Do you have a compelling vision for a story set in the past? Are you inspired by novelists such as Alan Furst and Philippa Gregory? Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction is designed for anyone who wants to write in this exciting and wide-ranging genre of fiction, whatever your favorite style and era.
Designed to build your confidence and help fire up creativity, this book is an essential guide to mastering the practicalities of writing historical fiction, showing you where to start with research, developing your plots, and convincingly and imaginatively capturing the voices of the past.
Using Snapshots designed to get you writing quickly, Key Ideas to help crystallize thought, and a wealth of supplementary materials, this indispensable guide will have you telling amazing and rich historical stories in no time. You’ll learn to research and plan your story, practice developing characters and settings, perfect your characters’ voices, and transport the reader to another era.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The Teach Yourself Creative Writing series helps aspiring authors tell their stories. Covering a range of genres from science fiction and romantic novels to illustrated children’s books and comedy, this series is packed with advice, exercises, and tips for unlocking creativity and improving your writing. And because we know how daunting the blank page can be, we set up the Just Write online community, at tyjustwrite.com, for budding authors and successful writers to connect and share.
Cory Arcangel - Working On My Novel
What does it feel like to try and create something new? How is it possible to find a space for the demands of writing a novel in a world of instant communication? Working on My Novel is about the act of creation and the gap between the different ways we express ourselves today. Exploring the extremes of making art, from satisfaction and even euphoria to those days or nights when nothing will come, it's the story of what it means to be a creative person, and why we keep on trying.
Ron Rozelle - Description & Setting
For a story to be successful, it must come alive on the page. With Description & Setting, you will learn how to make every detail count as you create believable people, places and events. This valuable reference: Shows you how to master the challenging - and often overlooked - subjects of description and setting Offers hands-on action-and-results excercises that allow you to incorporate lessons into your own work Provides busy writers, such as yourself, with accessible information through sidebars, excercises, checklists and more With clear examples from popular fiction and tips for specific genres, bringing a story to life has never been this easy or this fun.
Les Edgerton - Hooked
The first pages are the #1 key to acceptance or rejection of manuscripts--most agents and editors claim to make their decision on a manuscript after the very first page, which means that no writer can afford to have a weak story beginning The first and only fiction-writing book that focuses exclusively on beginnings--no other book on the market addresses story beginnings in a comprehensive manner Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It's just that simple. Hooked provides readers with a detailed understanding of what a beginning must include (setup, backstory, the inciting incident, etc.); instruction on how to successfully develop the story problem; tips on how to correct common beginning mistakes; exclusive insider advice from agents, acquiring book editors, and literary journal editors; and much more.
Donald Maass - The Emotional Craft of Fiction
While writers might disagree over showing versus telling or plotting versus pantsing, none would argue this: If you want to write strong fiction, you must make your readers feel. The reader's experience must be an emotional journey of its own, one as involving as your characters' struggles, discoveries, and triumphs are for you. That's where The Emotional Craft of Fiction comes in. Veteran literary agent and expert fiction instructor Donald Maass shows you how to use story to provoke a visceral and emotional experience in readers. Topics covered include: emotional modes of writing beyond showing versus telling your story's emotional world moral stakes connecting the inner and outer journeys plot as emotional opportunities invoking higher emotions, symbols, and emotional language cascading change story as emotional mirror positive spirit and magnanimous writing the hidden current that makes stories move Readers can simply read a novel...or they can experience it. The Emotional Craft of Fiction shows you how to make that happen.
Denise Jaden - Fast Fiction
Writers flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels.
Jack M. Bickham - Scene & Structure
Craft your fiction with scene-by-scene flow, logic and readability. An imprisoned man receives an unexpected caller, after which "everything changed..." And the reader is hooked. But whether or not readers will stay on for the entire wild ride will depend on how well the writer structures the story, scene by scene. This book is your game plan for success. Using dozens of examples from his own work - including Dropshot, Tiebreaker and other popular novels - Jack M. Bickham will guide you in building a sturdy framework for your novel, whatever its form or length. You'll learn how to: *"worry" your readers into following your story to the end * prolong your main character's struggle while moving the story ahead * juggle cause and effect to serve your story action As you work on crafting compelling scenes that move the reader, moment by moment, toward the story's resolution, you'll see why...* believable fiction must make more sense than real life * every scene should end in disaster * some scenes should be condensed, and others built big Whatever your story, this book can help you arrive at a happy ending in the company of satisfied readers.
