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and “The Cry of the Children,” “To George Sand: A Desire,” “To George Sand: A Recognition,” “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” “Mother and Poet” *Brontë, Charlotte. “Goblin Market,” “The Prince’s Progress,” “Song [When I am dead, my dearest],” “In an Artist’s Studio,” “Up-Hill,” “The Convent Threshold,” “Remember,” “Winter Rain,” “My Dream,” “Winter: My Secret,” “A Better Resurrection,” “The Lowest Room,” “A Birthday” *Shelley, Mary.Last week, I wrote about 25 habits that will make you a better writer. After twenty-plus years writing, I’ve collected some resources that I absolutely couldn’t do with out. But there are some books that a writer really should have in their own personal for-keeps libraries. I wrote a truly awful first draft of a romantic suspense story. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is the book that taught me how to be a better writer.
It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy.”In 1997, I sent a query letter to Dog Fancy magazine, pitching an idea for an article about dog-friendly restaurants in Las Vegas. I wrote the article, my sister Alison took a couple of pictures of her dog at a dog-friendly restaurant in Las Vegas, and Dog Fancy magazine paid me . You’d have to look hard to find a list of books for writers that doesn’t include this one.Nothing is more important to your reading life than actually going to the narratives of great writers.But said great writers also have some great advice.Bradbury’s advice for fiction writers has shaped my writing life.He believed, especially, in short stories and in reading a lot. One of my favorite parts of Zen in the Art of Writing is the way that Bradbury breaks down how and why he wrote some of my favorite short stories.“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends.Beautiful.“I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ.An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.”Of all of the books on this list, The Writer’s Journey might be my favorite.Another friend, Tracy Clark, introduced me to Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn. Lots of the time, when you read about someone’s success, they’ve done something or had something happen to them that just isn’t reproducible by the average writer. It was assigned to me by my MFA mentor and I’m so glad. They help me to take a deeper dive into my characters, into my story, and into the reasons why I’m writing it.One more time: if you want to be a novelist, you need to know how to sell books, regardless of the mode with which you publish your work. This book is definitely one you’ll want to own, because you’ll be coming back to it again and again as you write.“Ultimately you write alone.They learned it by doing it.”According to the intro to this book, Steering the Craft started as a course Ursula K. I can’t tell you how badly I wish I’d been able to take that class!She teaches writers not only how to write, but how to make the story become a living thing for the reader.