Really, though, if you’re struggling with your writing, those books are a good place to start. Here’s a little bit more on each of them.
Write, Publish, Repeat
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This book by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt has rocked right up the Amazon charts since it was released late last year. The book’s got 316 customer reviews, and probably more by now. Overall, quite the success!
Everyone else seems to think it’s real good so I threw it up there on my sidebar. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it, but honestly, I don’t read much more than a chapter of fiction a night now, I write so much.
Ogilvy on Advertising
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Wow, I loved this book! I paid $10.99 for it on Kindle, and it was worth it!
The book has more than 150 customer reviews with a 4.5 star average – pretty nifty!
Well, the guy was quite entertaining, so I figured I’d plunk down the cash for his wisdom. And it’s good. You get lots of advertising photos in here that will educate and entertain you. You also get clear and straight talk that makes you say “oh yeah” to the simplest of things.
Overall a good book and one that’s worthy of being on my little sidebar thingy over there.
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This is a great little book by Stephen King that I read way back in June of 2009.
In fact, I think it may well have been the last book I read in my crappy Chinese dorm room, the room I read about 75 books in that year. I left it there and I regret it – I doubt any Chinese people at the school have gotten any use out of it, but who knows?
Techniques of the Selling Writer
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Here’s another one I haven’t read but which a lot of people say is good. I guess I’ll have to get around to it here soon.
Dwight V. Swain wrote the book in 2012 and he’s got quite a bit of experience. He’s worked on newspapers and magazines and taught professional writing at the University of Oklahoma.
I’m sure it’s a great read just teeming with advice, but I can’t afford the $16.17 to buy it myself. Perhaps we can replace the lump of coal with it next year, however.
Save the Cat
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Blake Snyder wrote this book in 2005, four years before his death. Snyder was a screenwriter and also gave a lot of workshops for writers. There are plenty of sites telling you pretty much what this book does, and that’s how to break a story down into ‘beats.’
I like how you can fit a typical three-act structure into this format and get a great story out on the other end. Well, it’s not quite as easy as that, but of all the books on that little sidebar spinner, I think this is one that’s helped me a lot lately.
Writing the Breakout Novel
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This book was written by Donald Maass, someone that’s gotten vilified a lot lately by self-published authors. One of the main reasons for this is that the guy’s giving writing advice without really having written a breakout novel himself.
Now, a lot of these areas are interesting. A quick glance at the Table of Contents will tell you that we’ve got “God at Work in the World,” “Sidekicks and Narrators,” and “What Makes a Character Larger-Than-Life?”
There’s a lot more than that, and I can’t help you’ll pick up some great tips if you check this book out. Remember, I haven’t picked up any of these tips, so if you’re trying to get ahead of me, this might be the answer.
2k to 10k
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Authors always raved about this book when I was still a member of Kboards. I’m not sure what they were raving about – as this is yet another book I’ve not read – but I can’t help but think it was because the book was helpful.
Check out this helpful book that really focuses on plotting and building your story from the ground-up. There are some people that write from the seat of their pants, and perhaps there’re some tips here that can help them as well.
Personally, I write around 5,000 words a day. The most I ever did was 17,000 words in one day. I rarely have a day when I don’t write. This book probably has some good advice, and I will admit I just bought it while writing this. Hey, it’s $0.99!
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
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I need to read this book. The problem’s that it’s $8.89 right now, and that’s just a little bit more than I like to spend.
I really should read this book, however. See, I don’t pay editors – I do all my own editing. And I write fiction.
I like some of the chapter titles in this book as well. It looks like they’re going to be discussing ways to make your dialogue flow better, breaking up scenes so they work better, and working on Point of View (POV) issues.
I’m sure they get into some of the nuts and bolts of copy-editing as well, but here it sounds like it’s really focusing on structural editing and whatnot. Overall, if it wasn’t so expensive I think I’d buy it.
How Not to Write a Novel
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Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman wrote this book in 2009, and it will pretty much do what its title suggests – smack you upside the head and say “listen, dumbass – you’re doing it wrong!”
That can really help you. Right now the book has 100 reviews, most of them good.
Lots of people write novels – any search on Amazon will tell you that – and a lot of them just aren’t up to par. I’m sure many of my books could fall into that category.
If you can spruce up your novel – shorten it, clean it up, kick it in the ass, and generally get it to working for you and not against you – then there’s a good chance people will buy it.
Will this book help you in that regard? I don’t know – I haven’t read it. But if I had $10.23 I might give it a harder look. Perhaps your pocketbook isn’t feeling as hard of a pinch as mine.
The Writer’s Journey
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Christopher Vogel wrote this book and he wants to take you on a mythic journey through the world you’re about to create.
Honestly, this book looks pretty good (I haven’t read it) and I think it might be one of the more interesting of the books listed here (the chapter titles are certainly shorter).
Jeez, I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued! Unfortunately you can only buy this book in print, and it costs $15.22. Boo-hoo!
Well, a guy can dream, can’t he? And that, my friends, might be the best writing advice of all.