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Subject: misc.writing Recommended Reading List [29Jul2002]

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Archive-name: writing/recommended-reading Posting-Frequency: weekly Last-modified: 29 July 2002 Copyright: See section 11. URL: http://www.xmission.com/~jeffress/mw/rrl_toc.html Maintainer: Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com>
Contents ======== 0 What's New in This Version 0.1 New for 29 July 2002 0.2 New for 04 January 2002 0.3 New for 31 December 2001 1 What is the Recommended Reading List? 1.1 What is the purpose of the misc.writing Recommended Reading List? 1.2 What is the format of the entries? 1.3 What is the order of the entries? 1.4 Who can submit to the RRL? 1.5 How do I submit to the RRL? 1.6 If this is a recommended reading list, 1.7 What if I find an error in the list or 1.8 What if I disagree with an entry in the list? 2 Books about Writing 2.1 On Being a Writer 2.2 Writing Fiction 2.3 Writing Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Western) 2.4 Writing Romance Novels 2.5 Writing for Children 2.6 Writing Plays and Screenplays 2.7 Writing Nonfiction 2.8 Literary Criticism 3 Books about the Writing Industry 3.1 Literary Agents and Agencies 3.2 Copyright 3.3 Editing 4 Magazines about Writing 5 Market Listings and Reports 5.1 General 5.2 Children's Fiction 5.3 Genre Fiction 6 References of Interest to Writers 6.1 Style Guides 6.2 Grammar and Usage 7 Acknowledgements 8 Copyright and Acceptable Use Statement 0 What's New in This Version ============================ 0.1 New for 29 July 2002 - Fixed some typos. 0.2 New for 04 January 2002 - New Review: _The Forest for the Trees_ by Betsy Lerner (Section 3.3). 0.3 New for 31 December 2001 - New Review: _Bird by Bird_ by Anne Lamott (Section 2.1). - New Review: _How to Write a Damn Good Novel_ by James N. Frey. (Section 2.2). - New Review: _How to Write a Damn Good Novel II_ by James N. Frey. (Section 2.2). - New Review: _The First Five Pages_ by Noah Lukeman. (Section 2.2). 1 What is the Recommended Reading List? ======================================= 1.1 What is the purpose of the misc.writing Recommended Reading List? As writers, we've all read some books about writing. Some of us have probably read too many -- even reading books about writing to procrastinate writing. For novice writers, this list should help you decide which books might help you along your way and possibly avoid wasting time with a loser. For you old hands, this list should help you pick a book to read while putting off rewriting your draft (you do have your draft finished, don't you?) of your earth-shattering, best-selling, blockbuster novel. At first the list included reviews of only books, but there are so many other resources available to writers that the list now includes reviews of writing-related periodicals, market lists, Internet sites, and software. 1.2 What is the format of the entries? In general, I use a bibliographic format for the list entries. Where possible, I have included some information that is not generally found in bibliographies -- ISBN, binding, price -- but is useful if you are trying to find or buy the listed work. In association with Amazon.com, you can purchase books directly from the HTML version of the list by clicking on the books' ISBNs. The prices listed are in US dollars unless otherwise noted. (These are the list prices, you will often pay 20-30% less through Amazon.com.) The general entry format looks like this: Author, First Name. _Title of Author's Book._ Nth ed. City: Publisher, Year. ISBN 0-000-00000-0, binding, pages, price. An example from the list: Curtis, Richard. _How to be Your Own Literary Agent._ Revised and expanded ed. Boston: Hougised and expanded ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. ISBN 0-395-71819-8, trade paperback, 257 pp., $13.95. Book entries include their binding method and size: - Hardcover -- standard hardcover (usually 6 x 9 inches) - Hardcover (10 x 12 inches) -- odd sized hardcover editions - Paperback -- the mass-market paperback edition - Trade paperback -- standard size (6 x 9 inches) paperback edition - Paperback (8 x 11 inches) -- odd sized paperback - Softcover -- paperback of unknown size Magazine entries are followed by ISSN, the last known mailing address, and subscription rates. One or more reviews follows each entry's bibliographic information. When the author of the review is known, I have listed the author's name and e-mail address following the review. (At the author's request, I will withhold either the e-mail address, or name, or both.) 1.3 What is the order of the entries? I have grouped the subject areas together into logical sets. As I receive more reviews, I may subdivide some of the sections. Within each section, the entries appear in alphabetical order by the author's last name, when the author is known, and by editor or title otherwise. 1.4 Who can submit to the RRL? Anyone who has read a book, magazine, or other work (including internet resources and software) about writing or the writing industry may submit a review to the list. You do not have to be a regular (or even occasional) reader of misc.writing to submit. 1.5 How do I submit to the RRL? Please mail submissions directly to me at <jeffress@xmission.com>. Reviews should be concise and state the specific benefits and failings of the work. In your submission include all the bibliographic information listed in section 1.2. Especially important are the physical details of the book. I can look up most bibliographic details from the Library of Congress database, but I can't tell physical size, the price, or the number of pages. Indicate the category where you feel the entry belongs -- you've read the work so you know where it fits best. Please indicate if you do not want your name or e-mail address posted with your review. Feel free to submit reviews of works that already appear in the RRL, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. Where additional reviews add new material or information about an entry, I will include the new entry. Some entries have a one-line review that says almost nothing useful: "One of the best books in the genre. A really good read." Please send me new, expanded reviews for these entries. Sometimes I receive lengthy reviews. In this case I silently condense the review and give the author full credit for the entry. I will also make small editorial changes to keep the style of the entries consistent. 1.6 If this is a recommended reading list, why are some reviews negative? No one will love every book. What works for one author may be detrimental to another. By including a variety of opinions, I hope to make it easier for you to choose a book that fits your needs. If there is a real bomb of a book, I hope to steer readers away from that title, rather than not give any direction through silence. 1.7 What if I find an error in the list or know some missing bibliographic information? If you find errors in the list or know any of the missing details about an entry, please let me know. There have been several list maintainers and information may have been accidentally excluded or changed. If you are the author of an entry and your address changes, let me know and I wur address changes, let me know and I will update your bylines. And if you are the author of an entry and it has not been attributed to you, please let me know. 1.8 What if I disagree with an entry in the list? If you read a review and have a dissenting opinion, please write a concise counter review or rebuttal. I will make every effort to give a complete listing of the various viewpoints. See sections 1.2 and 1.4 for information about submitting a review. 