Happy Friday! It is a gorgeous spring morning and the eve of the Preakness Stakes (you didn’t think I’d let too much time go between blog posts to mention horses, did you?). Of course I’m rooting for Orb. After 35 years, we are way overdue for a Triple Crown winner!
As big a day as tomorrow is, today is even bigger! I am happy to introduce yet another new feature. Welome to our inaugural “Readers Respond”, where Laura and I ask our members questions that glean advice, pointers, hints, magic spells and potions about all things writing and illustrating. This week we wonder:
What is your favorite writing how-to book and why?
Lindsey Falkowski I like THE BUSINESS OF WRITING FOR CHILDREN. It’s clear and concise with good examples!
Vonnie Winslow Crist THE FIRST FIVE PAGES – A WRITER’S GUIDE TO STAYING OUT OF THE REJECTION PILE by Noah Lukeman. It’s a short, focused book that points out the good, offers solutions for the not-so-good, and has exercises at the end of each chapter that help a writer improve his/her writing. Chapters include: Style, Characterization, Hooks, Setting, Pacing, etc
Lona Queen I haven’t read as many as I should, but I always liked BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott. It’s an enjoyable read whether you are writing or not, and it gave me one of the best pieces of advice that has kept me going when I start to feel overwhelmed–just tackle it bird by bird (one piece at a time
Ron Smith I really like SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Brown. It’s not overwhelming like some technique books. The voice is casual and there are a lot of helpful exercises.
Elizabeth Patera SCBWI: THE BOOK. Truly an “Essential Guide to Publishing for Children”, as well as a workbook resource for finding publishers/editor’s tastes and acquisition preferences, as well as how to publicize your work — a good combination of how to make your document stay alive and be attractive to publishers and the public — PLUS pages for the reader/writer to record his forays into the business and successes (and failures).
We had two votes for WRITING PICTURE BOOKS by Ann Whitford Paul:
Christine Amyot Hurley …great writing exercises to stretch your thinking and make you really think about your work!
Susan Detwiler …gives instruction, exercises and great tips on how to craft a picture book text, and does it in a very fun and inspirational way. Ann Whitford Paul is the first winner of the SCBWI Jane Yolen Mid-list Author Award, in 2012.
Here’s my two cents: HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL II and Stephen King’s ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT. King’s advice on writing and the writer’s life is down-to-earth and not at all scary!