The awesome co-hosts for the August 4 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!
When it comes to specific parts of the craft, the most used book on my (virtual) shelf is J. Lenni Dorner's Preparing to Write Settings that Feel Like Characters. I use the worksheet often to think through scenes and improve my worldbuilding.
For the broader craft, and for that "inspiration," I have kept Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction close at hand. It includes plenty of details for multiple aspects of writing and several good examples. Each technique is usually followed up by a list of authors who employ it successfully. When I first bought the book, I had not written anything except ideas in a journal. I also had not read more than a handful of authors in the genre (always returning to my favorites). The inspiration I have gotten from the book is as valuable as the advice.
I have a few others that have never been opened! Balancing time is difficult when there are so many books. What book do you go to? Do you think I would benefit from a new favorite?
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One of the best bits of advice I received in regard to the craft of writing was from my high school English teacher... "Read, for pity's sake...READ!!!" His point was that the wider one read, regardless of what one wished to write, would bring forth a reaction that would be reflected in one's own output. It would open the synapses...
I also attended workshops and writing groups when younger. Have never read a book on the craft. In the end, what improves writing is the doing of it. YAM xx
That's awesome that J. Lenni Dorner's book has helped you so much with world building. I could definitiely use help with that.ReplyDelete
I know J Lenni! He'll be excited to see you chose his book.ReplyDelete
Reading various genres is my go too. I have read one helpful book which my agent sent me by Donald Maas. For the life of me, I can't remember the name right now.ReplyDelete
I have always depended on variety reading. Although I will say that I have read a few popular books on the writing craft.ReplyDelete
Sonia from https://soniadogra.com
You're the second to recommend J Lenni. Now I definitely have to find his book. Thanks, Steph. Have a safe and happy day.ReplyDelete
I have one of your favorites. Nice to know we share the same interests. :-)ReplyDelete
Anna from elements of emaginette
"Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction" is definitely a useful book, especially for the writers of speculative fiction. But speculative fiction itself - novels and short stories - can be a wonderful learning experience too.ReplyDelete
I definitely have to check out Dorner's book because settings are always fundamental to my writing. Thanks for the recommendation, Steph! Have a good one!ReplyDelete
I like your point about not having time to read many writing books. Of course one of the things 'they' advise is reading a lot and learning form other authors about what works, what doesn't, style, etc'. So maybe every book we read is a writing book!ReplyDelete
You and Olga have both recommended Writing SFF. Maybe I should check it out.
So far, I've only written realistic contemporary stories. It would be fun to dip my toes into fantasy romance one day. Happy writing in August!ReplyDelete
Both of these sounds helpful. Thanks for the tip and for stopping by the blog.ReplyDelete
Wishing you a pleasant reading/writing evening.
I’m considering a plunge into SF—so I might need to take a look at that one! I have already bought and read J Lenni Dorner’s book, which is very helpful.ReplyDelete
Settings that Feel Like Characters sounds right up my alley. I'm fascinated by writers who are able to do that. I once attended a workshop where the writer talked about how to use a character's house to show who the character was. Like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde enter different sides of the same house depending on which character he is. And I always need to work on world building.ReplyDelete
I have had my fair shair of reading writerly books. One thing I noticed is that shortly after doing so, my creativity suffers greatly because I'm trying to apply the things I liked. But after a while, it smooths out.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I learn techniques by observing how my favorite authors apply their skills. :)
Natalie Goldberg's 'Writing down the Bones' and 'Old Friend from Far Away' helped me to pen down my memories in a coherent way. I don't think I would've managed to sift through the emotions without these books.ReplyDelete