Creative Writing · Literature

Summer Reading

Looking for a few good books to hole up with this summer when you aren’t out there working the day job, or working to perfect your writing craft, or better yet, working on a piece of poetry, a short story, or a novel that you’d love one day to see in print?

Take a breather and check out these titles. Each title is a link to their page listed on Barnes and Noble’s website.


The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Greatby Donald Maass

– Megan’s Opinion: This book was chalk full of excellent examples and helpful tips for adding a little spice to anyone’s writing. As I was reading it, I filled it up with lots of color-coded sticky page markers so I can go back to those sections while I’m working on my manuscripts, or while I’m going over it in the second drafts to see what I can do to not only make them better, but to make the words positively shine off of the page.


77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected: And How to Be Sure It Won’t Happen Again! by Mike Nappa, Founder and Chief Literary Agent of Nappaland Literary

-Megan’s Opinion: This book was a blunt little number that not only gave an inside look at what exactly happens to a writer’s manuscript when he or she submits it to editors and agents, but more importantly, showed anything and everything that can go wrong and put it on the proverbial chopping block. Even MORE importantly, it illustrated steps that can be taken to see that those mines are avoided in the field, as it were. Obviously plain old luck has its role to play too, but why not be prepared in any way possible to tip the scales in your favor?


179 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers by Peter Selgin (n.b. the image of the book next to the description reads 150 ways, but it’s definitely 179 ways)

-Megan’s Opinion: This book actually touches on the efficacy of reading writing books insofar as improving technique and gaining a better understanding of how to write well. In Selgin’s opinion, “books about writing work best for those who need them the least” (261, Selgin, 179 Ways). I decided to take this to mean that books on writing help those who are willing to work to get the best out of their hard work: when he says that “inborn talent” is more a question of desire, I think that the interpretation has its merits. And I think that this book will help anyone who has a desire to rescue their writing and their novel manuscript (or short story, this isn’t limited) from the dredges of mediocrity. But obviously you as the writer have to pull most of the weight.

As a side note, it also warns against the dangers of letting your EGO get the better of you. You have been warned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s