Stephen King - On Writing
"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Rita Mae Brown - Starting from Scratch
While Brown offers sound practical advice for fiction writers, her witty colloquial style makes this manual more entertaining than others. Brown is less concerned with showing writers how to break into the market than with their survivalphysical, spiritual, and creativewhile trying to become published. Thus she instructs the reader not just in matters of craft but how to get enough to eat and sleep while working the "paying job." Suggested writing exercises, an annotated reading list, and a plan for a model writer's school all betray Brown's seriousness about the entreprise of literary production, making this useful for students of writing and literature and of interest to those curious about Brown's own career.
Katharine Grubb - Write a Novel in 10 Minutes a Day
'The Ten-Minute Novel' will help you sculpt a full-length piece of creative writing in just ten minutes a day. Starting with a daily practical exercise, it will help you manage your writing schedule within this time frame and help you bring your novel to life. You will be able to clarify your vision and review your time commitments, as well as understand your own abilities. Learning to observe the world around you, write quickly and tap into your unique voice will help you to create all the elements of your story and, by the time you've finished all the exercises, you'll have created something beautiful.
Gerald Levin - Short Essays
Short Essays covers the rhetorical modes and strategies important to a student writer. Organized according to Kinneavian principles, the text is structured rhetorically in five parts: Organizing and Developing the Essay, Expressive Writing, Exposition, Arguing and Persuading, and Effective Sentences and Diction. Features: * Contains 77 readings. * Presents part and section openers with detailed introductions and brief examples. * Prepares reader for the essay by giving information about the author and essay in the headnotes. * Offers commentary on each of the essays. * Suggests writing assignments relating a rhetorical principle or content issue to student's own experience. * Provides Questions for Study and Discussion on content and essay rhetoric. * Lists key words and questions about key words to encourage dictionary use. * Contains glossary of terms and vocabulary study. New to this edition: * Features 21 new essays on a wide range of thought-provoking topics.
James N. Frey - How to Write a Damn Good Novel
Written in a clear, crisp, accessible style, this book is perfect for beginners as well as professional writers who need a crash course in the down-to-earth basics of storytelling. Talent and inspiration can't be taught, but Frey does provide scores of helpful suggestions and sensible rules and principles. An international bestseller, How to Write a Damn Good Novel will enable all writers to face that intimidating first page, keep them on track when they falter, and help them recognize, analyze, and correct the problems in their own work.
James N. Frey - How to Write a Damn Good Novel II
"Damn good" fiction is dramatic fiction, Frey insists, whether it is by Hemingway or Grisham, Le Carre or Ludlum, Austen or Dickens. Despite their differences, these authors' works share common elements: strong narrative lines, fascinating characters, steadily building conflicts, and satisfying conclusions. Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of the most widely used guides ever published for aspiring authors. Here, in How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II, Frey offers powerful advanced techniques to build suspense, create fresher, more interesting characters, and achieve greater reader sympathy, empathy, and identification. How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II also warns against the pseudo-rules often inflicted upon writers, rules such as "The author must always be invisible" and "You must stick to a single viewpoint in a scene," which cramp the imagination and deaden the narrative. Frey focuses instead on promises that the author makes to the reader—promises about character, narrative voice, story type, and so on, which must be kept if the reader is to be satisfied. This book is rich, instructive, honest, and often tellingly funny about the way writers sometimes fail their readers and themselves.
Monica Wood - Description
Description is most powerful when it's visible, aural, tactile. Make your descriptions fresh and they'll move your story forward, imbue your work with atmosphere, create that tang of feeling that editors cry for and readers crave. Monica Wood helps you squeeze the greatest flavor from the language. She segments description like an orange, separating its slices to let you sample each one. You'll learn about: - Detail, and how you can use description to awaken the reader's senses of touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight - Advancing story using only relevant description--and how to edit out sluggish, reader-stopping writing - Style, and the use of description to create a mood that matches your story's content - Point of view --how selecting omniscient, first person or third person limited narrative influences the descriptive freedom you have - Creating original word depictions of people, animals, places, weather and movement Wood teaches by example, developing stories with characters in various situations, to show you how you can apply description techniques. You'll also see samples of work by such noted writers as Mark Helprin, Anne Tyler and Raymond Carver. And you'll find the dos and don'ts, lists and descriptive alternatives to common verbs and nouns, and tips for editing your work.
Nancy Kress - Beginnings, Middles and Ends
Translating a flash of inspiration into a compelling story requires careful crafting. Nancy Kress addresses each stage of narrative, helping writers hook readers in the first three paragraphs, build drama and credibility by controlling prose, and practice careful revision skills to create a powerful and dramatic conclusion. Dozens of writing exercises keep writers focused and strengthen essential writing techniques.
