Saturday, May 23, 2009

One Gift Book

If you knew a writer, unpublished, and you wanted to give him or her a book, what would it be?

Would it be a quick and easy to follow grammar book? My favorite is Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.

Would you choose a book for plot structure, like The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler? A great book I have on my resource shelf.

Maybe Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel by Jeffrey Marks or The Marshall Plan for Getting Your Novel Published by Evan Marshall or On Writing by Stephen King - all of which are on my shelf (along with tons of others).

But which ONE would you give?

For my aspiring writer last Sunday, I gave Hooked by Les Edgerton. A great book on starting your story, be it a book or a short story.

What about you?
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  1. I have a great many how-to books from my earlier writing days but I think I would give a copy of Chris Roerden's book, Don't Sabotage Your Submissions. No matter how good your manuscript is, you need to know how to present it to an agent or editor. I also like Chris's Don't Murder Your Mystery.

  2. Hey I remember seeing this post title on my Free Spirit blogroll last week - the one you yanked in a "yikes!" hurry cuz it posted on the wrong date. LOL Too funny, and been there done that, got the Yikes! T-shirt.

    Ehm, I'd give an aspiring author a gift of Stephen King's book, "On Writing." It not only has the best tutorial on good writing in the second half of the book I've ever read, the first half of the book is autobiographical and lets people know that he too, yes the Mighty King himself, struggled to "make it" for many years, in such poor financial state he often could not afford to pay his phone bill.

    His first breakout novel, "Carrie," his wife discovered the manuscript thrown away in the trash can - King didn't think it was very good and gave up on it. She read it, loved it, and encouraged him to submit it.

    The rest is history.

    The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

  3. I have King's book, but not Roerden's. I'll put that one on my Look For list. Thanks Jean.

  4. Jean beat me to it. I tell all the unpublished writers I critique or meet in workshops about Chris Roerden's books, Don't Murder Your Mystery or Don't Sabotage Your Submission. You don't need both--Sabotage is just an all-genre expansion of Murder.


  5. I've heard of Roerden's book, but had not bought it. After having it recommended by both Jean and Patricia, I will definitely buy it.

  6. Oh, I love Michael Larsen's How To Write a Book Proposal and another book -- I can't remember the author -- called The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction.

    Thanks for your recommendations!

  7. I have Larsen's book, but not The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction.

    I love getting book recommendations. Thanks Alexis.

  8. I love the King book, need to check out Roerden's. I also like The First five Pages:A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman


  9. I'd like a grammar book please. As a non-native English speaker, I'm always anxious to make sure my writing is filled with less mistakes.

    In Quest of Theta Magic

  10. Nancy, I've heard of Lukeman, of course, but not his book. I'll add that one to my Look At list, too.

    Enid, for basic grammar problems with examples, I'd go with Grammar Gir's Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.

  11. I can't think of a single book on writing that I would give to a new writer. That's not to say there are no good books on writing - it's the "single" part that stumps me. I've read a lot of good ones, but no single one jumps right out as me as the best or most important one.

    I think if I was going to give a writer a book related to writing it would be Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss, simply because it is such a delightful read.

  12. Proofread before posting. Proofread before posting. Kicks self.

    That is, no single one jumps right out AT me as the best.


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