Ready to write a great horse story of your own? Read Great Books for Horse Lovers’ tips for writers from today’s authors and equestrian writing prompts, and let these resources lend a helping hoof:
Fundamentals of Writing
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White: This book outlines the basic rules of writing with clarity, brevity, and wit. No author should be without it. You can pick up your copy at any bookstore or library or read it for free on Bartleby.
✅ Best The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition
One of the Best Books on English Composition – In the whole, this guide could be rather handy. It presents information straight forward and direct, as it wants the reader to do, and has some practical guidelines to follow. However, there is a line that throws the entire thing into question, when it states in a note about spelling that a word is only spelled correctly if everyone agrees it does. These rules follow the same guidelines. Simple, direct sentences are only right these days because enough people agree upon it. When the style changes, so will the usefulness of this book.
Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Theodore A. Rees Cheney: From moving (and removing!) chapters to picking proper punctuation, Rees Cheney’s techniques can help you fix, finesse, and finalize even the most desperate draft.
✅ Best Getting The Words Right: 39 Ways To Improve Your Writing
Getting the words right so you can get them written. – This book offers lessons and includes solid examples by showing work evolve through several drafts. Great book about the writing process. All too often, one hears that revision is the key to successful writing. This golden book offers more than enough proof for why it is true. A goldmine!
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: This two-volume “condensed” version of the 20-volume OED will pump up your writing and your biceps, too. You’ll be hurling words like a harbinger and quixotic – and 50-pound bags of oats and grain – with ease in no time!
✅ Best The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
Superb Value – Excellent condition dictionary set. This was a very good value for the price. It’s too bad that folks have gotten away from using physical dictionaries. There was a time when all you needed to have to learn a language was a good dictionary. This one is of that quality.
Roget’s International Thesaurus: When is a horse not a horse? When it’s a charger eager for knightly battle, a palfrey trimmed in silver bells, or a pony slipping under the fence you so carefully crafted. Roget’s will often help you find the perfect word for your scene.
From the Horse’s Mouth: The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms: Was that horse race a walk in the park or did your characters win ugly? This dictionary will keep you on track with your use of idioms.
✅ Best Book From the Horse’s Mouth: Oxford Dictionary Of English Idioms
Idioms made easy, lots of examples to ponder – More fun than reading the dictionary, well written with short easily understood examples of phrases you hear all the time but don’t always understand where they came from.
Plotting Your Course: Story Structure, Elements & Process
Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You by Ray Bradbury: One of the true master storytellers of our age, Ray Bradbury invites writers into his creative universe and gives advice for how to unlock and explore your own.
✅ Best Zen In The Art Of Writing Book Essays On Creativity
Verified Purchase – Like any good magician, Bradbury shows us his hat and the rabbits of his writing without revealing the magic. Work. Yes, of course. Keep practicing until the process becomes automatic. And how many hours is that? Relax. Let your subconscious bring out the words. No, no, you’re too tense! Don’t think. “Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art.” This book reveals Bradbury, the author, but this writing of the real is not the writing of the imagination that millions love.
Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice by Laraine Herring: Writing never begins on a flat, blank page; it begins in a curled-up place, a cuddled or crumpled place, a full and overflowing place deep within. With body-friendly breathing and yoga exercises and guided writing prompts, Herring helps writers tap into the flow of their senses, their memories, and their authentic voice.
✅ Best Writing Begins with the Breath Book
Informative and Helpful – Beginning with the belief that your body’s cells hold memory, stories, and experiences, creative writer/teacher Laraine Herring wants every writer to write authentically. What is authentic writing? Different for each writer – you know it when you read it. This workbook-style writing is well-written and full of personal examples and help for the working author. Great to add to your personal library.
Novelist’s Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Book from Boring to Bestseller by Todd Stone: AttenTION! Former assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and mystery author Todd Stone provides a foolproof step-by-step process (complete with literary push-ups! 😉 ) for taking your novel from a flabby, couch-potato concept to a crisp-creased, spit-shined, and quick-marching final draft.
✅ Best Novelist’s Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Book From Boring to Bestsell Book
Practical and Useful – A little disappointed. Very clever way of setting out the information, but nothing really beyond the content of many writing books out there. As an aspiring novelist who has a book case full of these, Recommend the Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer by James Smith and Write Faster, Write Better by David Fryxell. Much better and immediately useful material if you are serious about writing in a disciplined manner. But the Boot Camp title is certainly a grabber. Kudo’s to the title master for this.
Finding an Agent and Getting Published
The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book by Susan Page: Follow the twenty friendly, easy-to-follow steps in this book to turn a good idea into a great – and saleable! – book proposal.
✅ Best Book Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book
Pretty good basic information and encouraging – The majority of the book seems to be written for non-fiction authors. There is quite a bit of information on finding a topic to write about, how to gauge the market’s receptivity to a new book on your topic, etc… Fiction writing is a bit of a different animal than non-fiction, and I would have appreciated less information on non-fiction and more on fiction, but to be fair to the author, this is a non-fiction book and so she is likely much more familiar with that topic.
Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz: Read this book before you reach out to an agent or editor! Katz shows you how to create a platform: how to find your niche, use print, live, and online tools to identify and expand your audience and knock the horseshoes off of even your “dream” contacts.
✅ Best Book On Get Known Before The Book Deal
Began Using the Advice Before Finishing the Book – Christina Katz (aka The Writer Mama), provides an invaluable guide for aspiring writers to establish their platform. The premise of this book, as the title suggests, is that would-be authors must obtain a degree of visibility before they query agents. This visibilty includes, but isn’t limited to: Your presence on the internet, public speaking, teaching classes, writing and publishing articles, joining professional organizations and networking, or as the author prefers to call it, “connecting.”
How to Write Attention Grabbing Query and Cover Letters by John Wood: The title says it all. Writer’s Digest editor John Wood shares the top-ten must-do’s and never-do’s for query letters and provides examples and anecdotes of writers’ failures and successes.
✅ Best Book How to Write Attention-Grabbing Query & Cover Letters
How to Write Attention Grabbing Query & Cover Letters – This is a good general book describing how to write a cover letter and a query letter. A lot of it is pretty much common sense but there are some little jewels to be found as well. The author writes clearly and gives quite a few personal examples as well as samples of letters upon which would-be authors can base their own, personalized letters.
Query Shark: Once your fiction query letter is ready to send, take a deep breath and submit it to the Query Shark blog! The Shark – literary agent Janet Reid – posts and critiques selected query letters. Not quite ready to take the plunge? Read the blog anyway; the criticism and insights Reid provides will help you dramatically improve your queries.
Guide to Literary Agents: This book, website, and blog by Chuck Sambuchino will help you find the right agent for your work, send him or her an irresistible book package, and navigate the world of agents and publishing with confidence and ease.
✅ Best Book Guide to Literary Agents
A thorough, comprehensive guide to Literary Agents – Updating this guide every year would be a cumbersome and costly task, so a lot in it is obsolete, which you find out when you consult the agency’s website. Still, this book will lead you to that website, so that’s a plus. One-third of the guide is a generalized How-To seek an agent, and it is a good How-To at that. If you think you are past that stage, then be aware that only the remaining two-thirds of guide lists agents and agencies.
Poets and Writers: This website offers thought-provoking and skill-sharpening articles and interviews, several updated, searchable databases for magazines, small presses, and writing contests, and current classifieds and calls for entry.