Books on Writing: Regional member favorites!

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Woo-HOO, the sun is shining, the horrible storm is OVER, and this weekend’s forecast looks good, so I will be spending Saturday morning on my front porch starting another novel rewrite!  Only problem is . . . I have NO CLUE how to begin this rewrite.




The only thing I know is that something is wrong with the underlining plot in my manuscript.  Something very, very fundamentally wrong, but I have no idea what to do.  This has happened to me many, many times.  How did I get through it before? 

By reading a book on writing. 

Seriously.  It’s amazing how many times the answer has jumped out at me after reading a good how-to.  So, seeing how I’m stuck in No Clue Land, I thought it’d be a good time to share some of our regional member’s favorites! 

Starting with . . .

Regional author Pat McNeill who loves The Only Writing Series You’ll Ever Need:  WRITING CHILDREN’S BOOKS by Lesley Bolton and Lea Wait:

Whenever author Carole Lindstrom needs inspiration, she turns to WRITING PICTURE BOOKS:  A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul:

And finally, Amie Rose Rotruck, author of YOUNG WIZARDS HANDBOOK: How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-On Activities for Monster Hunters . . .

. . . shared this with me:

    My favorite writing book is more of a reference manual than a how-to. There are a series of books called THE WRITERS GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN [insert time period of choice.]  Since a lot of fantasy takes place in a medieval setting, my favorite is THE WRITERS GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES, but I like reading all of them. They approach time periods from a writer’s point of view, so it really forces you to think about how your character would spend their day, what would they eat, how would they sleep. Details like that are what you really need to make your writing realistic.

Awesome, thanks Pat, Carole, and Amy!


What about you?  What’s your favorite writing how-to book?  Either share it in the comments below or send it to me (laura.bowers at so I can use it in a future blog entry!

And are you stuck on something with your manuscript like I am and don’t have any clue how to fix it?  If so, please share your concerns with me, and I’ll find someone who can answer it!

Until then, happy writing and have a great, sunny, (hopefully) rain-free weekend!


About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She clearly likes run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
This entry was posted in Author/Illustrator Events, Book Talk. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Books on Writing: Regional member favorites!

  1. Mark Herr says:

    An editor reccomended Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress to me last year. I found it worthwhile.

    My daughter bought a copy of Spilling Ink A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. While geared towards the younger writer, I enjoyed it as well and found some of their exercises helpful.

  2. A book I like is “Creating Characters Kids Will Love” by Elaine Marie Alphin.

  3. Marcie Atkins says:

    I, too, love Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. I must say, while I’ve been knee-deep in revisions for my YA novel-in-progress, I have loved reading Chapter After Chapter by Heather Sellers.

    • Laura Bowers says:

      Hmm, sounds like I really need to check that one out seeing how I’m in the same boat. Good luck with your revisions! 🙂

  4. One of the most entertaining books on writing that I’ve read is A Broom Of One’s Own by Nancy Peacock
    It is not specifically about writing for children, but her advice is priceless nonetheless.

  5. ediehemingway says:

    I agree with Amie Rotruck that the The WRITERS’ GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN… series is very helpful. My co-author, Jackie Shields, and I found THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE 1800s invaluable when working on our two Civil War middle grade novels.

  6. My favorite writing book was written by a dancer: Twyla Tharp’s THE CREATIVE HABIT. For the past couple of years I’ve been using her exercises in my online Writers Center workshop, Making Time to Write in an Impossibly Busy Life. I’m looking forward to checking out some of these other suggestions!

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