Resources – Books About Writing


Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer — James V. Smith, Jr.

(Strategies, tools, exercises, graphs, checklists, and solutions “for creating full-force fiction.” Very analytical, in depth. FN)


20 Master Plots — Ronald B. Tobias

(Master plots, from “Quest” to “Wretched Excess,” and how to build them. FN)


The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Vol. 1 — edited by Darin Park and Tom Dullemond

(A must-have for fantasy writers, a compendium of advice and resource material, centered around medieval technology/times. Lots of tools for world-building. FN)


How to Write Dazzling Dialogue — James Scott Campbell

(Good, clear, nuts and bolts approach. Clear examples. FN)


The Random House Thesaurus of Slang — Esther Lewin& Albert E. Lewin

(Words, both common and obscure, have sometimes dozens of slang alternatives. Good cross referencing. FN)


Flip Dictionary — Barbara Ann Kipfer, Phd.

(“For when you know what you want to say, but can’t think of the word.” FN)


A Swim in the Pond in the Rain – George Saunders

(A literary master class on what makes great stories work. BB)

Story — Robert McKee

(The definitive screenwriting text. BB)

The Artful Edit – On the Practice of Editing Yourself  – Susan Bell

The Art of X-Ray Reading – Roy Peter Clark

Children’s Writer’s Word Book – Alijandra Mogilner


Writer’s Guide to Character Traits — Linda N. Edelstein, Phd., second edition

(Profiles of human personality types and associated behaviors. Covers adults and kids; love, marriage, and disorders. Helps flesh out characters’ personalities. FN)


A Writer’s Guide to Characterization — Victoria Lynn Schmidt

(Archetypes, heroic journeys, and other elements of dynamic character development. Uses familiar film and story examples, animal metaphors. FN)


45 Master Characters — Victoria Lynn Schmidt

(Mythic models for creating original characters. Presents both good and bad sides of each type. FN)


The Positive Trait Thesaurus, a Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes – Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

(Building characters by choosing the right attributes. Gives popular culture examples. FN)


The Negative Trait Thesaurus, a Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws – Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

(Covers the dark side of human behavior from the merely timid to the truly evil. FN)


The Emotion Thesaurus, a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression — Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

(Covers a multitude of emotions from acceptance to worthlessness, and explains how to show them and modulate them. FN)


Characters and Viewpoint – Orson Scott Card

(The famous science fiction author on tools to invent and develop characters and how to handle their viewpoints. BB)


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