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    I want to Write a Book, Which Books Would Help Me Write One?

    The Ailment: Although I have wrote in a journal for many years, I have recently started to consider the possibility of writing a novel. I have an idea that I think I can visualise as a book, but need some advice on how to get started. What books would you recommend?

    The Cure: Books are a personal thing and so what works for one writer may not work for another. I know many writers who swear that Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones is the best thing to hit the fiction writers "how to" market in years - whilst it did nothing for me at all. My creativity just works in a different way to hers. However, since so many writers do recommend this book, I suggest that you at least give it a try.

    Specifically for instruction on writing novels my choice would go firstly to The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray. Broken down into weekly assignments, this easy to follow book takes you step by step through the process of writing a novel and gets you to think not only of the story you have in mind, but of the background that your characters have. He instructs you to write scenes that will never make it into your novel but are terrific because through the exercises you create multi-dimensional and believable characters.

    The Writer's Digest produces some wonderful books on writing fiction. In particular, I find their book on "Setting" to be invaluable. Two other books I would recommend you to read by them are "The Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing" which is a compilation of articles which moves through the process of writing a novel from idea to negotiating with publishers, and "How to Write & Sell Your First Novel" by Oscar Collier which offers more advice on how to tackle your project.

    Finally, if you are writing contemporary fiction, you may find So You Want to Write a Novel by Lou Willett Stanek interesting as it not only takes you through the basics, but like "The Weekend Novelist, it also gets you to think more about the depth of your characters and setting.

    Most of these books should be available through your local library, but you may find that once you locate the ones that are most helpful to you that you want to purchase them so you can refer back to them time and time again.

    Copyright © 2001 Katie Gustafsson

    Katie Gustafsson is an English freelance writer/translator/poet who lives in Sweden with her soul-mate/husband (whom she met online), Mikael, and their baby son, Jake. Her writing credits include print and on-line publications in short stories, articles and poetry. Recent articles include work for Amateur Chef magazine, and Dreamguide.com where she is the guide for the USA for Foreigners section. She is owns the Wake Up Writing site.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

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    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

    FOR JOURNALERS

    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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