Tag Archives: James N. Frey

Way to Aha Moments in Writing

“Way to Aha Moments in Writing” by Joan Y. Edwards

Get out your favorite book on how to write. Which one(s) gave you an “Aha Moment” in writing? Here are four books on the craft of writing that I highly recommend because they gave me several “aha” moments while reading them. I know they will offer wonderful learning opportunities for you, too.

  1. James N. Frey. How to Write a Damn Good Novel: http://www.amazon.com/Write-Damn-Novel-Step—Step/dp/0312010443

James N. Frey explains in an easy to read and comprehend voice. It’s easy to learn the writing process with his book. He teaches you how to tell a story and how to correct problems. He asks, “What are you trying to prove about human nature?” He explains Egri’s theory that a premise is character, conflict, and conclusion. He explains how to choose the right viewpoint for telling your story. He tells when to use flashbacks and when to leave them out. He gives several ways to gain benefits from a critique group. He shows you with examples of premise and dialogue using popular stories and movies. He also shows you by making up a character or story right before your eyes.

2.Karl Iglesias. Writing for Emotional Impact-Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate Readershttp://www.amazon.com/Writing-Emotional-Impact-Techniques-Fascinate/dp/1595940286/

Impresses upon writers the importance of presenting the emotions of the characters for readers to relate to on a personal level and shows you how to do it. I think following the reading of this book by the reading of the Emotion Thesaurus, or vice versa is a good plan.

  1. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. The Emotion Thesaurus

This book gives you body language for different emotions. It tells you how to show the emotions in body movements, and how people might be feeling inside, too.

  1. Noah Lukeman. The First Five Pages-A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile:” http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Five-Pages-Rejection/dp/068485743X

Noah Lukeman explains the importance of getting a firm grip on the attention of readers in the first five pages. If you don’t, editors, agents, and readers may not finish your book. The First Five Pages reveals the necessary elements of good writing, whether it be fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry, and points out the ingredients of great first five pages:

  •  A good opening with a catchy, hook
  •  Frugal use of adjectives and adverbs
  •   New, colorful metaphors and similes
  •   Clear, crisp dialogue
  •   Well-developed characterizations and appropriate lively settings
  •   Good pacing and progression of story

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards
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28 Books to Help You Get a Grip on Writing

“28 Books to Help You Get a Grip on Writing” by Joan Y. Edwards

A writer reads, writes, revises, and submits his work to contests, publishers, editors, and agents. How does a writer get a grip on his writing? The more you read, the better your write. The more you write, the better you read. It goes in a wonderful circle.

To get a good grip on writing, writers write. However, I believe that if you read books in the following three categories, you grip on writing will tighten with skills and expertise. Your writing will improve in direct proportion as you both read and write. If you write and write and write. It will improve. However, I believe if you add the reading in the following categories, your writing will improve even more.

  1. Read 100 books that are best sellers, classics, and your personal favorites in the genre you plan to write.
  2. Read 100 books that empower you to believe you can do what you want…build on your belief system inside you.
  3. Read 100 books on the craft of writing that share the wisdom, skills, techniques, and experience of good teachers who are published and willing to share.

I believe all three kinds of books are essential. When you go to the library, choose one from each of these categories. Read, study, and take notes. Write using what you’ve learned.

I found the following 28 craft books to be extremely helpful resources to get a grip on writing. There are hundreds more out there. I also included links to three book lists from other souces.

