By Kathie Felix
Most of us have a good number of books on writing in our personal library.
Author Barbra Annino recently sent in a list of the titles that helped her with her own writing. They include:
Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
Don’t Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden
Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
Murder and Mayhem by D.P. Lyle
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
How I Got Published: Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own Words by Ray White and Duane Lindsay
Barb’s list got me thinking about my own bookshelves. About half of my books on writing were recommended by writers I know, and half were written by writers I admire or find intriguing.
Among the titles recommended to me were a few of those on Barb’s list, as well as:
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
Among the impulse purchases in my stash:
Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America, edited by Sue Grafton
The Practical Writer by Therese Eiben and Mary Gannon
Writers on Writing by the New York Times and John Darnton
On Writing by Stephen King
I was fascinated when I heard that Stephen King had written a book about writing. In my college days, a couple of his early books seemed like the first real “page turners” I’d ever encountered. In my bookstore days, I often checked the fiction aisle just to see how much shelf space was allotted to his work that week. Afterward, I would do a little mental math – multiplying the space by the number of stores in the chain that employed me – and then would think about what that kind of retail real estate might mean. It was a thrill when my sister sent an audio version of On Writing, especially since Mr. K. was reading his own book aloud. That was a nice touch; it seemed like he was actually in the room (or the car) providing advice.
Tell us: What books on writing have helped you the most? And how have they been helpful?
Barbra Annino is the author of Opal Fire, a Stacy Justice gemstone mystery. A Chicago native, she freelances for a variety of publications, writing about health, food and travel.
Kathie Felix is the managing editor of the SinC blog.