Monday, July 1, 2013


by Maria C. Ferrer

Happy July! It’s time to pack the sunscreen, beach chair, umbrella, cooler and how-to writing books.

Yes, I said how-to writing books. Even as my TBR pile grows exponentially, I still want to make time this summer to read some how-to books. A writer should never stop perfecting her writing skills. Here are five books that I have singled out for summer study:

THE ARTIST’S WAY: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. This is an oldie but goodie that has never gone out of style in more than a decade. It’s a 12-week “course” on the creative process, and a great excuse to buy a new writing journal.

THE FIRE IN FICTION: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass. Maass is a well-known literary agent, who knows the difference between a so-so manuscript and a novel readers can’t forget. This book is meant to help you discover the “passion” within to make all your novels unforgettable.

THE MARSHALL PLAN FOR NOVEL WRITING: A 16-Step Program Guaranteed to Take You From Idea to Complete Manuscript, by Evan Marshall. Marshall is another literary agent. This book contains sections on plotting, writing fiction like a pro, polishing your manuscript, and marketing your novel. This information never goes out of style.

THE MARSHALL PLAN WORKBOOK: Writing Your Novel From Start to Finish, by Evan Marshall. The companion to the book above; this one is full of blueprints on how to write your characters, your plotting, fleshing out your story, etc. Great for writing exercises.

NO MORE REJECTIONS: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript That Sells by Alice Orr. Alice is an author, editor and agent with over 20 years experience. This book is filled with “practical knowledge and advice” from writing the story to writing the sales pitch to improving your story to getting it sold. Alice’s mantra: Just Do It. So I am!

There are other books on writing that are equally informative and beneficial, but I will start with these.

What books are you reading this summer? And, are you including any how-to-write books in their number? If so, which books would make your summer reading list?###

Happy Summer. Happy Reading.♥

Maria C. Ferrer is President of RWA/NYC and an RWA PRO member. She enjoys reading, writing and sun worshipping. She hopes to do all three soon and often this summer.

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