Artists’ Yearbook, London: A & C Black
The one, essential must-have for anybody seriously
intending to make money from writing. This volume
provides comprehensive listings of publishers and
agents in the UK and overseas, concise and practical
articles from established writers and trade professionals
covering each critical aspect of the publishing
business and a more extensive list of societies'
and associations' web sites, writing courses, writers'
retreats and research libraries than anything that
could be given in these pages.
and authorative English dictionary: Chambers,
Collins, Oxford Concise (or Webster’s if you are
expecting to write principally for the US market).
of English Words and Phrases (Latest edition): Longmans.
This is an item that many writers affect to despise
and would have you believe they never use. Though
they may be somewhat disingenuous, the thesaurus
is a tool to be used sparingly. Its value and true
purpose is to help you unlock your own vocabulary,
to rescue precise words from the mush of memory
when the occasion demands. It is not a tool for
increasing your word power (only the reading of
quality prose will do that). Nor is it for impressing
readers and editors with your superior 'knowledge'
of rare or arcane words (you won't).
||Fowler’s Modern English Usage
(Latest edition), Oxford: O.U.P.
of Phrase and Fable, London: Cassel
Especially useful to historical writers seeking
to purge anachronisms from idiomatic prose and especially
from the mouths of their characters.
||Jonathon Green (l998) The Cassels
Dictionary of Slang, London: Cassels
(2003) Eats Shoots & Leaves, London, Profile
An engaging and enjoyable polemic and a concise
exposition of the what, how and why of good punctuation.
The last decade has seen an explosion in books offering
guidance on how to be a successful writer. The brief
listing that follows is nonetheless somewhat longer
than most serious writers need. Sooner or later, successful
writers stop reading about the subject and start writing.
There are no magic bullets. If you read only one of
them, read Stephen King.
(1934) Becoming a Writer, London: MacMillan
A classic that has inspired the great and the good
over several decades and consequently remains in
Kaplan (1997) Re writing: A Creative Approach to
Writing Fiction, London: A & C Black
The very best writers re write. This is a sound,
practical guide to sharpening up structure, narrative,
description and dialogue to inject pace and momentum
in your writing.
(2000) On Writing, London: Hodder Headline
The man ought to know what he is talking about and
he does. On Writing is as readable as any of King’s
novels. This is a down-to-earth and yet an inspirational
book and which defies much conventional wisdom by
reminding us that story and plot are not one and
Characters Plot and Structure
||Margaret Geraghty (1995) the
Novelist’s Guide, London: Piatkus
||Christopher Vogler (1992) The
Writer’s Journey, London: Pan/MacMillan
||Syd Field (1979) Screenplay,
New York: Dell
||J. Michael Straczynski (1996)
The Complete Book of Scriptwriting, London: Titan
(1996) Research for Writers, London: A & C Black
||Carole Blake (1999) Everything
You Need to Know to Get Your Novel Published, London:
Getting an Independent Assessment
of your Work
Once the rejection slips start to arrive it is not
uncommon for many writers to ponder whether they have
something truly valuable to offer and worth persisting
with or are simply wasting their time. Such is the competitive
nature of the current market for fiction that the paths
of fortitude and folly can be difficult to distinguish
and publishers and agents will rarely take the time
to share a full and honest appraisal of your work.
A growing number of organisations offer such an evaluation
on a commercial basis. Most are professional organisations
comprising writers, former agents or editors who will
give an honest and independent appraisal of the merits
of what you send them and of its commercial viability.
Fees vary both between providers and according to the
volume of what you send them. There are usually different
rates for a synopsis, for a selected number of chapters
or for a full manuscript and premium rates for those
seeking a fast turnaround.
Some will give your work a more thorough study and more detailed feedback than others.
We would particularly recommend The Writers Workshop
and The Literary Consultancy
Some Useful Web Contacts for Writers