Writers on Writing?

21 02 2008

Anyone out there on the cyber-webs know of any good books by novelists on the process of writing novels? I’m particularly looking for sci-fi and fantasty authors because that’s what I respond to best and what I want to be writing.

Just thought I’d poll the hive mind to see if I can come up with anything good. I’ve got a draft of a novel that wants editing and the world of handbooks on writing is vast and is probably composed of 90% crap (thank you Sturgeon) or at least stuff that wont appeal to me/speak to me as a writer.

If anyone has any favorite books about writing, regardless of who the author is, I’d love to hear that, too!

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5 responses

21 02 2008
David

Here’s an article I wrote with 45 writing tricks and tips. If you find them useful, please actually link to them — I’m writing to create a sort of article database =).

Thanks!

25 02 2008
Lindsay

The thing I love best about writing tricks and tips in general is that, in every list I read there are always some tips that really strike me as useful and some that I disagree with! I really feel both the “Have a writing ritual” along with “Give yourself a writing space”. However, though I might feel different about a finished draft, while I’m in the beginning stages of writing I love playing around with fancy fonts. Giving the story its own font, especially one that fits the feeling of the story, betters transitions my head into “story mode”.

26 02 2008
Kevin Riggle

Ben Bova’s got a book about how to write SF (“The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells,” http://www.amazon.com/Craft-Writing-Science-Fiction-Sells/dp/0898796008/). It seemed good at the time I read it, but that was years ago, I don’t remember it clearly, and I haven’t much put it into practice, so YMMV. (I do remember, while taking Joe Haldeman’s SF writing class at MIT, thinking “I’ve heard a lot of this advice before,” so some of it must have stuck, even if I forgot its source. :-)

Orson Scott Card has a book about writing SF and fantasy too (called, appropriately, “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy,” http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Science-Fiction-Fantasy/dp/158297103X/). In fact, searching Amazon for “writing science fiction” turns up a bunch, including one by David Gerrold. The Bova is the only one I can personally vouch for, though. Best of luck!

1 11 2008
Robin

I suggest Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It is a wonderful book about techniques that is a funny read!

2 11 2008
Jacob

Robin, I second that. Bird by Bird is a terrific book! I lent a copy to someone and have yet to get it back, so maybe this is a good time to pick up a second copy.

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