Saturday, February 19, 2011

Must Reads for New Writers

     I mentioned in my first post that I've purchased a lot of books targeted towards first time writers. When I first purchased these books I read them immediately and was convinced that I would find that one golden nugget of inspiration I needed to finally sit down and write my first book. Of course that never happened. As I stated in my first post, purchasing these books was just another form of procrastination for me, but that doesn't mean that they didn't provide me useful information. For some writers information just isn't enough. Sometimes you need a strong driving force to sit you down and get those words on paper. 

     Whatever your situation or writing method, I think once you're ready to write it's a good idea to have as much information about the writing business and process handy. So even if you're not ready I think it's a good idea to peruse your local book store and buy a book or two targeted towards writers. You'll be surprised at how many tidbits of advice in these books you might end up incorporating in your everyday life. Although it's taken me several years to find the courage to write, I've gotten into the habit of looking for the publishers and reading the dedications of books written in the genre I'm interested in breaking into (authors often thank their agents in their book dedications). I've also made it a point to become more aware of the types of books being published in my genre to be more aware of what is currently popular with readers. These are all tips I've picked up over the years. 

     There are four books that I find myself referring back to a lot lately. I hope they will help any of you out there who may be going through any writing or procrastinating stages as well.

This book has a lot of great inspirational advice from published and best selling authors. Aside from the inspirational advice this book also provides the reader with a lot of information regarding the publishing process--from finding an agent to getting to the end stage of your book on book store shelves.

This book is a great example of the old adage-"Don't judge a book by its cover". There are those of you who can probably pick up this challenge to complete a rough draft in 30 days and those of you who can't. However, this book has a lot of great structural advice when it comes to starting and completing your book. For those of you looking for some definitive structure than this is a great place to start. There are also some follow up books in this series dedicated to editing your manuscripts.

This book is great for those people who may feel a little overwhelmed by Book in a Month. This book is just as helpful and structured without having a daunting timeline. It also provides a lot of "coffee breaks" so that you can make sure there are no major holes in your plot.

The title of this book pretty much speaks for itself. Its best use is for learning more about the publishing process. It does have some great writing advice but it's targeted more towards those writers with a finished manuscript. If you have questions about query letters, submitting to editors or the overall process from submission to print you'll find the answers here.

     So there you have it--my current list of books that are great starts for aspiring writers. Of course I'm sure there are plenty of books that deserve to be on this list, but I'm a self proclaimed newbie. What's important to take away from this is to get yourself started in one way or the other and educate yourself. In a few weeks from now or even days  this list may be completely different or even expanded. For now I'm trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

Write to you soon,

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