2 Books about Writing ===================== 2.1 On Being a Writer Bradbury, Ray. _Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity._ Santa Barbara, California: Joshua Odell Editions, Capra Press, 1989. Hardcover, 154 pp, $18.95. Expanded edition. ISBN 1- 877741-09-4, trade paperback, $11.95. Bantam Books, 1995. ISBN 0-55329-634-5, mass-market paperback, $5.99. _Zen in the Art of Writing_ is an interesting examination into the modus operandi of one of the great writers of our century. Bradbury's main theme is that writing should be fun and not arduous work. _Zen_ adequately fulfills the title by describing Bradbury's beliefs about writing and his personal practices, but it is only a self-examination and may not be useful to many other writers. (For example, Bradbury writes in spontaneous flashes and _never_ revises his material.) -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Brande, Dorothea. _Becoming a Writer._ J. P. Archer, 1981. ISBN 0- 874771-64-1, trade paperback, 186 pp., $9.95. This book was originally published in 1934 and is as fresh as ever today. An excellent and complete book, dealing with almost every aspect of the art of writing, with many wonderful suggestions on how to overcome blocks, view ones own work critically, etc. The current printing has a foreword by John Gardner, author of many books dealing with the art and craft of fiction. Brown, Rita Mae. _Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writer's Manual._ Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1989. ISBN 0-553- 34630-X, trade paperback, $12.95. Care and feeding of yourself as a writer. Brown, a working writer, has useful information on what standard of living to expect (near-poverty), how to make ends meet, and what to do with screenplays (take the money and run -- what appears on the screen will probably bear almost no resemblance to your work; that's why you write novels). Also contains some interesting philosophy. Dissenting Review: The chapter on substance abuse is essential, the rest forgettable. Chehak, Susan Taylor. _Don Quixote Meets the Mob: The Craft of Fiction and the Art of Life._ Xlibris, 2000. ISBN 0-7388-2476- 3, trade paperback, 245 pp., $16.00. Chehak describes some fundamental concepts of fiction writing similar to what you would find in almost any other how-to- write books, an overview of story arcs, setting, character, point of view, and dialogue. You would probably get a better understanding of the basic elements of fiction from a Freshman literature class, but you don't get too bored because Chehak generously peppers the text with interesting personal stories that illustrate her points. But the meat of _Don Quixote Meets the Mob_ comes in part two: The Art of Life. Chehak philosophically muses about fiction's role in the lives of both readers and writers, augmented again with personal anecdotes. She describes her view that many people live their own lives not in reality, but in some sort of personal fiction conglomerated from books, TV, experience, and imagination -- that people see themselves as the hero of some grand epic novel or action movie, as a Don Quixote battling against modern forces of evil such as the mob. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Dillard, Annie. _The Writing Life._ HarperCollins, 1990. ISBN 0- 06-091988-4, trade paperback, $11.00. Taken from essays that first appeared in _Esquire,_ the _TriQuarterly,_ and several other magazines. Dillard describes her experiences as a writer. _The Writing Life_ is not a how- to volume in any sense; the crisp prose provides a direct glimpse into a writer's fertile mind. Gardner, John. _On Becoming a Novelist._ W. W. Norton, 1983. ISBN 0-393-32003-0, hardcover, 172 pp., $12.00. The Foreword by Raymond Carver alone makes this book worthwhile. Although you could call the book "inspirational" in nature because it deals with the art rather than the craft of writing (and although it says "Novelist" in the title, the book is also valuable to short story writers), it is not an exercise in cheerleading, but rather a serious discussion of the nature and training of a fiction writer. (There is also a chapter titled "Publication and Survival.") A wonderful book for the serious artist. Goldberg, Natalie. _Writing Down the Bones._ Shambhala Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-877733-75-9, trade paperback, 171 pp., $10.00. The book consists of about 60 two- or three-page chapters, each of which presents a brief technique or suggestion for improving one's writing and creative process, with emphasis on the latter. Many times, the advice is presented via anecdotes. A very "Zen" approach to creative writing, as one might guess from the publisher. Lamott, Anne. _Bird by Bird._ Anchor, 1994. ISBN 0-385-48001-6, trade paperback, 239 pp., $12.95. _Bird by Bird_ takes a very different approach from standard how-to-write fare. Lamott admits that for most writers, writing will not produce wealth, happiness, or security. Yet, writers keep on writing anyway. Lamott focuses her advice on getting you in tune with your subconscious and on overcoming a lack of self-confidence. She encourages you to set small assignments for yourself: you should only work on as much of your story as you can see through a one-inch picture frame. By achieving assignment after assignment, you will eventually accomplish a great deal of work. Lamott must also have one of the most self-deprecating brains every to have inhabited a human form. She tells humorous stories of her own continued nervousness about her writing in spite of her established successes. From her own experience, she gives numerous tips on overcoming the inner critic that keeps telling you that forcing your pen through you temple would produce a better result than putting the point to the paper. For on thing, you should allow yourself to write really bad first drafts. No one will see the draft, so you don't have to worry about quality. Later, you can throw away most of the dreck, but you will also want to save the really good parts that you would have never produced if you had tried to produce really good copy from the beginning. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Michener, James, A. _James A. Michener's Writer's Handbook: Explorations in Writing and Publishing._ New York: Random House, 1992. ISBN 0-679-74126-7, paperback (8.5 x 11 inches), 182 pp., $15.00. Michener describes his creative process from initial idea through proofing of the galleys. He offers writers a look at how much work a seasoned professional still has to put into his books. Michener follows the life of a chapter in one of his novels from manuscript, to editor, to galleys, to final copy. In an appendix, Michener answers the questions he is most often asked by would-be writers. He explains that hard work and determination with an attitude of "I can be published" are essential to success as a writer. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Ueland, Brenda. _If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit._ 10th ed. St. Paul, Minnesota: Greywolf Press, 1997. ISBN 1-55597-260-8, trade paperback, 180 pp., $11.95. This fine little book was originally published at about the same time as Dorothea Brande's book and must be the _most_ inspirational writing book ever to fall into my possession. Carl Sandberg called this book, "The best book ever written about how to write." This is not a "nuts-n-bolts" book; it raises you up, brushes you off, and sends you along the path to new heights of creativity. 