I know it’s not what I usually do here, but I’ve decided to start recommending books.
First, this will allow me to post more often, because recommendations like these are easier to write than my usual posts (I’m getting a lot of really tough questions lately!). Second, I started this blog so that my students could have access to a lot of what I taught them in writing – and I always find myself recommending a writing book or another to them.
I’ve decided to start with a favorite of mine, Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass. Donald Mass is head of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, a top of the line literary agency that represents a lot great authors. He has written nearly a half-dozen other writing books, all of which are on my TBR pile after reading this one.
I should start by saying that this is NOT the very first book you should ever read on the art of writing fiction. It is, however, the best book I have read on the subject. It skips over the basics, going directly into, as the subtitle promises, “High-impact techniques for exceptional storytelling”. What it teaches you to do is to fine-tune your writing in every major aspect: character development, dialogue, description and exposition… everything. I highly recommend it!