How to Write Fantasy & Science Fiction (online resources)

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Books for Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers (I own all these books, and have read at least parts of all of them. You can’t become a great writer by reading books on the subject, but they are a good supplement, and are also great inspiration.)

  • Books on Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
    • On Writing Science Fiction by the editors of Asimovs Science Fiction (George Scithers, Darrel Schweitzer and John M. Ford)
    • How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
    • Conceiving the Heavens: Creating the Science Fiction Novel by Melissa Scott
    • The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova
    • Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction by Lisa Tuttle
    • Writing Science Fiction by Christopher Evans
    • How to Write Science Fiction by Matthew J. Costello
    • Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop I by Barry B. Longyear
    • Science Fiction in the 20th Century by Edward James
    • The Science of Science Fiction Writing by James Gunn
    • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Science Fiction by Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder
    • Paragons (essays by science fiction writers), edited by Robin Wilson
    • Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy (essays by science fiction & fantasy writers), edited by the editors of Analog and Asimov’s Science Fiction (Gardner Dozois, Tina Lee, Stanley Schmidt, Ian Randal Strock, and Sheila Williams)
    • How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction (essays by masters of speculative fiction), edited by J.N. Williamson
    • Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks
    • On Writing by Stephen King
    • About Writing by Samuel R. Delany
    • Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm
    • Relativity by Robert J. Sawyer
    • The Language of the Night by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Supernatural Horror in Literature by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
    • Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Putting It Together: Turning Sow’s Ear Drafts into Silk Purse Stories by Mike Resnick
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Reference Books
    • The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference by Terry Brooks, Daniel A. Clark, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Allan Maurer, P. Andrew Miller, Michael Varhola and Renee Wright
    • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
    • Science Fiction Writers of America Handbook by SFWA
    • Causes of Death: A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder & Forensic Medicine by Keith D. Wilson, M.D.
    • Deadly Doses: A Writer’s Guide to Poisons by Serita Deborah Stevens with Anne Klarner
    • Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons by Michael Newton
    • The Science of Aliens by Clifford Pickover
    • Extraterrestrial Civilizations, by Isaac Asimov
    • Extraterrestrials: A Field Guide for Earthlings by Terence Dickinson and Adolf Schaller
  • Science Fiction Writing Series from Writer’s Digest Books, edited by Ben Bova
    • Aliens and Alien Societies by Stanley Schmidt
    • Space Travel by Ben Bova with Anthony R. Lewis
    • Time Travel by Paul J. Nahin
    • World Building by Stephen L. Gillett
  • Books on Developing Characters
    • Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
    • Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint, by Nancy Kress
    • Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress
    • 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
    • Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood
    • 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters, by Sue Viders, Lucynda Storey, Cher Gorman and Beck Martinez
    • The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes, by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders
    • Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, by Jessica Morrell
  • Books on Plot
    • Plot by Ansen Dibell
    • The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker
    • 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
    • Scene and Structure by Jack M Bickham
    • Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress
    • Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble
  • Books on Dialogue
    • Writing Dialogue, by Tom Chiarella
    • Dialogue, by Gloria Kempton
    • Dialogue by Lewis Turco
  • Books on Humor
    • How to Write Funny, edited by John B. Kachuba
    • The Craft of Comedy Writing, by Sol Saks
  • Books on Editing
    • The 10% Solution, by Ken Rand
    • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
    • The Elements of Style by Strunk & White (a must for all writers)
    • Revision by Kit Reed
  • Books on Writing Novels
    • The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great, by Donald Maass
    • The Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook, edited by Daniel Alarcon
    • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (a must for ALL novelists)
    • Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
    • The Career Novelist by Donald Maass
    • How To Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
    • The Art & Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley Hall
    • The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman
    • The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, edited by Andrew McAleer
    • Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz
  • Miscellaneous Books on Writing
    • From Idea to Story in 90 Seconds: A Writer’s Primer by Ken Rand
    • Launching Your Book Without Losing Your Mind by Gail Z. Martin
    • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
    • Putting it Together: Turning Sow’s Ear Drafts into Silk Purse Stories by Mike Resnick
    • The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman
    • Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction edited by Tara L. Masih
    • I Have This Nifty Idea…Now What Do I Do With It? edited by Mike Resnick
    • The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (3rd ed.), by Christopher Vogler
    • What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writes by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter
    • The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction and Getting It Published by Pat Kubis and Bob Howland
    • The Art of Fiction by John Garnder
    • Breaking Into Fiction Writing! by Bruce Gehweiler and C.J. Henderson
    • Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Literature by Janet Burroway
    • Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern
    • Discovering the Writer Within: 40 Days to More Imaginative Writing by Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane
    • Elements of the Short Story: How to Write a Selling Story by Dina A Leacock
    • 100 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Scott Edelstein
    • How to Enjoy Writing, by Janet & Isaac Asimov
    • Description by Monica Wood
    • Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney
  • Elements of Fiction Writing Series from Writer’s Digest (these are also listed above)
    • Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
    • Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint, by Nancy Kress
    • Plot by Ansen Dibell
    • Scene and Structure by Jack M Bickham
    • Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress
    • Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble
    • Dialogue by Lewis Turco
    • Description by Monica Wood
    • Revision by Kit Reed

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