2.2 Writing Fiction Bicknam, Jack. _Scene and Structure._ Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1993. ISBN 0-89879-906-6, hardcover, 168 pp., $12.00. This is perhaps the best book in the "Elements of Fiction Writing" series from Writer's Digest. It is a relatively advanced book for the writer who has a pretty good handle on the basic mechanics of plot, theme, style, etc. It describes the basic mechanics of stimulus-internalization-response, how that builds into scenes, how scenes build into chapters, how to compile chapters into a book. It has a section on specialized techniques for changing the pace, dealing with multiple plot lines, interrupting scenes and more. This book explains how to make a story hang together, and how to keep it from falling apart. Although many writing books cover the same general territory, _Scene and Structure_ covers an area most fail to mention. Strongly recommended. -- Alexander von Thorn <alex@worldhouse.com> Block, Lawrence. _Telling Lies for Fun and Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers._ Sandia: 1990. ISBN 0-9440091-1-5. Out of print. I'm relatively new to writing and still consider myself to be at most an advanced beginner, but the first book I read about the craft of writing was _Telling Lies for Fun and Profit_ by Lawrence Block. For me, at least, the book was interesting and enjoyable, and was the first to raise my awareness of certain aspects of writing, such as the importance of choosing nouns and verbs that put color into your writing rather than relying on adjectives and adverbs. He also discusses issues such as the pros and cons of using dialect and colloquialism in character dialog. A couple of elements show the book to be a bit dated, such as his numerous references to using a typewriter, but the large majority of the material here is unaffected by the passage of a couple of decades. A more advanced writer may consider some of the material self-evident, or arguable, but for me at least it was a worthwhile read, good enough that at some point I'll probably read Block's other books about writing. -- Joe McCauley <jmccaul@ma.ultranet.com> Block, Lawrence. _Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print._ Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1979. ISBN 0-89879- 208-8, trade paperback, 198 pp., $14.99. Probably one of the most practical guides about writing that I have seen. Block reflects on the solutions to problems that he has experienced as well as referring to a survey he made of twenty or more recognized authors. His approach is very down to earth: set goals, read the type of fiction you want to write (if you don't like to read it, how do you expect to be able to write it?), diagram the structure of a novel in the genre you want to write in, and above all write every day. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Burnett, Hallie. _On Writing the Short Story._ HarperPerennial, 1983. ISBN 0-06-273174-2, trade paperback, $11.00 Burnett, Hallie and Whit. _Fiction Writer's Handbook._ HarperPerennial, 1993. ISBN 0-06-273169-6, trade paperback, $12.00. Hallie and Whit Burnett, as founding editors of _Story_ magazine (which has recently gone back into print as a quarterly), published the first works of writers such as Norman Mailer (who graces the first volume with a Preface), J. D. Salinger, Joseph Heller, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams. In these books, they bring their enormous experience to bear in chapters that deal with both the creative process and the craft of fiction. Card, Orson Scott. _Character and Viewpoint._ Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1988. ISBN 0-89879-307-6, hardcover, 182 pp., $15.99. Well written and very helpful. One of the few writer's manuals I could read all the way through in one sitting. Cook, Marshall. _Freeing Your Creativity : A Writer's Guide._ Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1995. ISBN 0-89879- 664-4, trade paperback, $14.99. Quite a good book; covers such topics as procrastination, creative gathering etc. Not something that could be read in one sitting, but worth a read none the less, although I would suggest hunting through your local hunting through your local library before buying. Egri, Lajos. _The Art of Creative Writing._ Citadel Press, 1965, 1995. ISBN 0-80650-200-2, softcover, $8.95. Although Egri's books are written with a slightly dated style, they go straight to the heart of what makes dramatic fiction truthful and exciting. These are not books with formulas or tips about writing, but rather, they analyze what it is that makes a reader care about characters, what makes them realistic, and how a compelling plot grows realistically from them. Frey, James N. _How To Write a Damn Good Novel._ St. Martin's Press, 1987. ISBN 0-312-01044-3, hardcover, 174 pp., $19.95. In a very breezy, no-nonsense style with plenty of examples, author Frey goes into precise details about establishing good characters, creating conflict within your story, coming up with a premise, changing points of view, how to come up with realistic dialog, and how to handle rewriting. Also covered is a final chapter on the "Zen of Novel Writing," giving an overall view of what kind of life you can expect, how to deal with writers block, and a plethora of other tips. I found the book to be remarkably useful. It's reasonably short (well under 200 pages), yet zeros-in on the most important facets of writing. Whether you're dealing with novels or short-stories, I think there's a wealth of material here to ponder and peruse. There's also a bibliography of nearly two dozen additional books -- both works of fiction and books on writing -- many of which were used as examples and source material for the book. I think many would-be writers who have a trouble getting a handle on _structure_ will get something out of _Damn Good Novel_, if nothing else. And his concept of Premise -- character, conflict and conclusion -- will be easy for beginners to digest. Frey's book (and the sequel) has been enormously successful on Amazon.com, and I think for good reason. Whole college courses on writing could (and have) been taught with _How To Write a Damn Good Novel_; Frey teaches at the University of California at Berkeley, and his credentials are hard to criticize. I consider both this book and the sequel to be absolutely indispensible. Beginners looking for an ideal way to start writing novels need look no further. -- Marc Wielage <mfw@musictrax.com> Frey, James N. _How To Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling._ St. Martin's Press, 1994. ISBN 0-312-10478-2, hardcover, 161 pp., $18.95. A follow-up to Frey's original top-rated treatise, Frey's second book covers more advanced novel-writing techniques, including "The Fictive Dream and How to Induce It," how to create suspense, creating memorable characters, more on premise, developing your voice, and how to write with passion. I found the chapter on "The Seven Deadly Mistakes" to be particularly useful: the topics here include Timidity, Trying to be Literary, Ego-Writing, Failure to Learn to Re-dream the Dream, Failure to Keep Faith with Yourself, choosing the Wrong Lifestyle, and Failure to Produce. I admired Frey's willingness to admit his own mistakes and follies from his life, even to the point of using them as examples in the chapter. In some cases, I found what Frey wrote didn't necessarily help me _directly_, nor did this one have quite the same impact as his first. But what he did do was to force me to look at certain writing challenges from a different point of view. That alone was worth the trip, because it enabled me to find a way to write with more passion, with better descriptive language, and with a clearer eye to the final goal. Like the first book, I found it to be absolutely indispensible to new writers. -- Marc Wielage <mfw@musictrax.com> Gardner, John. _The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers._ New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1991. ISBN 0-67973-403-1, trade paperback, 226 pp., $11.00. John Gardner has a lot to say and often uses as many words as he can to express himself. He claims to be speaking only to those who seek to write artistic, literary fiction, but his discussions will fit every genre. Almost every sentence (and at least every paragraph) makes a challenging statement about fiction and its creation. Gardner beautifully describes the state where the reader experiences the events put on paper by the author -- and admonishes us to be very aware of how our writing affects this state. You never want to jolt your reader away from the dream you are creating in the reader's mind. Part two presents Gardner's advice about writing, listing common errors, writing techniques, and methods of plotting. The most interesting chapter has various exercises for writers to practice which embody all the points that Gardner tried to make in the text of his book. Much of the primary message is somewhat cryptic and difficult to extract without rereading, but rereading is worthwhile. