Friday, September 22, 2006

'How To' Reading List

In no particular order, and books found doing whilst searching on Amazon UK:
  • How To Write A Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey
  • How To Write & Sell Your First Novel, by Oscar Collier with Frances Spatz Leighton
  • The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) by Jack M. Bickham
I also read an ebook called: How To Write A Book, Quickly by Nick Daws.

And I read The Internet: A Writer's Guide, by Jane Dorner. But I know about the internet, and I know that writing books about the internet usually doesn't work, as they get out of date far too quickly. So I don't recommend this book.

When it comes to the 'how to write a novel' books listed above, now that's a different story (apologies).

Strangely, even though they were all written by different authors with very different styles, and different emphases on the art of writing, all the books above were useful. I recommend them all, particularly if you don't want your novel to be a masterpiece. (I also recommend Nick Daws ebook, simply because I only need to commit 28 days to the process, and it contained lots and lots of smart short-cuts to the process of writing and generating ideas.)

Agreed, I haven't written a novel yet. But when I do, I will base my efforts on what I learned from these books, especially Nick Daws ebook.

As for the benefits of reading 'how to' books, again you can learn by doing, or you can learn by 'reading about doing'. I usually choose the latter option every time, but can see the value in the 'learn by doing' method too. Because, ultimately, writing is doing.

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