May 4, 2011

Writing Resources for the Serious Writer: Five I Use Consistently . . .

by Angela Silverthorne, aka Mom and co-author

I’ve been writing since I was a young girl. It was my favorite pastime. For me, writing and reading went togetherone enhancing the other. As I became more serious about my work, I started looking for books and resources to help me grow stronger in my writing. Here are 5 books that I suggest you examine.
1. Writing in a Changing World  by five authors of the Screw Iowa! writers group is the newest in my group of favorites.  Damon, Graff, Romano, Small and Westemeier bring my theory on writing to the forefront. You can study all the books on writing you want, but the finale is searching out and finding the right community of writers for support, encouragement and critiquing. Writers use to think their craft needed to be done in isolation. It might work for some, but oftentimes the project would end in frustration or eventually abandoned. Finding a strong writers group will encourage you, but more than that, it will push you to write to your potential. The book highlights this and offers much more on improving your craft, troubleshooting, conflict resolution, critiquing in action and more.

2. Teaching English Creatively  by John H. Bushman is a classic. I still use this book to set the mood and tone for writing in a particular genre, i.e. young adult verses adult.

3. The Gregg Reference Manual  by William A. Sabin is an indispensable guide to style, grammar, usage and formatting. Some call this the “writing bible.” I certainly think it is an essential resource book.

4. Stein on Writing  by Sol Stein is a must. It is the fix it manual. If you want to know how to correct something flawed, how to improve your writing or create exciting pieces, invest in this book.

5. Techniques of the Selling Writer  by Dwight V. Swain is my latest find, and I am impressed. This book provides an elementary vernacular on background, insights, and specific procedures needed by all beginning writers. It’s the perfect book to learn more about character development, story revision and editing.


Babette said...

I found it ridiculously difficult to pick 5! Now I have this stack of books I either want to read or RE-read.

Which, of course, is never a bad thing!

Tia Bach said...

I agree . . . I knew I couldn't pick five, so I passed this one off to my dear mother and co-author. :-)

Alison Law said...

I'm new to your blog (found you through the Blogathon). Do you belong to a writers group? Did they help you work on your novel? I'm interested in joining a group and I'm always interested in hearing how people found their groups. Thanks.

Tia Bach said...

Alison, I move so often, unfortunately, and it's kept me away from writer's groups, because it's hard to always be new. But my mom and co-author has loved her writing groups! They are very supportive of one another. I'll forward your comment to her and see if she'll send me her thoughts.

Kathleen Murray said...

Hi Tia,

I like your blog, and your book sounds like one I have to read! I love to see how writer's handle teen voices.

Tia Bach said...

Kathleen, First of all, blogging is SO much more fun with comments! Who knew? ;-)

I love the teen voice and am now addicted to writing YA. I base the voice on myself as a teenager, because that's the only authentic way I knew to go about it. That and I have a pre-teen at home that helps without even knowing it!

I'm loving your blog!

Anonymous said...

For Alison Law:
I have been in writer's groups for 20 years. Most of the groups have been wonderful, growing my writing in ways I could not imagine. But I would encourage you to find a writing group in your area and then talk to one of the members about the groups writing genres and critiquing style. If you write poetry, you don't want to attend a group whose members are fictional novel writers. Check your local libraries, book stores and colleges to get the name of a contact person for a writing group. Sometimes they publish group meetings in the newspaper. It will be well worth your effort to get established in one. Good Luck! Angela Silverthorne