Most people don’t start out by publishing a book. First, you have to develop what is generally known as a “writer’s platform” — you know, the tentacles of influence we send out into the universe (both virtual and actual) that creates a readership for our books. It’s the radio appearances, blogs, columns, television spots, magazine articles, and other “brand building” efforts you put out there that will make a publisher sit up and take notice.
Of course, while you’re doing all this you still need to be polishing your craft, making your writing as tight and compelling as it can possibly be. This weekend, we have several individuals who will be sharing with you some of their favorite writer’s resources. In the meantime, I wanted to put together a list of books that have helped me to become a better writer. If you have other favorites, I invite you to list them here in the comments.
Some presenters were kind enough to send me their favorites, and I’d like to list those here as well:
Devon Ellington (Dialogue Workshop)
MAKING A LITERARY LIFE by Carolyn See
ESCAPING INTO THE OPEN by Elizabeth Berg
SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS by Terry Brooks
THUNDER AND LIGHTENING by Natalie Goldberg
Kristen Johnson (Screenplay Workshop):
STORY by Robert McKee
SCREENPLAY by Syd Field
MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT by Linda Seger
WRITING SHORT SCRIPTS by William H. Phillips,
Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, Second Edition by Claudia H. Johnson,
Frank Creed (Manuscript Polishing Workshop)
The Bible, God. If Christian fiction’s not theologically correct, don’t waste the hope, ink, paper, and postage.
Topical Textbook. Any will do–great reference guide.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, by Strong (Duh). Doubles as an effective doorstop, and you won’t waste time hunting down that needed verse.
Book Marketing for the Financially Challenged, A.P. Fuchs. (Poor guy didn’t get teased at all in school.) Off-topic for polishing, but very handy.
The Marshall Plan for Getting Your Novel Published: 90 Strategies and Techniques for Selling Your Fiction, Evan Marshall. The first half of the book is MS polishing, and solid advice in the second half.
The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press. The editing bible, filled with good habits to form.
Roget’s Thesaurus, Revised by Robert L. Chapman. Be a wordsmith.