Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Books About Writing

on November 1, 2011

What are your favorite books about writing? This is a question which is often asked among writers. The following are my top four and my reasons.

1. Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. I’m not a big fan of Donald Maass books such as: Writing the Breakout Novel Book and Workbook. But, I did find a lot to love in his The Fire in Fiction. I drafted a middle grade mystery/suspense for boys novel using Fire In Fiction. (Work-in-Progress at the moment).  And, I credit this one for helping me to increase the stakes while plotting. (Something which is not my strong point). The book has concrete examples, as well as  pages of exercises at the back of each chapter. It was the exercises that helped me the most.

2. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. I’ve been using this one for a long time. The Writer’s Journey teaches the Hero’s Journey. It focuses on screewriters, but I think this resource works well for any writer. And, as a children’s and YA writer, I found it to be extremely valuable and spent a lot of time reading this one as I drafted and redrafted STAINED GLASS SUMMER.

3. Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison. I heard Darcy speak at an SCBWI retreat, and although I didn’t take her workshop at that retreat, I did get her book. I wouldn’t revise a manuscript without this one. It’s a workbook and she walks you through everything you need to do for a strong revision.

4. The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. There are a lot of inspirational books about writing. But, my favorite is this one because it addresses so many of the fears writers face.  Fears that occur at all stages of the writing journey–from initial drafting to the moment the book is available to readers. I’m taking another look at this one as my anxiety starts to build about release date for STAINED GLASS SUMMER.  I didn’t think I was nervous about the December 30, 2011 release date, but when I turned the calendar page and realized, STAINED GLASS SUMMER will be available in two months, I had little flutters of butterflies.  I’m beginning to think those back-to-school teaching dreams I once had–you know the ones, the dreams about encountering a group of kids in a classroom before the class was set up, I think those dreams are about to make an appearance, only with a new title: Book Release Day Dreams.

I didn’t list books about marketing your writing because I think that’s a whole other discussion, and until we have a book that is well-written, there is nothing to market!

So, what are your favorite books about writing? And why?

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4 responses to “Books About Writing

  1. Susan Lampe says:

    Favorite books begin with those by Natalie Goldberg, especially “Writing Down the Bones.” When writing and teaching memoir, I have relied on Judith Barrington’s “Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art” and Tristine Rainer’s “Your Life As Story.” Orson Scott Card’s “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” has helped me with world creation and organization. I especially enjoy books about women writing and my favorites there are: “Writing of Women” by Phyllis Rose and “Writing A Woman’s Life” by Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

  2. Mindy says:

    Tristine Rainer’s “Your Life As Story” is a great one for memoir!

  3. Just ordered my second copy of Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Teachers in the high school would use it for their writing students (with some colorful words ommitted). Since so many of us know him, it’s very cool to get his take on the craft.

  4. Mindy says:

    “On Writing” is a great one for high school students!

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