My Six Basic Writing Craft References

I promised in an earlier Q & A session to share a scaled down list of references I found most helpful in my self-learning effort. I started my journey with a creative non-fiction memoir, a style defined as using tools of good fiction: scenic descriptions, dialog, character development, story structure to make non-fiction more interesting. From a much longer list of references, here are the six I consider basic. Other authors will have their own.

I’ve included a more specific list for memoir writing and then references as you move toward publishing and staying current.

Alberts, Laurie. 2010. Showing and Telling. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books.

Rubie, Peter. 1996. The Elements of Storytelling: How to Write Compelling Fiction. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Weiland, K.M. 2011. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. Scottsbluff, NE: PenForASword Publishing.

Weiland, K.M. 2013. Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. Scottsbluff, NE: PenForASword Publishing.

Marshall, Evan. 1998. The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writers Digest Books.

Hanson, Ginger. 2014. She Sat He Stood: What Do Your Characters while They Talk. Soderra Publishing.

For those embarking on their memoir:

Karr, Mary. 2015. The Art of Memoir. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher

Barrington, Judith. 2002. Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art. Portland, OR: The Eighth Mountain Press.

Daniel, Lois. 1997. How to Write Your Own Life Story: The Classic Guide for the Nonprofessional Writer. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press.

As you move toward Publication:

Browne, Renni and King, Dave. 2004. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit yourself into Print New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher.

Friedman, Jane. 2015. Publishing 101. MBA For Writers.

Sedwick, Helen. 2014. Self-Publishing Legal Handbook. Santa Rosa, CA: Ten Gallon Press

Writing Software.

 ProwritingAid. An easy to use, editing aid that loads right into your MS Word task bar. An absolute essential that can save you hundreds of dollars if you publish. It will cost you $50 a year but it will check your grammar, spelling, style consistency, dialog tags, clichés, word usage, sentence length and structure, and a lot more. Your publishing house editor should be able to price you out at the Copyedit level for twelve to fifteen hundred dollars rather than say you need a developmental or line edit for more than twice that amount. It’s a great program–but that doesn’t mean you won’t need a professional book editor. You Will! But it should make sure you only pay for the level edit you need.

Keeping Up.

In print: The Writer and Writer’s Digest

The book references I’ve listed will give you a solid background on the basic principles of writing, It’s important to keep up with trends and stay engaged in the business of writing. I subscribed to two craft magazines: The Writer and Writers Digest, expecting to choose one. I kept both. They cover similar topics, but with a unique approach. The articles are brief, professionally written, almost always on topics of interest to new writers and experienced professionals. I read all issues, cover to cover, and have saved them all for the last six years. I often dig back into the stack.

On Line: Website of K.M. Weiland–– www.kmweiland.com

                 Website of Jane Friedman–– www.janefriedman.com