References: Joan’s 28 Craft Books to Help You Get a Grip on Writing

  1. Andy Couturier. Writing Open the Mind-Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and the Writer: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Open-Mind-Tapping-Subconscious/dp/B004JZWVOU/
  2. Angela Ackerman and Becca Publisi. The Emotion Thesaurus: http://www.amazon.com/Emotion-Thesaurus-Writers-Character-Expression/dp/1475004958/
  3. Carol Baldwin. Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Story-Fiction-Writing-Grades/dp/1934338354/
  4. Donald Maas. The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose Techniqueshttp://www.amazon.com/Fire-Fiction-Passion-Purpose-Techniques/dp/158297506X/
  5. Donald Maas. Writing the Breakout Novelhttp://www.amazon.com/Writing-Breakout-Novel-Donald-Maass/dp/158297182X/
  6. Donald Maas. Writing the Breakout Novel – Workbook: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Breakout-Novel-Workbook-Donald/dp/158297263X/
  7. Elaine Marie Alphin. Creating Characters Kids Will Love: http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Characters-Kids-Will-Love/dp/1582973695/
  8. Elizabeth Kochler-Pentacoff (compiled by). The ABCs of Writing for Children-114 Children’s Authors and Illustrators Talk about the Art, the business, the craft & the Life of Writing Children’s Literature: http://www.amazon.com/The-ABCs-Writing-Children-Illustrators/dp/1884956289/
  9. Harold D. Underdown and Lynne Rominger. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Publishing-Childrens-Edition/dp/1592577504/
  10. Heather Sellers. Page after Page-Discover the confidence & Passion you need to start writing & Keep writing (no matter what!): http://www.amazon.com/Page-after-Heather-Sellers/dp/158297618X/
  11. James Scott Bell. Plot & Structure: Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish: http://www.amazon.com/Plot-Structure-Techniques-Exercises-Crafting/dp/158297294X/
  12. James N. Frey. How to Write a Damn Good Novel: http://www.amazon.com/Write-Damn-Novel-Step—Step/dp/0312010443
  13. James N. Frey. How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II-Advanced Techniques For Dramatic Storytelling: http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Damn-Good-Novel/dp/0312104782/
  14. James N. Frey. How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: http://www.amazon.com/Write-Damn-Mystery-Step—Step/dp/0312304463/
  15. Jeff Herman. Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents-Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Overhttp://www.amazon.com/Hermans-Publishers-Editors-Literary-Agents/dp/1402271999
  16. Jordan Rosenfeld. Make a Scene-Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Timehttp://www.amazon.com/Make-Scene-Crafting-Powerful-Story/dp/1582974799/
  17. Karl Iglesias. Writing for Emotional Impact-Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate Readershttp://www.amazon.com/Writing-Emotional-Impact-Techniques-Fascinate/dp/1595940286/
  18. Lajos Egri. The Art of Dramatic Writing: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dramatic-Writing-Lajos-Egri/dp/1434495434
  19. Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D. Writer’s Guide to Character Traits: http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Guide-Character-Traits-Edelstein/dp/1582973903
  20. Lou Willett Stanek, Ph.D. So You Want to Write a Novel: http://www.amazon.com/So-You-Want-Write-Novel/dp/038077688X/
  21. Margaret Lucke: Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories: http://www.amazon.com/Schaums-Quick-Guide-Writing-Stories/dp/0070390770/
  22. Nancy Lamb. The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children: http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Crafting-Stories-Children-library/dp/1582970521/
  23. Natalie Goldberg. Writing Down the Bones-Freeing the Writer within: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Down-Bones-Freeing-Paperback/dp/B0035A3PSQ/
  24. Noah Lukeman. The First Five Pages-A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile:” http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Five-Pages-Rejection/dp/068485743X
  25. Noah Lukeman. The Plot Thickens: http://www.amazon.com/Plot-Thickens-Ways-Bring-Fiction/dp/0312309287/
  26. Renni Brown and Dave King. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers-How to Edit Yourself Into Print: http://www.amazon.com/Self-Editing-Fiction-Writers-Second-Yourself/dp/0060545690
  27. Robert Brewer. The Writer’s Markethttp://www.amazon.com/2013-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1599635933
  28. Tracey E. Dils. You Can Write Children’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/You-Can-Write-Childrens-Books/dp/1582975736/
  29. Stephen King. “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft:” https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Memoir-Craft-Stephen-King-ebook/dp/B000FC0SIM/
  30. Jessica Brody. “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need:” https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Brody/e/B001JSCD48?

Other Lists of Writing Books

  1. Gotham Writers’ Workshop “Writers Resources:” http://www.writingclasses.com/WritersResources/resources.php
  2. Nicola Connolly. “My Novel Writing Book Basket:” http://whatsitallaboutandotherstories.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/my-novel-writing-book-basket/
  3. Poets & Writers.org. “Best Books for Writers;” http://www.pw.org/best-books-for-writers

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Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards