There is a lot of good non-fiction out there. These are just some of the ones I thought were the most helpful.
Every issue of Writer’s Digest magazine is devoted to helping writers develop their craft and hone their publishing acumen. Since 1920, Writer’s Digest has chronicled the culture of the modern writer and we continue this great tradition through relevant first-person essays, interviews with bestselling authors and profiles with emerging talent. Writer’s Digest also features practical technique articles, and tips and exercises on fiction, nonfiction, poetry and the business-side of writing and publishing.
Get Your Readers’ Attention–And Keep It–From the First World to the Final Page
Translating that initial flash of inspiration into a complete story requires careful crafting. So how do you keep your story from beginning slowly, floundering midway, and trailing off at the end? Nancy Kress shows you effective solutions for potential problems at each stage of your story–essential lessons for strong start-to-finish storytelling.Hook readers, agents, and editors in the first three paragraphs.Make and keep your story’s implicit promise to the reader.Build drama and credibility by controlling your prose.Consider the price a writer pays for flashbacks.Reveal character effectively throughout your story. Get the tools you need to get your story off to an engaging start, keep the middle tight and compelling, and make your conclusion high impact. You’ll also find dozens of exercises to help strengthen your short story or novel. Let this resource be your guide to successful stories–from the first word to the last.
Vivid and memorable characters aren’t “born” they have to be “made” This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination.
Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options–the choices you’ll make in creating fictional people so “real” that readers will feel they know them like members of their own families.
You’ll learn how to: Draw characters from a variety of sources Make characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual “style” Develop characters readers will love–or love to hate Distinguish among major characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and develop each appropriately Choose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytelling Decide how deeply you should explore your characters’ thoughts, emotions, and attitudes.
In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943.
When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.