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Career Changers: I Want to be a Writer! How Do I Make it Happen?
If you're reading NYPL blogs because you're thinking about writing a novel or titillating nonfiction book, you're in good company. Many writers make the Library their temporary home as they research their subject and search for inspiration. A lot of my clients come in with questions about breaking into the glamorous world of writing whether it's writing children's books, blogging, writing memoirs, editorials, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I can't look at a person and detect his or her potential to become a published author. However, I can share a few resources that may be helpful to you as you consider this profession.
Check-it out! The songwriter for Tangled uses NYPL as his office! See, I told you that you're in good company.
For anyone who is just getting started—maybe you just know you enjoy creative activities in general and your friends say you have a way with words—the following books might be helpful to you:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
You're sure you want to write a book. Fabulous! Try one of these:
How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey (Frey has published two books on writing "damn good" novels, the original and the second are both recommended)
Refining your technique
20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald B. Tobias
45 Master Characters by Victoria Schmidt
Specific Markets and Genres
Children's books: check the catalog for books on writing for children available through NYPL. Also consult the website for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction: How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction by J.N. Williamson
Romance: You Can Write a Romance by Rita Clay Estrada and Rita Gallagher
How to Get Happily Published by Judith Appelbaum
Other things to consider: feedback is essential to improving your writing! Try bouncing your ideas off other writers in a critique group. You can search for writing groups on Meetup.com or try an online group like CritiqueCircle.com.