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  1. #1
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Writers Writing Resources

    I'd like to start a thread of resources for writers, and if the powers that be deem it worthy, perhaps even make it a sticky thread.

    Please try to keep this list focused on things that assist in the craft of writing, rather than other things like getting published, etc. The resources can be books or websites, preferably ones that you have personally used and have helped you in your writing.

    Here's my first contribution: Kate Monk's Onomastikon. This is a very detailed compilation of actual names from around the world from many cultures, nicely indexed, with some background on how each of these cultures' names developed. It is a great source for either actual character names to use, or even better for figuring out how to make fictitious names that follow the same pattern of a culture you may be emulating.

    The Onomastikon has traveled around a bit on the web since it was created in 1997. It's current location is on a role-playing game site; you can find it here.

  2. #2
    Here's an authoritative resource on writing sff:

    http://www.chronicles-network.net/writers/resources/
    Last edited by I, Brian; October 19th, 2004 at 07:33 AM.

  3. #3
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    I've seen more than one person point to "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk as an excellent guide.

  4. #4
    Mystic Cyborg Aik Haw's Avatar
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    All I know about writing...............John Marsden
    Conflict, Action and Suspense......William Noble

  5. #5
    Keeping The Equilibrium Erebus's Avatar
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    Re: Writer's Writing Resources

    Originally posted by Radthorne
    I'd like to start a thread of resources for writers, and if the powers that be deem it worthy, perhaps even make it a sticky thread.

    Worthy enough it is, and duly stuck!

  6. #6
    Cultivate Individuality Tanith's Avatar
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    Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Not a book on the mechanics of writing (there are tons of those), but one focusing on the fire of enthusiasm that keeps this genre veteran writing after half a century. It's the most inspirational writing book I've ever run across.

    Tanith

  7. #7
    Hlúgiligr! Moderator Kirby's Avatar
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    On Writing by Stephen King - more autobiographical, but it's also inspiring too. He does talk about his personal views on writing, some of it makes pretty good sense.

  8. #8
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    An oldie but goodie: The Craft of Science Fiction edited by Reginald Bretnor with input from Pournelle, Niven, Anderson, Pohl, Herbert, Nourse, Spinrad, Brunner, Clement, Williamson, MacLean, Ellison, and Sturgeon. Barnes and Noble 1977

  9. #9
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    Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block (If anything blasts away writer's block, this is it!)

    All the rest in my library are specialized--from professional disease books to name books to mythology books.

  10. #10
    "From pitch to publication" - Carole Blake (respectable London literary agent)

    Important points on how to submit, and the process of acceptance and publication.

  11. #11
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    I own a number of books on the craft of writing:

    Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy by Crawford Kilian--covers the basics, this book is probably for beginners.

    On Writing by Stephen King--a highly inspirational book.

    The Elements of Style by Strunk and White--no writer should be without this handy book!

    Steering the Craft by Ursula LeGuin--this book is concerned with the basic elements of narrative, and is laid out as a series of writing exercises. Good to get the creative juices flowing.

    Finding Your Writer's Voice by Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall--this book's content is very general and abstract and although some mind find it helpful I don't believe I finished reading it.

    The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference by Writer's Digest Books. Each chapter in this book is written by a different author, and there's lots of useful information in here! Everything from the anatomy of a castle and parts of armour, to an overview of world cultures and mythologies. Very useful!

  12. #12
    Registered User Sci Fantasia's Avatar
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    Most of my sources are online.

    I have Generators to help me come up with names of people, places, etc and a very useful Mythology site for background information on myths and legends.

    And of course SFF World has loads of articles

    Fanta

  13. #13
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    If realism is important to you, then I recommend you add these to your library:
    On Killing by Dave Grossman. The sociology and psychology of the act with ideas and studies that may surprise you but will definitely educate you.
    Woman - An Intimate Geography because I always want my female characters to be real, not my juvenile fantasy of what it means to be female.
    Survival of the Prettiest - The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff for the same reason.

  14. #14
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    One of the best for aspiring SF writers is Ben Bova's "Notes to a Science Fiction Writer." Bova is former editor of Analog and Omni, and also has published about a gazillion SF books. Anyway, his book uses his own short stories for analysis and tips. He talks about the basics -- plot, character, background, etc.

    A warning to all: Make sure you spend more time actually writing than reading any of these kinds of books. Because that's what it eventually gets down to -- doing the writing. You can read a millions "how to" books and still not become a writer, just as you can read a million "how to lose weight" books, and not lose a single pound -- unless you practice what the books teach you!

    But the key word is "Practice!" -- That means, "Writing!"

    Sorry if this sounds preachy.

  15. #15
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    You don't sound preachy, Ken--you have a good point. I'm a good example of the problem you're speaking of--I've read lots of books on writing (see above) but I haven't actually written that much! Mostly it's because I don't have the time--I'm in school, I'm a mother and I work--but part of it is just laziness.

    It's true, practice is the best teacher. If you practice and read all those books, then you'll be laughing.

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