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Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Back to the List

Several days ago, I mentioned a faculty member of the Glorieta Christian writers conference who was pulling together an impossible list of books.  These lists are always interesting to me. I’ve read many of the books on this list and formed my own opinions about some of the books (you will see that I have a bit of diplomacy here—I’m not going to tell you which ones I don’t like).  If you read these entries very often you will know I recommend books which I like and see value. And the others? We just won’t talk about them.

I’ve arrived in New Mexico for the conference. Finding any time for writing new entries is going to be a challenge. My day is scheduled almost completely from the minute I get up until late at night. I return home on Sunday afternoon.

Just so you can share in the list, I got permission to include it here. One book caught my eye—that I don’t have on my book shelf: James A. Michener’s Writer’s Handbook. I’m familiar with some of Michener’s novels so I cruised over to Amazon.com and looked up this book. Like many consumers I read the reviews of other readers. While the book released over ten years ago (1992) all of the reviews were in the negative category.  I might take a look at this book at some point—but the review gave me a bit of hesitation.

Are there writing books not on the list that you think should be considered? Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’m off to get a bit of rest so I can hit the ground running in the morning for this conference.

 

5 Comment:

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Gina Holmes Left a note...

Terry, great discussion. Browne and King's Self-Editing was the best twelve or so dollars I've ever spent. Writing the breakout Novel from Maass, is fantastic. I didn't see Collins' Getting into Character. I'm in the middle of that now and it's excellent. I also keep Keyes' The Writer's Book of Hope around. Invaluble for those who wonder if we'll ever get the call. John Gardner I didn't see on the list but his book, can't think of the title but it's something to do with becoming a novelist was wonderful. There are so many. I sometimes think I've read them all but that list assures me I have not. I just received Techniques of the Selling Writer and James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure in the mail yesterday. Can't wait. Thanks Terrry. This post is turning into a book.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Dineen A. Miller Left a note...

Hi Terry,
When I first started writing I read The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit by Elizabeth Lyon and The Complete Guide to Writing and Selling the Christian Novel by Penelope Stokes. I found them very helpful in getting started. Like Gina I just finished Maass' book and now plan to do the wookbook. Some other books that I've purchased upon recommendation: Story by Robert McKee, The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, and 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. Also, the Write Great Fiction line from Writer's Digest (Bell's book is one of them) seem to be excellent also. I hope you'll publish the list when it's complete. I'd love to see it.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

I'm thinking of Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages. Write Away by Elizabeth George. Dialogue by Chiarella. Your Novel Proposal From Creation to Contract by ?. So many books to choose from. I was surprised not to see Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Market, but maybe it's assumed that's a staple.

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Steve Laube Left a note...

Terry, the Michner Handbook is a fascinating look at the editorial process. I have this oversized book and treasure it. It shows a portion of one of Michner's original manuscript, and then shows the editor's comments, and then shows Michner's rewrites. These are pictures of the actual pages. So if you really want to see, firsthand, how much editing Michner needed AND the work of a top editor, this is the book to buy. As far as anything specific...very little included. Instead I look at it as a snapshot.

 
At 5:53 PM, Blogger Steve Laube Left a note...

Terry, the Michner Handbook is a fascinating look at the editorial process. I have this oversized book and treasure it. It shows a portion of one of Michner's original manuscript, and then shows the editor's comments, and then shows Michner's rewrites. These are pictures of the actual pages. So if you really want to see, firsthand, how much editing Michner needed AND the work of a top editor, this is the book to buy. As far as anything specific...very little included. Instead I look at it as a snapshot.

 

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