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> This book is a classic, and is a must buy for anyone seriously attempting to write fiction. However, you will not find any formulas, point systems, or graphs that show you how to construct a story (well, maybe a graph or two). What you will find is meaty chapters on aesthetics, artistic mystery, fiction as dream, genre, interest, and metafiction. You will also find at the back a set of extremely useful exercises. All material is gleaned from Gardner's years of teaching graduate- level creative writing.level creative writing. Gardner, John. _On Moral Fiction._ Basic Books, 1978. ISBN 0-465- 05225-8, hardcover, 214 pp. Out of print. Although first printed in 1978, Gardner's book on what is wrong and right in contemporary fiction is perhaps even more germane to writers today than it was then. This highly intelligent, provocative, humorous, and ultimately upbeat work would be valuable to novice and experienced writers alike, whether they agree with Gardner's tenets or not: the questions he asks inevitably lead the reader to deeply reflect on his or her own art. _On Moral Fiction_ is garnished with practical, craft-related case studies and examples of character and plot development, intertwined with clearly stated opinion on the nature of aesthetics and the creative act. The book can best be summarized by the following excerpt: Real art creates myths a society can live with instead of die by, and clearly our society is in need of such myths. . . . Such myths are not merely hopeful fairy tales but the products of careful and disciplined thought, that a properly built myth is worthy of belief, at least tentatively; that working at art is a moral act; that a work of art is a moral example; and that false art can be known for what it is if one remembers the rules. (126) _On Moral Fiction_ then proceeds to explain the rules, drawing on examples from the history of literature, painting, music, philosophy, and the sciences. -- Richard Guziewicz <rkg@worldnet.fr> Hills, Rust. _Writing in General, and the Short Story in Particular: An Informal Textbook._ Revised ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987. ISBN 0-395-44268-0, trade paperback, 197 pp., $14.00. L. Rust Hills was fiction editor of Esquire Magazine for some 20 years, and his book is jam-packed with rapid-fire commentary on just about every technical aspect of crafting a short story. It is by far the most intelligent and complete such book I have come across, and makes a fine companion to Gardner's _Art of Fiction_ mentioned above. -- ? Hills organized his personal ponderings and observations about the short story about the short story from his years of experience as an editor into this concise reference about the short story as a literary form. Although his tone is conversational, Hills gives an in-depth analysis of the elements of the short story, continually comparing and contrasting the short story with other literary forms. He is amazingly thorough and maintains his conversational tone through masterful transitions between each section. While reading, Hills seems to be conducting one long discussion, but in retrospect we see that he has covered many topics in detail. This smooth transition between topics also demonstrates the interdependency of the elements in the short story form -- that each element of the successful short story (character, plot, setting, tone, style) all rely so heavily on each other that to change one changes them all. This is why one can argue that any of the points of a short story is the most important, because all of the elements work together in a synergistic fashion toward the whole story. In the afterword, Hills presents an example of his own writing process, a chaotic, meandering method that is amazing when reflecting on the coherent and organized result. It also fills writers with comfort that not everyone moves from outline to rough draft to final draft as smoothly as our College professors would have us believe. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Knight, Damon. _Creating Short Fiction._ Vol. 1. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1981. 3rd ed. St. Martins Press, 1997. ISBN 0-312-15094-6, trade paperback, $13.95. Really one of the very best how-to-write handbooks I have ever read. Lukeman, Noah. _The First Five Pages._ Fireside Books (Simon & Shuster), 2000. ISBN 0-684-85743-X, trade paperback, 207 pp., $11.00. Subtitled "A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile," Lukeman's book is designed not to tell you how to _write_, but to tell you how _not_ to write. The book is divided into three basic sections: "Preliminary Problems" (dealing with issues such as presentation, excessive use of adjectives and adverbs, sound, etc.), "Dialogue" (avoiding cliches, how not to be melodramatic or hard to follow, etc.), and "The Bigger Picture" (the all-important "Show, not Tell," various viewpoints, hooks, and so on. I think the advice on how to grab the reader with the first few pages of the manuscript -- plunging the characters immediately into conflict, and introducing a dramatic element as quickly as possible -- was most useful to me. Many other the other tips may seem subtle at first, but put together, the combination proved to be extremely helpful to me. For those who immediately react negatively when told what _not_ to do, I can only offer you two bits of advice: first, when I went back and compared half a dozen of my favorite best-sellers against the advice in this book, I found that every one of them obeyed the rules to a "T". And secondly, I'm of the school that says, "before you can break the rules, you've got to learn what they are." Once they're mastered, then and only then can you make the decision when and how to break them. Lukeman writes from an editor or literary agent's point of view -- understandable, given that he's a major NY-based agent -- but I think beginning writers would be wise to take heed of his words. in Like the author, I can't guarantee that if you follow the rules of _The First Five Pages_ your book will sell. But it seems obvious to me that your manuscript won't even get past the first step if you make the basic mistakes described in the book. For that reason alone, I consider this book to be one of the most important books on writing I've read (out of several dozen). -- Marc Wielage <mfw@musictrax.com> Madden, David. _Revising Fiction: A Handbook for Writers: 185 Practical Techniques for Improving Your Story or Novel._ Plume. Reissue ed. New American Library, 1995. ISBN 0-4522- 6414-6, trade paperback, $13.95. Touches on just about anything you could think of. A good checklist/reference book. Perry, Susan K. _Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity_ Cincinnatti, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1999. ISBN 0-89879- 929-5 hardcover, 274 pp., $19.99. For this _Los Angeles Times_ bestseller, 76 top novelists and poets were interviewed to find out how they enter "flow," that timeless state of mind from which so much of the most creative writing emerges. Pulitzer