Made Up Mayhem logoThis series started out as a talk for conferences, morphed into a print book, then vanished when my publisher closed its doors in 2013. So I thought I’d bring the relevant parts back here on my website. I tried to update it a bit, but thankfully how to write doesn’t change as much as the technology we use TO write.

Bibliography for the articles:

Playwriting: The Structure of Action by Sam Smiley

ISBN: 0-300-10724-2

Yale University Press

Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande – What I particularly liked about this book, and go back to when I’m in need of refreshing my spirit, is her upbeat attitude about the ability of anyone to become a writer. This is a pre-writing book, the one you read when you want to write, but don’t think you can.

ISBN: 0874771641

Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher (March 1, 1981)

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Hands down, IMHO, one of the best self-editing books around. At the end of each chapter is a check list you can work off of as you go through your manuscript. It helps you look for words you use repeatedly and what mistakes mark you as an amateur. Caution: This is to be read after you have a rough draft, not while you’re still writing. Update: There are a lot of online tools that can help with some of these editing tools, but learning to know yourself and your problems areas is still a good skill to acquire.

ISBN: 0060545690

Publisher: Collins; 2nd edition (April 1, 2004)

Writing the Breakout Novel  – Another one of those books that lifts you to the next level of writing.

ISBN: 158297182X

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books; 1st edition (August 1, 2002)

Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer  – This is a book I pull out when I need to do some hard core brainstorming.

ISBN: 0898799430

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books (October 1, 2000)

The Screenwriter’s Workbook – This is another book I turn to, even when writing novels, because it helps me think about structure.

Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (September 1, 1988)

ISBN: 0440582253

Careers for your Characters – This is a fun book if you need some quick info about a career. The book tells you not just what the job entails, but the kind of person who would be drawn to that career.

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2002)

ISBN: 1582970831

The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits – This useful book contains profiles of human behaviors and personality types

Publisher: Writers Digest Books (February 1, 2004)

ISBN: 158297246X

Making a Good Writer Great – This is a wonderful book for breaking through your personal “glass ceiling.”

Publisher: Silman-James Press; 1st Silman edition (September 15, 1999)

ISBN: 1879505495

The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for…Building Believable Characters – Another good resource for character development.

Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1st ed edition (March 1, 1996)

ISBN: 0898796830

GMC:  Goal, Motivation and Conflict (1996)

Gryphon Books for Writers
ISBN: 0-9654371-0-8

Pauline’s Mayhem/Suspense Reading/Teaching List:

Mary Stewart:

Her suspense books are without peer, in my humble opinion. She’s great at building suspense, characters and just plain story telling. She has a series of Merlin stories that are excellent but NOT suspense.

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Her books are great for building suspense slowly and carefully and without gore or many bodies. Worth study.

The Door

The Wall

Helen MacInnes:

Great suspense, great writing.

Alistair MacLean

While his books are typed as action/adventure, they have great suspense and are worth reading and studying to cull technique and how to craft action sequences.

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