Santa baby, got your ears on? I’ve been making a list of cool gifts for writers, any one of which I’d love to find under my tree this year.
If you’re a writer and you’ve been wondering what to put on your Christmas list, maybe there’s something here to inspire your writing journey, or make it easier.
1. Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling by Larry Brooks: There are reference books you use over and over, until the pages lose their grip on the spine. And every once in a while, you’ll need to replace those treasures. This is one of those books. An easy to follow, step-by-step analysis of the Six Competencies that create strong, sellable fiction. (Available in paperback and Kindle editions.)
2. Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling by Larry Brooks: The companion to Story Engineering. After you’ve created your story architecture with the help of Brooks’ first book, discover and implement your storytelling truths. (Available in paperback and Kindle editions.)
3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: King’s personal writing journey plus practical writing craft. (Available in paperback, Kindle edition, audio and hardcover.)
4. Dr. Format Tells All by David Trottier: Written for screenwriters, these tips in question and answer form help the screenwriter handle formatting and spec writing with ease. Trottier says Dr. Format goes “beyond the rules” and digs deep into practical application of the craft. Screenwriters can enjoy the revised and updated versions of every column he’s written for Script Magazine in this collection, and at the same time, clear some space for new books and magazines on their shelves. Even if you’re not a scriptwriter, there’s a lot to glean from this reference book. (Available in paperback and Kindle editions.)
5. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, 2nd Edition: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King: Covering aspects of dialogue, monologue, beat, voice, characterization and much more. Each chapter of includes a checklist and exercises to help the writer apply what the authors share. (Available in paperback and Kindle editions.)
6. No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells by Alice Orr: These 50 secrets can take your submission responses from “No thanks” to “Yes, please.” And that’s what we really want to hear, isn’t it? This book isn’t laid out in a bare-bones list, but includes detailed steps and hands-on exercises designed to take your writing from the start of an idea to publication. (Available in hardcover.)
7. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi: You don’t have to “tell” when you can “show” how your characters feel through their body language, visceral reactions and emotional cues. The authors expand upon 75 common emotions, breaking down each into a definition, physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, and cues for long-term and suppressed states of the emotion. (Available in paperback and Kindle editions.)
8. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology edited by C.T. Onions: Just because I love discovering the era, the source, and the evolution of words. In this case, 38,000 luscious, glorious words! (Available in hardcover.)
And for my To Be Immensely Enjoyed pile, I’m in the mood for a little magic and mystery.
9. Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: Harry’s back and he’s under Queen Mab’s thumb. He’s going to need the help of all his friends to escape her grasp and prevent a world apocalypse. Oh yeah, and to not lose his soul. (Available in paperback, Kindle edition, hardcover, and audio editions.)
10: Innocence: A Novel by Dean Koontz: Koontz claims his latest novel is his favorite of all he has written. If he feels it’s better than all the Odd Thomas books, and all his standalone novels, every word of which I’ve loved, I can’t wait to get my hands on Innocence! (Available in hardcover, Kindle edition, and audio edition.)
Santa Baby, I’m tired of reading my Kindle books on the computer instead of lounging in my comfy chair with a light, portable eBook reader that holds thousands of books.
11. Kindle Paperwhite: When I’m ready to read I don’t need access to the web, or games, or email. I’d be thrilled to find a Kindle Paperwhite in my stocking this year. With its backlight and e-ink technology I will be able to read anywhere, anytime. (Like I don’t already!)
And because I write and read for so many hours at a time that my hands cramp, and my back and legs get stiff, I need something that will get me up and moving once in a while.
12. Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas by The Tractors: Bet you’ll be on your feet boogie-ing across the floor when you hear these upbeat holiday tunes. Blues, boogie, country – something for everyone. This was the CD playing while Mother and I baked Christmas cookies. With occasional pauses to sashay around the kitchen, spoons waving, cookie dough flying. Build some warm memories of your own.
Whether you’re the writer crooning “Santa Baby” to a loved one, or someone you love is the writer lisping “All I Want for Christmas,” there’s probably something on this list that will thrill and excite you.
Tell me what’s missing from my list. What would you add to the list before mailing it to Santa? Tell us about it in the comments.
Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links. If you’d rather I don’t receive a small fee for guiding you to these items, just hop on over to Amazon and do a search on the titles.