Prize winners and bestselling authors alike, from Jane Smiley to Sue Grafton to Robert Pinsky, share their most intimate experiences related to the creative process. In addition to a careful analysis of what works and why, this compulsively readable volume features questions and answers posed by writers, as well as exercises and insights that should help any writer, whether novelist, poet, essayist, or nonfiction writer, to face the blank page with more pleasure and more satisfying results. -- Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. <http://www.bunnyape.com> Reed, Kit. _Revision._ Writer's Digest Books, 1989. ISBN 0-89879- 350-5, hardcover. Out of print. A decent book on revising and rewriting, though I personally found most of it pretty self-evident. Spinrad, Norman. _Staying Alive: A Writer's Survival Guide._ Donning, 1983. ISBN 0-89865-259-6, softcover. Out of print. <p clas Out of print. Spinrad's _Writer's Survival Guide,_ is, as I recall, quite out of date, but good reading. Spinrad is always idiosyncratic (when he's deeply sincere, he appears to lapse _out_ of profanity!), and a lot of the book was columns he'd written about the then-state of the sf market. Zuckerman, Albert. _Writing the Blockbuster Novel._ Writer's Digest Books, 1994. ISBN 0-89879-598-2, hardcover, 218 pp., $18.99. If Zuckerman's title seems designed to snare every dreamer, don't be put off. _Writing the Blockbuster Novel_ actually delivers on the promise, and I speak from personal experience. This is not only a review, it is a testimonial. In clear terms, Zuckerman explains the things a book _must_ have in order for it to gain massive appeal in the marketplace. _WTBN_ shows you why some books make the rest of your world vanish, and others (even by the same author) don't. Zuckerman uses many real-world examples from a handful of familiar blockbuster novels to illustrate his points. Author Ken Follett allowed Zuckerman (his agent) to include his first, second, third, and final outlines for _The Man From St. Petersburg._ Seeing how Follett went from a not-very-good outline to a gripping story is especially useful. Zuckerman also shows why Follett's early books (originally published in England) are not nearly as good as _The Eye of the Needle_ and subsequent efforts. I read _WTBN_ in the spring of 1995 when I was almost done with the first draft of my first novel, _Unintended Consequences._ Zuckerman made me see how some relatively simple changes would make my story much more compelling. A month later I had a contract with a little no-name house that had never before published a work of fiction. Today this 860- page first novel is in its third hardcover printing, and is the biggest seller the publisher has ever had. I have offers for the movie rights and a contract for the sequel. If I had not read read Zuckerman's book, these things would not have happened. -- John Ross <jfross@ix.netcom.com> 2.3 Writing Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Western) Card, Orson Scott. _How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy._ Writer's digest Books, 1990. ISBN 0-89879-416-1, hardcover, 140 pp., $14.99. The nuts and bolts part of the book is well handled, with solid examples d, with solid examples (from other writers' works) of handling exposition, world-building and the like. What makes the book worth the price to writers who don't workshop, or don't live in an area with other writers in easy reach, is the section on creating the "wise reader." Card explains how his wife, Kristine, became a vital part of his writing process, even though initially she knew nothing whatsoever about what "worked" in a novel. Carr, Clarice M. _The Door to Doom And Other Detections._ New York: Harold Ober Associates, 1991. ISBN 1-55882-102-3. Out of print. A recently reprinted collection, _The Door to Doom and Other Detections_, includes John Dickson Carr's _The Grandest Game in the World_. It is an essay on the art of mystery fiction, with references to authors, their styles, techniques, and contributions to the genre. It's highly prejudiced towards the "fair-play" mystery, but anyone who wants a foothold in understanding the mystery as an art form could do far worse than to take it to heart and study the many authors and works Carr uses as illustrations. Grafton, Sue, ed. _Writing Mysteries : A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America._ Writers Digest Books. ISBN 0-89879-502-8, hardcover, 208 pp., $18.99. Very thorough. Not always easy reading, but very informative. Longyear, Barry B. _Science Fiction Writer's Workshop 1: An Introduction to Fiction Mechanics._ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Owlswick Press, 1980. ISBN 0-9138961-8-7, softcover, $9.50. Longyear not only sits you down and lectures you on how to write SF that works, he shows you various examples -- from his own writing -- of what works and what doesn't by showing a first draft and then covering the processes that took the draft to the final, improved version. There is no, and never will be a, SFWW-II. Nolan, William F. _How to Write Horror Fiction._ Writers Digest Books, 1991. ISBN 0-89879-442-0, hardcover. Out of print. An excellent source book, and damn fine reading! I couldn't put it down! Well worth it! Rusch, Kristine Kathryn, and Dean Wesley Smith, eds. _Science Fiction Writers of America Handbook: The Professional Writer's Guide to Writing Professionally._ 2nd ed. Eugene, Oregon: Pulphouse, 1990. ISBN 1-56146-406-6, trade paperback, 248 pp., $10.00. Out of print. A collection of essays by SF writers on various aspects of the trade. A mixed bag, but the good stuff is very good. Mostly nuts-and-bolts, but some "how I write my masterpieces" essays. Also a very good section on contracts and copyright. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Note: SFWA has released a 3rd edition. Williamson, J. N., ed. _How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction._ Writers Digest Books, 1991. ISBN 0-89879- 483-8, trade paperback, $14.99. This is quite a varied book, each chapter individually written by a such authors as Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan., James Kisner, Dean R. Koontz, Marian Zimmer Bradley, and Robert Bloch Interesting reading, and a good reference book. 2.4 Writing Romance Novels Falk, Kathryn. _How to Write a Romance and Get It Published._ Revised ed. New American Library, 1990. ISBN 0-451-16531-4, paperback, $7.99. Several writers in my workshop like it; others hate it. My assessment is that it contains some useful information, some marginal generalizations, and some downright stupid advice. (My favorite: "You cannot be a successful romance novelist unless you wear silky underwear.") On the whole, this is a worthwhile book to have/read if you're interested in selling a romance novel, if only because of the extensive descriptions of the various formul of the various formulas in romance writing. Paludan, Eve. _The Romance Writer's Pink Pages: The Insider's Guide to Getting Your Romance Novel Published._ Prima Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0-761501-68-1, trade paperback. Out of print. A directory of romance publishers and agents who handle romance novels. Pianka, Phyllis Taylor. _How to Write Romances._ Revised and updated ed. Writer's Digest Books, 1989. ISBN 0-89879-324-6, hardcover, 192 pp., $14.99. If memory serves me correctly, this includes a sample synopsis that the author used to sell one of her books. 2.5 Writing for Children Yolen, Jane. _Writing Books for Children._ The Writer, 1983. ISBN 0-87116-133-8, softcover. Out of print. Advice from a _very_ successful author on how to research, create, and market books for the fastest-growing market. Yolen's passion and seriousness shine through every line. 2.6 Writing Plays and Screenplays Field, Syd. _Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting_ 3rd ed. Dell, 1987. ISBN 0-44-057647-4, trade paperback, $13.95. Fairly heavy going in places, but overall very good. Egri, Lajos. _The Art of Dramatic Writing._ Simon and Schuster, 1946, 1960, 1977. ISBN 0-67121-332-6, trade paperback, $12.00. Although oriented towards playwriting, most of the advice applies to any dramatic fiction writing. 