Reference Materials

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Every writer has a shelf or two, or six, of reference materials. What's in your library?
DaveK's picture

Write Screenplays That Sell the Ackerman Way

Not that I'm suggesting that we all start writing screenplays but Write Screenplays That Sell the Ackerman Way by Hal Ackerman is a good read. It talks a lot about story and how to tell one. In a movie context of course but keeping you audience sitting down and watching (or reading) has a lot in common between the screen and a book.

He also describes a method using 3x5 cards to build a story. It may result in a bit of a short novel but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

DaveK's picture

Script Writing

I've never actually written a script but I have been tempted and here are some links that I accumulated. The celtx link is to some free script writing software that I've heard good things about.

Dave K

DaveK's picture

How to write a novel

Here is an interesting web site

It is a 100 days of encouragement and advice about writing a novel. On the first day you make a promise to yourself that you are going to do it.

On the lighter side go see . One of his "reviews" seems to be part of a rejection letter from the Austin Wahl Agency. This agency is one that is "Not Recommended" by Preditors and Editors because it charges a reading fee.

camidon's picture

SCBWI: Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators

If you write for a younger audience, at any level, than JOIN THIS GROUP. It was the best writing decision I've made so far.

Yes, the acronym is as clunky as they come, but I've heard the story behind its existence (it's not that funny, but I know it!)

The group includes writers and illustrators of Picture Books, Early Chapter Books, Middle-Grade Novels, Young Adult Novels, Hardcore Teen Novels, Nonfiction magazine articles and books, graphic novels, and way more.

Everyone is welcome and is welcoming, at all ability levels, from rookies to pros. That is not the case with many other writing organizations.

DaveK's picture

Creative Writer's Style Guide

I got the book The Creative Writer's Style Guide by Christopher T. Leland the other day. It is a style guide much like The Chicago Manual of Style or The Gregg Reference Manual but this one is focused on creative writing not business styles. The best part was that B&N had it in the bargain books for only $6. It is definitely worth that, and if you don't have another good reference this is a good one to start with, even at full price.

It starts with a section on parts of speech, for those of us who slept through high school english, goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, and a whole chapter on dialogue.

camidon's picture

Cybernetics and Thought Control

A paralyzed man with a small sensor implanted in his brain was able to control a computer, a television set and a robot using only his thoughts, scientists reported yesterday.
Rick Friedman
Matthew Nagle, left paralyzed when he was stabbed five years ago, and the circle he drew on a computer screen by using only his thoughts.
Those results offer hope that in the future, people with spinal cord injuries, Lou Gehrig’s disease or other conditions that impair movement may be able to communicate or better control their world.
“If your brain can do it, we can tap into it,” said John P. Donoghue, a professor of neuroscience at who has led development of the system and was the senior author of a report on it being published in today’s issue of the journal Nature.

SF and Fantasy Workshop Newsletter April 2006

Here's a link to a monthly newsletter with writing advice that members and guests may find useful at

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