Friday, December 31, 2010

A few of my favorite things

There's nothing I love more than finding a package from Amazon in our mailbox--addressed to me of course. If someone asks me what I want for my birthday, Christmas, anniversary, or other occasions that require unwrapping presents, I always just have one answer. Books, books, books and many more of them.

Back to why I'm writing this post. A few weeks ago I received one of my endless orders from Amazon. This is what I bought:

 Romance Writer's Phrase Book (Perigee): I actually bought a copy of this book last year but after moving twice, it disappeared. I loved it so much that after ransacking the apartment for months and not finding it, I had to order it again. I can live without it, but I don't want to. It's not only the romance phrases I'm interested in--some are really great--but the way it never fails to get my juices flowing is inspiring. I just had to get it...AGAIN. I know at some point I'll probably bump into the old copy, but what the hell, then I'll have a reserve.

 The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile: I heard great things about this book. I haven't really read it through yet, but so far, I am happy with the advice Noah Lukeman has given me. It definitely wasn't a waste of money.

 Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print : I really like this book, but I was quite frustrated when it landed in my mailbox. When I flipped the first few pages, I realized that I already have it--with a different cover. But I do have to tell you that it is worth having because it taught so much about editing. I thought my writing was all that, until I read Chapter 1: Show and Tell.and Chapter 7: Easy Beats. After reading especially those two chapters, I wanted to shrivel up and die. The scenes, sentences, and words I thought made my novel a super star, were the things I did wrong. I'm glad I bought it. And having a second copy can't hurt either.

 The Describer's Dictionary: A Treasury of Terms & Literary Quotations: This book is the reason for this post. I love it love it love it. I mentioned on twitter that I love a reference book that just gets me. This book is it. No writer should be without it. With this book at my side, I think faster, writer stronger and make my scenes pop like never before.

Those were just a few reference books I feel make my life a little easier. They deserved a mention.

What are your favorite writing reference books?

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