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Favorites that teach the fundamentals

I realized yesterday that I have certain books I rush to when I need a refresher on one of four things: worldbuilding, pacing, characterization, or voice.

Here's the list:

  1. Any HARRY POTTER, but especially 1


  2. DA VINCI CODE - I know, I know. (Grisham's great at pacing, too. :P)
  3. WAKE


  1. Any of the above


  1. SAVVY

What about you? What books do you run to, again and again, to teach (or inspire) the fundamentals of writing?



  1. This is a good list. I must say if you want to learn how to transition to one scene to another, THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy are good ones to study.

    I also really like FIRE by Kristin Cashore for world-building too.

  2. I like your list! I see how so many of those books are good references...I'm just glad you didn't put any Tolkien books for "pacing," LOL!

  3. I don't really go to any books in particular. I just read a lot of everything all the time. It seems to help. I absorb it somehow, I think. Great idea though. Maybe I'm doing it wrong..

  4. hmmm this is tricky! I totally agree with you about Harry Potter. Although, I am super glad I read all of those before I started to write myself. There is so much to analyze there that I'm not sure I would have enjoyed them as much otherwise! I also agree with you about A Great and Terrible Beauty for characterization (Btw...I just found out that Libba Bray has a new book coming out in May! It looks AMAZING!). These days, I've been turning to the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter for voice and characterization.

  5. Oh sounds like a great idea. I know Bish at Random Thoughts just posted a 'overused' word list--I'll leave you the link in case it helps you with these posts:

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  6. Karen - Totally agree. HG rocks in general.

    Lydia - :) Yes, Tolkien is for sure not the master of pacing. I really struggled through TLOTR's actually.

    Laura - I have yet to read any of Ally Carter's books, but I need to. I downloaded a sample and love her style!

    Angela - Thanks, that is perfect!


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