I first ran across the work of Kristine Kathryn Rusch when her name appeared on the bottom of a standard rejection form I got from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, where she was head editor for several years. A short time later, I ran across one of her short stories (“Retrieval Artist” in the June 2000 ANALOG), which of course, led me t0 her RETRIEVAL ARTIST novels. I’m a fan now and started reading her blog (http://kriswrites.com/) a year or more ago. As always, I look for good writing advice to pass on to you as well as applying it to my own writing. I have her permission to quote from the articles. You can find the complete article referenced below here: http://kriswrites.com/?s=April+2011
I could easily generate a Recommended Reading List, but the fact of the matter is that no one would really be interested.
“Recommendations” have to carry weight in order to interest people.
People carry weight because of their notoriety and I am not notorious...I’m not noted anywhere, either.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch has notoriety. David Brin has notoriety. Stephen King has notoriety.
So I thought I’d share a few #1 Books that Writers Should Read according to 10 different websites:
BIRD BY BIRD Anne Lamott [pastemagazine.com]
THE ANTI 9-5 Michelle Goodman [about.com/freelance-writing]
THE KING JAMES BIBLE [copyblogger.com]
THE ELEMENT OF STYLE Strunk and White [karenbarnes.hubpages.com]
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL Donald Maass [writersedgeinfo.blogspot.com]
WRITING DOWN THE BONES Natalie Goldberg [amazon.com]
WRECK THIS JOURNAL Keri Smith [barnesandnoble.com]
THE SITUATION AND THE STORY Vivian Gornick [flashlightworthy.com]
ON WRITING WELL William Zinsser [infobarrel.com]
ON WRITING Stephen King [tabbedbooks.wordpress.com]
Strangely enough, seven professional organizations that might have made recommendations that carried weight – Writers Guild of America; Christian Writers Guild; The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; the Horror; Romance; Science Fiction and Fantasy; and Mystery...Writers of America (based on a brief Google search) have nothing to say about the 10 Best Books for Writers. [There’s an interesting challenge to do something about!]
Seeing there doesn’t seem to be any authority speaking, I’ll add my OWN Ten Best Books For Writers:
WRITING SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY Orson Scott Card – the single best writing book I recommend: elegant, useful, understandable, brilliant
KOMARR Lois McMaster Bujold – a “bottom of the ladder”, deeply imagined character who chooses excellence
STARTIDE RISING David Brin – brilliant world building
WORLD BUILDING Stephen L. Gillette – a clear reference for alien world building
BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES AND ENDS Nancy Kress – perfect for writing superior ones
COMEDY WRITING SECRETS Melvin Helitzer – everyone needs to laugh, this genius shows you how to make people do it
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL Donald Maass – simply incredible
WALKING ON WATER Madeleine L’Engle – demonstrates how to share a deep faith without offense
XENOGENESIS SERIES Ocatvia Butler – pure beauty of language and subtle idea
CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT – startling in its originality and depth of character
Do YOU have a Top Ten Best Books for Writers list?