Let's say you decide to write your first book. You scoot up in your chair, pull out your laptop/pen & paper/typewriter and...you sit. Waiting for the book to come around won't help you. Sometimes creativity sparks or it gets tapped out. The thing you have to realize is that you must make your book different from the countless others.
How do you do that, you ask?
Here's the secret.
I know, not that big of a secret, but still, it is one of the best tools in your workshop. The more you read, the better understanding you will have. Over the hundreds of books you could read, you'll develop tastes. Likes and dislikes. You'll be able to compare books to what you could be writing. Even bad books are essential. Read as many of those as you can because that will spark you to put down the book and say, forget this, I can do better than this.
You also have to have a drive. For that, I've prepared a list of books that will get you going. Stuff your mind with information on both the craft and the publishing industry. The better your understanding, the smoother your drive down literary lane will be.
The books that helped me:
- On Writing by Stephen King
- The Story and Its Writer
- The Writer's Handbook 2005
- Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2006
- POD People by Jeremy Robinson
- Plug Your Book
- A Writer's Guide to Fiction by Elizabeth Lyon
- No Plot? No Problem!
- The Ultimate Book of Top Ten Books
It also helps to keep at your side the book/books you are most influenced by. Here are mine:
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder
- Magic Man by Ron Base
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." ~ Stephen King