Stocking-stuffers for Writers


Christmas is almost upon us, so I thought a post on craft and research books would be appropriate–you know, just in case you need to add something to your wishlist or buy that last minute gift for a fellow writer friend.

Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King — This is an  amazing book that covers elements of writing from show and tell to dialogue. One warning, sometimes they can be rather absolute, such as their advice to eliminate all adverbs.

Goal Motivation Conflict by Debra Dixon — The title is exactly what this book is about. This is an intensive lesson in properly motivating your characters so that internal and external goals/conflicts move the story forward. I highly recommend it.

Don’t Sabotage Your Submission by Chris Roedren — This great craft book has a lot of useful advice for getting your draft polished and ready for submission.

Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham — The title says it all. This book is about the building blocks of a book–the scenes.

What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro — While not exactly a craft book, this is an excellent book on body language and is sure to expand your repertoire of non-verbal communication for characters.

Police Procedure and Investigation: For Writers by Lee Lofland — Okay, this recommendation is a little more specialized than most of the others, and might not be applicable for everyone, but if your books deal with crime or at any point involve law enforcement, I can’t recommend this book enough. (There are two other books in the ‘Howdunit’ series of books for writers, and I recommend those as well.)

And of course, what list of writing books would be complete without: How to Write Magical Words. If you’re here, you know exactly why. ^_^

Have a safe and happy holidays everyone!


8 comments to Stocking-stuffers for Writers

  • Kalayna, I just *bought* myself an herb book, free online, (for my witch characters.) Now if I could just remember the name of it….

  • Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs? That’s the one I use. The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews is a good one, too. Great list, Kalayna. Hope you have a great holiday.

  • Heh! We actually use the Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews.

  • Cindy

    Thanks for the list.

  • Megan B.

    I’m always super interested in reference books like that. Usually I just look up things online, but I dream of having a shelf full of references about all sorts of topics. Someday when I have my own little writing space, which I currently lack…

  • Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Herbs is another good one. It not only tells you what the herbs are actually good for, in many instances, it tells you how it was used in the past – whether it worked or not.

    I’ll have to look for Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews. They sound like my kinds of books.

  • The Herb Book by John Lust is pretty decent too. As is The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian. I’ve got a bunch of those types of books lying around here in various places.

  • Gypsyharper

    Lots of good suggestions! I already had some of these on my wishlist, and just added a few more. I know my writing partner is working with magical herbs in her WIP – I’ll have to see if she has the Cunningham. I see he also has an Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal magic that looks like it could be useful.