Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top Five

I go to a critique group every Sunday that meets in a Barnes and Noble. After we meet, I go browsing through the store. Bookstores are one of my most favorite places to be and am often tempted to buy reference writing books. As you probably can guess, I have quite the collection of reference books. I decided to share my top five!

1. My most favorite reference book is Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus. I use this book while I write every single book!

2. How do you name your characters? I use The Writer's Digest Character Naming Book by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The book is divided by nationalities and even gives name meanings, tips on naming characters, and offers some surnames as well!

3. I write romantic suspense so I have to have the HOWDUNIT Forensics book. It's a guide for writers and includes a wide variety of information from gun shot wounds to poisons.

4. Have you ever wished you had a quick list of the topic you were writing about? A wonderful reference for writers is the Descriptionary by Marc McCutcheon. I have two editions of this book! Let's say your character is into archery. This book lists terms under that topic. Easy to use and lots of info!!

5. My last one is great. It's called Careers for your Characters by Raymond Obstfeld and Franz Neumann. It's divided by different career fields. The book tells what the day is like in the career, who to contact for more information, buzz words, job descriptions, tools of the trade, and so much more. It even includes books and movies that contains the career. Interesting book to read and it's one I actually use! It doesn't just sit on my bookshelf!

So what's your favorite reference book?


Dellani Oakes said...

What a wonderful list! I'll have to find some of those myself, they would be wonderfully useful! I don't really have any books for reference, as I mostly use on-line resources. As to what website I use the most, Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Both come in so handy!

Alisha Paige said...

Great post! Another good one is Stephen King's On Writing. It's also very cool to read his biography as well as all the tips for writers and how to self edit.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott/Kate Davison said...

All right, I have to admit I'm putting the Descriptionary book on my to be bought list. The Careers for your Characters sounds good, too.

I use a basic baby naming book when I'm stuck. Or online I'll Google - for example - Irish names then lists will pop up of the most popular Irish names - it's good for both first and surnames.

I have dictionaries of folkore, occult studies, European arms and armor. Reniassance paintings, Impressionists and the Pre-Raphelites. (All right, so I read those for the sheer joy of it.) I have an entire encyclopedia dedicated to vampires. books of spells, magic, and Culpepper's Color Herbal. (most of the information is out of date, but it's awesome for historical reference.)Books on gods and goddesses. Um...maybe it's easier to list the books I don't have.


Sierra Wolfe said...

Great post, Wendy! Those are some good reference books you've listed there. I will definitely have to pick up several of them. Mostly, I use the internet for research. I also love Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com.

TheNobles said...

If I ever go back and teach Jr. High I may have to invest in some of those. Great resources.

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