Highly Readable 'How To Write' Books

Posted on 10th October, 2014

James N Frey

How to Write a Damn Good Novel


Surely the most readable of all 'How To' books, this takes you through the ins and outs of crafting a dramatic novel, from creating three-dimensional characters (How to Play God) via constructing a plot (The Three Greatest Rules of Dramatic Writing: Conflict! Conflict! Conflict!) to providing a climax and resolution that will satisfy the most experienced reader.


At the time of writing this blog, How to Write a Damn Good Novel is available both new and secondhand in hardback. The paperback edition that I have is available secondhand.


James N Frey has also written How to Write a Damn Good Thriller, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery and others.


It takes skill and flair to write non-fiction that is engrossing, page-turning and downright enjoyable, but that is what James N Frey achieved with this book.


A damn good How To book.

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Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer's Guide to Character Expression


You probably know that Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi host that superb resource for writers, the Writers Helping Writers website.


One of the challenges of writing fiction is portraying emotion in a fresh way.


In The Emotion Thesaurus, a range of 74 emotions is covered according to:

    -  physical signals

    -  internal sensations

    -  mental responses

    -  cues of acute or long-term emotion

    -  cues of suppressed emotion


Emotions appear alphabetically from Adoration to Worry. Each gets a double-page spread, ending in a Writer's Tip relating to the preceding information.




Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi have also collaborated in print on The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus; and online on the Colour, Texture & Shape Thesaurus Collection, the Physical Attribute Thesaurus Collection, the Talent and Skills Thesaurus and several others.




As you'd expect from these two writers, The Emotion Thesaurus is an excellent tool for fiction writers and its straightforward presentation makes it easy to use.


It's also one of theose books you find yourself dipping into simply because it's so interesting. Procrastination, anyone?


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Comments (2)

A timely reminder, Sue, of helpful writing craft books. 'The Emotion Thesaurus' has been on my must read list and you've given me a much needed prompt. Thank you!
Susanna, what a great shout out! Glad to see this book is so helpful. Who ever would have thought lists would make for fun reading, but even I do it when I need some inspiration. It is amazing how many characters started for me by looking up a few different emotions.

I still have to read Frey's book...I have heard from many that it's a must read, so I will make sure to get it here soon. :)

Thanks again!