Jack M. Bickham - The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them
Fictional life, according to Jack Bickham, is better than real life. You don't get struck by lightning. You are not subject to random acts of cruelty. Events proceed logically. On the other hand, Bickham says, "In fiction, the best times for the writer--and reader--are when the story's main character is in the worst trouble." Not good if you're a fictional character. The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes is as engaging as Bickham wants your fiction to be. It is sharp, focused, funny, and pointed. And it is demanding. Bickham, who has written over 65 novels and several fiction-writing guides, has little patience for wannabes. "Writers write," Bickham says. "Everyone else makes excuses." Bickham's pronouncements are decidedly negative: "Don't Describe Sunsets," advises one chapter; "Don't Write About Wimps"; "Don't Let Your Characters Be Windbags"; and "Don't Worry What Your Mother Will Think." But his lessons are positive. Behind each dictum is a terse, entertaining, and utterly well-reasoned examination of why the problem is a problem, and what you can do to expunge it from your prose. --Jane Steinberg
Chuck Wendig - The Kick-Ass Writer
The journey to become a successful writer is long, fraught with peril, and filled with difficult questions: How do i write dialogue? How do I build suspense? What should I know about query letters? Where do I start? The best way to answer these questions is to ditch your uncertainty and transform yourself into a KICK-ASS writer. Chuck Wendig will show you how with an explosive broadside of gritty advice that will destroy your fears, clear the path, and help you find your voice, your story, and your audience. You'll explore the fundamentals of writing, learn how to obtain publication, and master the skills you need to build an army of dedicated fans. No task is too large or small for the kick-ass writer. With his trademark acerbic wit and gut-punch humor, Wendig will explain: * How to build suspense, craft characters, and defeat writer's block. * How to write a scene, an ending--even a sentence. * Blogging techniques, social media skills, and crowdfunding. * How to write a query letter, talk to agents, and deal with failure--and success! Whether you're just starting out or you need one more push to get you over the top, two things are certain--a kick-ass writer never quits, and Chuck Wendig won't let you down in this high-octane guide to becoming the writer you were born to be!
William Zinsser - On Writing Well
Based on a course William Zinsser taught at Yale and his long experience as a writer, editor and teacher, On Writing Well has been praised by journalists, teachers, writers, students, and grateful users since its publication in 1976. Read by Zinsser with warmth, humor, and encouragement, On Writing Well shows how to apply the author's four principles of writing: Clarity; Simplicity; Brevity; and Humanity. He stresses the importance of reading your writing aloud to hear how it sounds and illustrates the difference between good and bad nouns, and good and bad verbs. Specific examples are given throughout the recording that show how writing can be improved.
Chris Baty - No Plot? No Problem!
Chris Baty, motivator extraordinaire and instigator of a wildly successful writing revolution, spells out the secrets of writing -- and finishing -- a novel. Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which Baty founded, determined to (a) write that novel or (b) finish that novel in -- kid you not -- 30 days. Now Baty puts pen to paper himself to share the secrets of success. With week-specific overviews, pep "talks," and essential survival tips for today's word warriors, this results-oriented, quick-fix strategy is perfect for people who want to nurture their inner artist and then hit print! Anecdotes and success stories from NaNoWriMo winners will inspire writers from the heralding you-can-do-it trumpet blasts of day one to the champagne toasts of day thirty. Whether it's a resource for those taking part in the official NaNo WriMo event, or a stand-alone handbook for writing to come, No Plot? No Problem! is the ultimate guide for would-be writers (or those with writer's block) to cultivate their creative selves.
Francine Prose - Reading Like a Writer
In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters and discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart—to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; to look to John Le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue, and to Flannery O'Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most importantly, she cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.
Donald Maass - The Fire in Fiction
Discover the Difference Between a So-So Manuscript and a Novel Readers Can't ForgetWe've all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether? Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay stories that never take flight. They don't grip the imagination, let alone the heart. They merit only a shrug and a polite dismissal by agents and editors. It doesn't have to be that way. In "The Fire in Fiction," successful literary agent and author Donald Maass shows you not only how to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion, but how to do it over and over again. The book features: Techniques for capturing a special time and place, creating characters whose lives matter, nailing multiple-impact plot turns, making the supernatural real, infusing issues into fiction, and more.Story-enriching exercises at the end of every chapter to show you how to apply the practical tools just covered to your own work.Rich examples drawn from contemporary novels as diverse as "The Lake House," "Water for Elephants," and "Jennifer Government" to illustrate how various techniques work in actual stories. Plus, Maass introduces an original technique that any novelist can use any time, in any scene, in any novel, even on the most uninspired day...to take the most powerful experiences from your personal life and turn those experiences directly into powerful fiction. Tap into" The Fire in Fiction," and supercharge your story with originality and spark!