Saturday, February 18, 2017

Top 3 Writing Resource Books (Jill)


Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.
                      ~Stephen King (On Writing)

While writing is a solitary journey, writers (at least good writers) shouldn’t write in a vacuum. As the quote above implies, once you’ve unleashed your wild creativity, pull out the helpers—critique groups, beta readers, editors, proofreaders. And resource books, lots and lots of them. You should have a handful of really important ones at your fingertips. Here's my Top 3 picks.

1. The New American Roget’s College Thesaurus (Revised Edition by Philip Morehead) or The Synonym Finder (by J. I. Rodale)   

Yes, yes, I know I've listed two books, but they do the same job. When the word “room” pops up four times in one paragraph, either book offers alternate word choices. But be careful when choosing which one to grace your bookshelf. While the first one is a moderate 649 pages, The Synonym Finder is a massive 1361 pages.

2. The New Age Baby Name Book (by Sue Browder)

This book is pure gold, especially for speculative fiction authors. There isn’t a plain Jane or Adam in this book, but instead you'll find a wealth of other interesting names. It starts off with Aba, a Ghanaian name for a girl born on a Thursday, and ends with Zorya, a Ukrainian male name meaning "star." If you need a name for that dragon lurking around the next corner, check this book out. A great resource.

 3. The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction or The Irresistible Novel (both by Jeff Gerke)

Again, I’ve broken the Top 3 Rules by listing two books here, but there’s a method to my madness. The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction is fantastic. But if your WIP (Work In Progress) isn’t Christian fiction, The Irresistible Novel is a good alternative. Mr. Gerke covers just about every writing topic in each of these books and does so in a fun, informative style that’s never didactic. I usually fall asleep when reading non-fiction—but I didn’t with these books.

So check these books out. When you’re ready to open the door and rewrite, they’ll be waiting for you. And in the comments section, let us know which resource books you can't live without!


  1. These look like great resources, Jill! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Thanks, Jill - these look great! I especially love the New Age Baby Name book idea - I use a baby name book that's pretty extensive, but the names don't particularly scream fantasy :)

    1. I love baby name books! I picked #2 up at a book sale and it's been invaluable -- maybe check Amazon for a used copy, if you're interested. Have a great day, Laurie!

  3. Thank you for sharing these resources, Jill. And I love this quote!

  4. You're welcome! (This quote is my favorite and I try to follow it, although sometimes it's hard to keep the door closed. ) ;-)


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