I’m soaking up everything I can find on writing fiction at the moment. OK, that’s not strictly true. There is far more written than I can possibly find the time or energy to read, especially if I want to find some time and energy for… writing. Apparently, much of it is of questionable quality too, so I’m told. But here are a few books I’ve already found helpful:
- The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack M Bickham. Good advice, practical and entertaining at the same time.
- Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande. I’m glad I waded through the impenetrable first half of this much recommended book, because the second half turned out to have some very sound advice.
- Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff. Easy to digest and good advice from the perspective of a writers’ coach.
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Advice on technique from a Master, combined with fascinating biographical insights. A must-read, whatever your preferred genre.
- Characters, Emotions and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress. Very usable advice, particularly on two major stumbling-blocks for new authors – showing-not-telling and choosing your POVs wisely.
I’m also now reading fiction that doesn’t immediately appeal to me as being “my sort of book”, watching for technique and writerly skills as well as the pleasure of a good story, well told. And on a cold and soggy Sunday and I can think of no better way to pass a few hours than to make a comfortable nest on my sofa, line up a mug of coffee and a biscuit and stick my head in a book.