By Beth Cotten
Columbia II Writers Workshop
Most of the following books were written in the 1980s and 1990s; a paperback edition of The Weekend Novelist was released in April, 2005. No doubt there are newer books on the market, but I think you will find these to be useful and easy to read. I have read some chapters of each of them, but I still have yet to read them completely. I think my summer will be taken up by checking out these resources again. Enjoy!
Writing the Block Buster Novel: Author - Albert Zuckerman
Albert Zuckerman is a former novelist, TV writer, and teacher of playwriting at Yale and is the founder of Writers House. This book is a comprehensive look at all phases of writing a best-selling novel, from "Getting Started" to "Getting it Published and onto the best-seller lists." The book is excellent and should be read by anyone interested in publishing fiction. Currently available at Amazon.Com Be sure to check out the Writers House web site.
The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Novel Writing: Edited by Tom Clark, William Brohaugh, Bruce Woods and Bill Strickland.
A compilation of 37 writings by 30 authors, agents, editors, teachers and publishers. All of the material first appeared in Writer’s Digest Magazine and were compiled into this book with permission. The book is excellent and is also available, new and used, at Amazon.Com.
Show Don’t Tell-A Writer’s Guide: Author - William Noble
For those of us who stray into lecturing our readers instead of entertaining them, this is another very useful book. Currently available in paperback at Amazon.Com. Noble has written other writing guides, Steal This Plot, “Shut Up!” He Explained, and Make That Scene. All are also available through Amazon.Com. Check under used or textbooks by title.
The Weekend Novelist: Author - Robert J. Ray.
This is an interesting book, in that it is a 52-week program designed to help a writer produce a finished novel in a year, one weekend at a time. Some of us are very busy and at least I am inclined to use the excuse of not having time to write. The author says you can become a "real writer" if you only have time on the weekends. In 1994, when this book was published, the author had very successfully published eight "highly acclaimed books." The book is touted as a step-by-step program, the one Ray uses himself to produce a book from "the blank page to a completed novel." The book is also available at Amazon.Com, as is his 1998 book The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery.