Recommended reading for fiction writers

The following are some of my favorite books and sites for fiction writers. Please leave a reply.  I would like to know yours.

Please note:  I include Amazon links so you can read more about these books easily.  I do not intend to recommend Amazon over your local book seller or library.

Robert Olen Butler and Janet Burroway, From Where You Dream:The Process of Writing Fiction.  Burroway wrote up an inspiring 5-day workshop Butler gave on writing fiction.

Janet Burroway wrote a widely used textbook Writing Fiction. Now with authors Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Ned Stuckey-French, her text is in its 8th edition.  It’s expensive (as textbooks tend to be), but worth a look. (Maybe you can find an earlier used edition.) Burroway’s book is still going strong after thirty years! Poet and fiction writer Elizabeth Herron used Writing Fiction in her class, which I took in Cotati, CA, at The Sitting Room in 1983.

E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel. The first book I read about writing fiction at the suggestion of a fellow philosophy graduate student with a BA in English literature from Harvard. (I was impressed.) I hoped to avoid becoming too boring–at the time most people changed the topic if I mentioned analytic philosophy. My friend gave me a reading list of British authors, including E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and Lytton Strachey. Which reminds me, some say the best way to learn to write is to read, noting techniques used by your favorite writers.

Brian Kiteley, The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction  I love his writing exercises! (I just got Kiteley’s The 4 A.M. Breakthrough, and did one of the exercises.  It was great, too.)

Elizabeth Lyon, A Writer’s Guide to Fiction:  A concise, practical guide for novelists and short-story writers.  It lives up to its title.

Eric Maisel, Mastering Creative Anxiety  A few years ago I took his on-line class Overcoming Creative Anxiety, which covers similar material.  It turned out that of the various types of creative anxiety he lists, I had ALL of them!  No wonder I write in fits and starts. Maisel provides helpful tips for calming down anxieties, so you can put pen to paper.

On-line exercises and tips

A selection of exercises from Brian Kiteley’s, The 3 A.M. Epiphany

Novelist, travel writer, translator, and poet CM Mayo’s recommended reading for writers. Check around her site for multiple resources for writers, including her 365, 5-minute daily writing exercises and her free downloads for writers and podcasters.

Poets & Writers, tools for writers. Poety, fiction, and creative nonfiction prompts. Advice from writers.

Write Attitude Inspirational quotes. Advice from writers.

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