have been taking a look at a few books to perfect my writing because even as a published author, I know there are always things that I can learn or perfect.
So for today’s topic, I wanted to go over a few reference books I already own and a couple that I saw on Amazon that piqued my interest.
Books I own
Flip Dictionary and a Descriptionary – both these books work in the same way. They work in the opposite way of the dictionary for when you know what you want to say but can’t think of the word. The Descriptionary is broken up by subject. The flip dictionary also does it by subject as well as listing words sort of like a thesaurus.
Baby Naming book – I have two of them that I flip through when looking for character names. Having an actual book works better than scrolling through names on the computer in my opinion.
The Howdunit Series – Body Trauma and Deadly Doses – I received these two books as gifts back when I first started writing and love them. Body Trauma is a writer’s guide to wounds and injuries while Deadly Doses is a guide to poisons. The latter was helpful when creating my own poison in my The Elemental trilogy.
Fantasy Reference book & The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy (Vol 1 & 2) – While all of these have interesting information, these books fall more along the line of the books I mentioned with more “fluff” and less actual practical info.
The Writer’s Journey – This is an excellent book to read to understand story structure. It is chock-full of examples from George Lucas and Steven Spielburg. While it isn’t necessarily a reference book, it is well worth a read.
Newly purchased books
I recently purchased a Kindle book called Writing about Magic. It is book 3 in a series of 12 books by author Rayne Hall. I have not had a chance to read the book but for a mere 99 cents, I figured it couldn’t hurt to buy a reference book with 4.6 star rating. If I like it, I may just have to pick up a few of the other books in the series.
Books on Amazon
Here are a few books I saw on Amazon that I thought might be interesting to read.
It never hurts to read up on different techniques and viewpoints on the writing craft. I am sure there are many other helpful (and not so helpful) books out there. If you have a favorite, please share it in the comment section.