2.7 Writing Nonfiction Barzun, Jaques. _Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers._ Revised ed. University of Chicago Press, 1985. ISBN 0-226- 03868-8, trade paperback, 292 pp., $14.95. Does not describe rhetoric in the classical sense, but he does give some excellent suggestions for becoming aware of and tightening up one's writing. Eye opening and well worth the reading. Although it covers mainly rhetoric, this book really applies to any kind of technical or expository writing, and to some extent narrative fiction. I'd classify it as a general purpose writing improvement book. Hardback edition out of print. Bly, Robert W. _Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $85,000 a Year._ New York: Henry Holt, 1988. ISBN 0-8050-1192-7, trade paperback, 273 pp., $10.95. Bly goes into great detail about the various kinds of writing that businesses often need: advertising (print, radio, and television), corporate reports, brochures, direct mail. He tells how to find clients that need these types of services, how much to charge, how long such jobs usually take. Bly describes how to promote yourself, find and maintain clients, and plan your time. He describes the business end of freelance work better than most, but he still skims over many areas that could be described in detail. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Corbett, Edward P. J. _Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student._ 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-19- 506293-0, hardcover, 600pp., $29.95. Highly recommended text for learning the ins and outs of expository writing. Includes technical topics such as discovering (inventing) material, organizing material, stylistic tricks and stunts, exercises, modes of reasoning and other methods of persuasion, and examples/analysis of these techniques in actual everyday (and formal) use in prose of various people ranging from Homer to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The principles described apply to any kind of prose used to persuade and inform an audience. It concentrates mainly on the written rather than the spoken word (the typical domain of Rhetoric). Van Wicklen, Janet. _The Tech Writing Game: A Comprehensive Career Guide for Aspiring Technical Writers_ Facts on File Books, 1992. ISBN 0-8160-2607-6, hardcover, 238pp., $22.95. Van Wicklen is a veteran Silicon Valley technical writer, and her advice is right on the mark. Even at the hardcover price, the book is worth every penny. -- <dianeo@genmagic.com>neo@genmagic.com> Yudkin, Marcia. _Freelance Writing for Magazines and Newspapers: Breaking in Without Selling Out_. HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0- 06-273278-1, trade paperback, $12.00. You can count on a huge return on your investment in _Freelance Writing_. I don't think I've ever read a dissection of the magazine industry that was as thorough, fair-minded, and full of genuinely helpful information. The appendix includes a great bibliography of resource books. Zinsser, William. _On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction._ 6th ed. HarperCollins, 1998. ISBN 0-06-273523-3, trade paperback, $14.00. Lots of good, basic advice on writing. This book is an interesting read as well as being useful. 2.8 Literary Criticism McCaffery, Larry. _Across the Wounded Galaxies: Interviews with Contemporary American Science Fiction Writers._ Univ. of Illinois Press, 1991. ISBN 0-252-06140-3, trade p0-252-06140- 3, trade paperback, $14.95. Larry McCaffery is best known for his criticism of Donald Barthelme and other authors of "metafiction," but he has, in this book, compiled a stunning collection of interviews with some of America's greatest contemporary SF authors, including William S. Burroughs, William Gibson, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin, Bruce Sterling, and Greg Benford. These are not fan-oriented interviews, either, but involved questions that probe each author's views about his or her craft and the state of the art in general. Lem, Stanislaw. _Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy._ Harcourt Brace, 1986. ISBN 0-15-659443-9, trade paperback, $11.00. Lem is probably one of the world's greatest living writers, and one of the few SF writers to publish a volume which analyzes the field critically. Lem makes many excellent points about the state of SF as he saw it when he was writing. 3 Books about the Writing Industry ================================== 3.1 Literary Agents and Agencies Curtis, Richard. _How to be Your Own Literary Agent: The Business of Getting a Book Published._ Revised and expanded ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. ISBN 0-395-71819-8, trade paperback, 257 pp., $13.95. This book is necessarily dated -- I think my version is from 1986, or maybe even 1984 -- but still germane in almost every regard. And it isn't dated much; I found virtually all of the language he discusses in his point-by-point contract review in my own 1991 contract, despite the years that have passed. (And was pleased to discover that the one section I'd made my publisher delete was one Curtis considered extremely disadvantageous.) This book is an absolute must for anyone dealing with book publishers, book contracts, and agents. 3.2 Copyright Fishman, Stephen. _The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works._ 4th ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 1997. ISBN 0-87337-414-2, paperback (8.5 x 11 inches), 368 pp., $29.95. Nolo's order number is (800) 992-6656; (510) 549-1976 for information. They're a well-respected if somewhat irreverent publisher of legal self-help materials, including some volumes that might be relevant to the business side of freelancing and contracting. The book claims to discuss international copyright law. The further you get from the borders of the US, the bigger the grain of salt you should take everythinthe US, the bigger the grain of salt you should take everything with, of course. _Note: This review refers to the second edition._ 3.3 Editing Brown, Renni, and Dave King. _Self-editing for Fiction Writers._ New York: HarperPerennial, 1993. ISBN 0-06-272046-5, trade paperback, 226 pp., $13.00. Brown and King's summation of all the usual advice is covered in the first five or six chapters. The suggestions are made well and with excellent examples. The remaining chapters move into some areas that are not typically covered in other "advice" books. Most interesting was the discussion of "beats" -- the stage business of writing; how to handle all of those "he said" and "she said" bits between the dialog. A quick review of this section, and authors should be able to pinpoint and correct any slow or dull sections of their writing. And with a little more attention to the rest of the book, intermediate writers be able to raise their writing skill to a professional level. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Lerner, Betsy. _The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers._Riverhead Books (New York): 2000. ISBN 1-57322-857-5, trade paperback, 277 pp., $12.00. An editor's-eye view of publishing, Lerner's book is both informative andheartening. If you've ever tried to get your writing published, you alreadyunderstand the value of knowing how the other half lives, because once you'veaccumulated a stack of rejection slips these publishing houses resemblenothing more than black boxes. Well, there is life inside the boxes, Lernershows us, and she is frank in depicting the pressures and constraints thatturn a group of book-lovers into editors. The first half of the book, in which Lerner identifies personality-types ofwriters she has worked with, stretches on a bit long, but in the end hermessage is to persevere if you believe you have the need to write (as opposedto fancying yourself "a writer"), because no matter how old or messed-up youare, someone has always accomplished it in even worse shape. Plus you'll geta few laughs along the way. -- John Mohler Jr. <Spitzbub@aol.com> Plotnik, Arthur. _The Elements of Editing: A Modern Guide for Editors and Journalists._ MacMillan, 1982, 1977. MacMillan, 1982, 1977. ISBN 0-02-861451-8, trade paperback, 156 pp., $9.95. Plotnik offers his observations and advice about editing, gained from years of experience in the field. He acknowledges that most editors are cramming six weeks worth of work into four weeks and repeating this accomplishment every four weeks. Plotnik describes the life of a manuscript from acquisition to publication -- an excellent summary for the novice, and an insightful observation to the experienced editor. He lists details for often unexplained processes such as registering the copyright and seeking permissions. He provides detailed information about copyrights and libel giving definitions and some situational examples. These provide an excellent resource for quick reference on these topics. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Rand, Ken. _The 10% Solution: Self-editing for the Modern Writer._ Seattle: Fairwood Press, 1998. ISBN 0-9668184-0-7, booklet, 64 pp., $5.99. In _The 10% Solution_, Ken Rand describes his theory for improved writing. First, youroved writing. First, you wear two hats: the writer's hat and the editor's hat. As a writer, you write quickly, without editorial criticism. As the editor, you revise and attempt to reduce the word count by 10%. Rand lists words and endings you should question in your writing. For example, you should examine each time _of_, appears and ask if it expresses your idea in the most accurate, clear, and brief way. If not, then revise or delete. Rand also provides the standard advice to read your prose aloud, read them on paper, and have someone else proofread them. Rand's advice is mostly sound, but Fairwood Press should have followed Rand's advice and scoured the proofs for numerous annoyances, such as widows, inconsistent font sizes, and a chapter of bulleted paragraphs. Rand's repeated use of, "More on this later," reveals the need to reorganize the material -- something not covered in Rand's advice. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> 4 Magazines about Writing ========================= _ByLine._ P.O. Box 130596 Edmond, OK 73013 Every issue features several articles on writing, market information, contests, some poetry, one short story, and a philosophical end piece. _ByLine_ is as much entertaining as enlightening, and even though helping writers sell is a topic, encouraging them to sit down and write is one of the primary messages. _ByLine_ assumes an intelligent and educated reader, willing to do the footworr, willing to do the footwork for an article or story. A big plus: _ByLine_ is subscriber paid and has no advertisements. Subscription rates: $20/year (11 issues, one double issue; subscription only, no newsstand sales), sample copy $3.50. _Poets & Writers Magazine._ This magazine full of interviews of authors like Amy Tan and John Irving, and includes many articles about creative writing and even _teaching_ creative writing. It's aimed at serious authors, not the "gee, I wanna write" audience that Writer's Digest seems geared towards. There are also copious listings of contests, grants, and workshops in the back half of each issue. _And_ there's even a helpline for subscribers. Yep, call up and get advice on writing/publishing direct from the staff! Subscription rates: $20/year (six issues), sample copy $3.50. _The Writer._ _Writer's Digest._ Most misc.writing contributors find these magazines target people who want to be writers rather than people who write. If you judge a magazine's intended audience by its advertisers, you'll notice that most ads in _Writer's Digest_ promise to edit/read/ghost-write/publish your masterpiece for pay; very h your masterpiece for pay; very few tell you how to invest your enormous royalty income. Some of the columns in _Writer's Digest_ are quite good; read these in the library. Note: The annual _Writer's Digest_ magazine poll often contains incorrect information about available markets, what these markets want, and where these markets are. A number of magazine editors have asked WD to _not_ include them in the list of ranked markets. Be aware inclusion or exclusion from the list is _not_ an indication of quality or availability. 5 Market Listings and Reports ============================= 5.1 General _The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses: 1998-99._ 34th ed. Paradise, California: Dustbooks, 1998. ISBN 0-916685-66-7, hardcover, $55.00. ISBN 0-916685-70- -5, hardcover, $34.95. Called the "bible of the business" by the Wall Street Journal, this thing is _huge,_ and full of small and literary markets that you won't find in any of the Writer's Digest books. Published annually. _Publishers Weekly_ <http://www.publishersweekly.com/> ISSN 0000-0019 P.O. Box 16178 North Hollywood, CA 91615-6178 1 (800) 278-2991, 1 (818) 487-4557 Expensive; contains useful industry gossip, hot off the presses. (I learned about the various suits against Donning Press from _PW;_ _Locus_ and _SF Chronicle_ didn't get the story until a month later.) Skim it in your library. The book reviews can help you get a handle on what your competition is up to. Subscription rate: $169.00/year. Email: <pw.subscriptions@bookwire.com> _Small Press Review_ ISSN 0037-7228 Dustbooks <http://www.dustbooks.com> P.O. Box 100 Paradise, CA 95967 1 (800) 477-6110, 1 (530) 877-6110 Small Press Review is a newsprint magazine with news on the small press and small magazine industry including start-ups. A typical issueincluding start-ups. A typical issue includes listings of new publishers with contact info, freelance job opportunities, contest information, and reviews of recent small press books and magazines. Subscription rate: Individuals, $25 (12 issues), $36 (36 issues); institutions: $31 (12 issues), $45 (36 issues). <dustbooks@telis.org>. Writer's Market Series _2000 Writer's Market: Where and How to Sell What you Write._ Eds. Kirsten C. Holm, Donya Dickerson, and Don Prues. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1999. ISBN 0-89879-911-2, hardcover, 1120 pp., $27.99. _1999 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market: Where and How to Sell Your Fiction._ Ed. Barbara Kuroff. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1999. ISBN 0-89879-876-0, hardcover, 678 pp., $24.99. _2000 Poet's Market: Where and How to Publish Your Poetry._ Eds. Christine Martin and Chantelle Bentley. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1999. ISBN 0-89879-915-5, hardcover, 608 pp., $23.99. Most public libraries have these books. You can buy a copy more cheaply by joining the Writer's Digest Book Club; see _Writer's Digest_ magazine for a blow-in card. Be sure to use the latest available edition! The publishing industry is a giant amoeba; not only do publishers' needs change, but editors change employment as frequently as Warren Beatty. . . Well, you get the idea. If you can, check the listed editor's name against another source (a friend at the publishing house, the masthead of the magazine) before submitting. 