Spiletta42's Bookstore

You will not find a single book on this site that I have not myself read. These are the books I have used in my quest to become a better writer. Perhaps they will help you as well.

Books For Writers

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers Renni Browne
Dave King
This one is exceptional. Take any first draft and turn it into publishable material with this great editing guide. Improved my writing one hundred percent. This is not a grammar guide. It is much deeper.cover
The Elements of StyleWilliam Strunk, Jr
E.B. White
Here's the grammar guide. If you need it, buy it. This is THE classic text on the subject.cover
The Creative Writer's Style GuideChristopher T. Leland This style guide takes into account specific aspects of fiction, including the differences from other types of writing, the handling of slang and pop culture, and other useful things. Highly recommended for fanfiction writers.
Telling Lies for Fun & Profit Lawrence BlockThis is such a classic, you'll read it many times over. I wish I had read it years ago. Absolutely a must have.cover
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy Orson Scott CardA great guide for science fiction writers from the brilliant author of Ender's Game. It's really helpful to learn how concepts like that are developed.cover
The Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe George Ochoa
Jeffrey Osier
This is outstanding. It gives all the details that Card didn't give in his sci-fi guide, and the two compliment each other wonderfully. This has very little about how to write, plot, or where to find ideas (which is what Card taught us) but it is excellent in the creation of a universe. This book delivers what it promises.cover
Worlds of Wonder
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
David GerroldWinner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards and the writer of The Trouble With Tribbles, Gerrold shares valuable advice on writing speculative fiction that sells. Excellent examples of specific techniques using Gerrold's own work and that of the great Robert A. Heinlein. (It's also the third or fourth book I've read that quotes the phrase "the door dilated.")cover
Aliens and Alien Societies Stanley Schmidt
Ben Bova, Editor
Astrobiology for the writer. A detailed study on how to create aliens and the worlds they hail from.cover
World-Building Stephen L. Gillett
Ben Bova, Editor
A detailed guide for creating fictional planets that even scientists will believe.cover
Borderlands of Science Charles SheffieldEven more science for the writer. Helpful and entertaining for fans of science fiction as well as writers.cover
The Science of Science-Fiction Writing James GunnThis is another how-to guide for science fiction, including writing advise and examples from classic science fiction.cover
Characters and Viewpoint Orson Scott CardThis is very helpful for developing characters and using them properly. I especially enjoyed it since I had already read all the novels used as examples.cover
Dynamic Characters Nancy KressDon't write about boring characters. Write about exciting characters that hold the reader's attention.cover
Writing Dialogue Tom Chiarella Get the 'he said/she said' down pat, and your characters will have conversations that are natural, interesting, and easy to read.cover
The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes Jack M. BickhamThis is excellent. A great thing to read while in the development stage in any project. Character chapter is particularly well done.cover
Creating Character EmotionsAnn HoodThis one helped me a great deal, but I can see how it might frustrate some. Be prepared to think, because she doesn't hand out easy answers. "Don't say blah," she'll tell you, but there aren't any suggestions for what to say instead. So you'll have to think for yourself, but this will help you do so. Very helpful in avoiding cliches.cover
Getting Into Character Brandilyn CollinsThis one was fun. A great way to study character motivation and character mannerisms. Excellent. Really excellent. Takes what actors already know and transforms it for the writer.cover
45 Master Characters Victoria Lynn SchmidtCharacter design issues? Here's a fun way to cheat. This one works best when combined with Getting Into Character. Together, they work wonders. cover
How to Write a Book ProposalMichael LarsenThis one is for non fiction, and is a standard guide. If you need it, you need it.cover
Visions and Revisions Lyn WalkerFull of harmless little writing exercises, some of which may even inspire a story.
Beginnings, Middles & EndsNancy KressReally a helpful book. Goes well with Dynamic Characterscover
The Writers Complete Fantasy Reference Terry Brooks
Writer's Digest
Very helpful in creating a fantasy universe.cover
Everyday Life in the Middle Ages Sherrilyn KenyonEuropean middle ages, of course. Very informative. Bought it to look stuff up, read much of it.cover
Everyday Life Among the American Indians Candy MoultonA great writer's reference which makes your story's setting authentic. Especially helpful to Star Trek fanfiction writers dealing with Chakotay's heritage.cover
Story Starters Lou Willett Stanek, Ph.D.This is the cure for writer's block. If you don't have an idea, pick one of these at random and go. No more excuses!cover
The Deer on a Bicycle Patrick McManusThis is just plain fun to read. Learn from a great humor writer as he shares how he came to be a great humor writer.cover
Plot Ansen DibellThis is great help if you have a character in your mind but nothing in particular to do with him. Learn how to build a plot without leaving any hanging threads.cover
The First Five Pages Noah T. Lukeman Another fabulous book which helps you see your hard work through an editor's eyes. A must read.cover
Zen in the Art of Writing Ray BradburyA nice cure for writer's block. Thoughts on writing from a master.cover
The Art and Craft of Poetry Michael J. Bugeja A very helpful guide on poetry. Both practical discussion of form and helpful exercises to coax the muse from hiding.cover
The All-Breed Dictionary of Unusual Names Gloria S. JarrettOkay, so what's a dog breeding book doing on this list? It's great for naming aliens as well as dogs. Enjoy.
Rewrite Right Jan VenoliaI can't stress this enough. There are no great writers. Only great rewriters. Here's another editing method, though not strictly for fiction.cover
Writer's Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing Jean M. Fredette Helpful advice for those trying to make a living.cover
How to Write a Dirty Story Susie BrightThis goes a little far, but has some helpful advice. This is meant for writing erotica, not just a sex scene in a mainstream novel. Good for fanfiction writers.cover