5.2 Children's Fiction _Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Newsletter_ Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators <http://www.scbwi.org/> 8271 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048 1 (323) 782-1010 The "SCBWI Bulletin" is a bimonthly publication containing comprehensive and current information in the field of children's literature. Features include the latest market reports, articles on issues in writing, illustrating, and publishing, information on contests and awards, reports of events in the field, news of SCBWI members, as well as information about ongoing SCBWI activities throughout the country. The "Bulletin" is an invaluable source of information and inspiration to writers and illustrators of children's literature. Each SCBWI region also publishes its own newsletter with both national and regional news. You can obtain a membership application form from the SCBWI web site. Subscription rate: $50/year, included in membership fees. Email: <membership@sckwi.org>. _Children's Book Insider_ P.O. Box 1030 Fairplay, CO 80440-1030 The Children's Book Insider sponsors The Children's Writing Resource Center <http://www.write4kids.com>. Subscription rate: $29.95/year, 12 issues. 5.3 Genre Fiction _Gila Queen's Guide to Markets_ <http://www.gilaqueen.com/> Kathy Ptacek, editor P.O. Box 97 Newton, NJ 07860 The _Gila Queen's Guide to Markets_ has annual issues on sf/f/h, romance, mystery/suspense, children/YA markets. Subscarkets. Subscription rate: $45/year, 10 issues ($49 Canada); Sample copy $6.00. Make checks payable in US funds to Kathryn Ptacek. Email: <kathryn@gilaqueen.com> or <GilaQueen@worldnet.att.net>. _Locus_ Locus Publications P.O. Box 13305 Oakland, CA 94661 A better source of industry gossip than _SF Chronicle;_ I suspect a working SF writer could live without it, though. Richard Curtis's industry column has ended, removing one good reason to subscribe.^ Locus also prints market reports, but these are done irregularly, and tend to have a "theme", such as pro market or book publisher or small press. Locus prints updates as available. Subscription rate: $35.00/year. _The Report_ Pulphouse Publishing Box 1227 Eugene, OR 97440 Pulphouse's blurb says, "a writer's magazine, filled with writers talking about all aspects of writing." Primarily for people interested in speculative fiction (SF, fantasy, horror). Comes out more-or-less quarterly. Subscription rates: $2.95/copy, $10.00/four issues. _Scavenger's Newsletter_ Janet Fox, editor 519 Ellinwood Osage City, KS 66523-1329 1 (913) 528-3538 "This little zine focuses on market information, covering, in the current issue, 91 magazines and fanzines" (SFWA Newsletter). Subscription rates: Bulk mailing with advertising flyers $14/year or $7/6 months; 1st class mail without advertising flyers $18/year or $9/6 months. _Science Fiction Chronicle_ P.O. Box 2730 Brooklyn, NY 11202-0056 Has quarterly Market Report sections. Useful source of information on new theme anthology, semipro magazines and other non-obvious markets, and editor shifts. Subscription rate: $30/year. _SFWA Bulletin_ <http://www.sfwa.org/bulletin/> 1436 Altamant Ave PMB 292 Schenectady, NY 12303-2977 The quarterly publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America <http://www.sfwa.org>. Subscription rate: $18/4 issues, $30/8 issues, $iption rate: $18/4 issues, $30/8 issues, $42/12 issues. Sample copy $3.95. Make checks payable in US funds to SFWA Bulletin. Tompkins, David G. _The Science Fiction Writer's Market Place and Sourcebook._ Writer's Digest Books, 1994. ISBN 0-89879-692-X, hardcover, 494 pp., $19.99. The essential market reference for writers of speculative fiction; this book tells everything you need to know to turn a saleable manuscript into a sale. One hundred seventy pages of magazine markets; three to five pages given to each major magazine and a page each for secondary markets. Eighty pages on novel markets; three to five pages each to the dozen major novel publishers, focusing on what editors want, how they think, and what basic strategy each publisher uses. Other sections include: trends in sf, craft and technique, how to get an agent, the editorial process, and a long list of other resources. The latter includes a complete list of Hugo and Nebula awards, sf bookstores, organizations, conventions, workshops, online references, pointers on other sources of up- to-date market information, and much more. -- Alexander von Thorn <alex@worldhouse.com> 6 References of Interest to Writers =================================== 6.1 Style Guides _The Chicago Manual of Style._ 14th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0-226-10389-7, hardcover, 921 pp., $40.00. One of the most comprehensive style guides available. With the 14th edition, the editors at the University of Chicago press got down off their high horse. Most sections have been rewritten and are much clearer than in previous editions. Many sections have been expanded, especially the sections on documentation (citing references): there are now two separate chapters, one for the author-date method, and another for the notes and bibliography method. As always, _Chicago_ has several excellent primers on manuscript preparation, editing, and printing. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> 6.2 Grammar and Usage Bierce, Ambrose. _Write It Write: A Little Blacklise of Literary Faults._ Toluca Lake, California: Terripam, 1986. ISBN 0- 9617270-0-4, hardcover, 74 pp., $12.95. A short, dictionary-style guide to word usage that reminds readers to carefully consider the meaning of the words one uses and to choose the precise meaning one wants. Although this might have been a good guide to follow at the end of the 19th Century, today this guide does little more than illustrate that the English language really does evolve. For example, Bierce labels the use of _pants_ as vulgar and recommends _trousers_ at the acceptable alternative. I would not recommend this book to any looking for a modern usage guide. In fact, I don't see a good reason to recommend _Write it Write_, except to linguists studying changes in English. -- Terry L Jeffress <jeffress@xmission.com> Fowler, Henry Watson. _Modern English Usage._ 2nd Revised ed. Oxford University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-192-81389-7, trade paperback, 725 pp., $12.95. You either love this one or you hate it. A period piece, written by an Englishman immediately after the Great War. Maggio, Rosalie. _The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage: A Guide to Nondiscriminatory Language._ Oryx Press, 1991. ISBN 0-89774- 653-8, trade paperback, 304 pp., $29.75. Looks like a good starting place for decisions about some issues in language. Miller, Casey, and Kate Swift. _The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (For Writers, Editors, and Speakers)._ 2nd ed. HarperCollins, 1988. ISBN 0-06-181602-7, softcover. Offers both general guidelines and many helpful examples. Strunk and White (and Osgood). _The Elements of Style._ 4th ed. Allyn & Bacon, 1999. ISBN 0-205-30902-X, paperback, 85 pp., $6.95. The classic that can change your life. _Not_ a general reference manual. 7 Acknowledgements ================== Many of the unattributed reviews are probably by Laurie Sefton, the original compiler. My thanks go out to Erin and all other previous maintainers for their hours of work. Also thanks to those who sent the occasional correction. 8 Copyright and Acceptable Use Statement ======================================== The misc.writing community started this list to help people find resources for becoming better writers. In that spirit, feel free to copy this list to any archive or other online resource as long as you (1) keep the list intact with no modifications, (2) e-mail me the URL or other reference pointing to where you will be storing the list, and (3) don't sell or make a profit from this list (e.g. a CR-ROM of FAQs). For all other uses, please contact me by e-mail at <jeffress@xmission.com>. Copyright (c) 1996 - 2002 Terry L Jeffress ###