By Pamela S. Meyers
It’s exactly ten days until December 25th, and it’s an excellent time to consider what you might want to gift your favorite writer with this Christmas. Or . . . if you are a writer, what you may want to hint to find under your tree on Christmas morning.
I’ll start with a list of wonderful gift books for any writer of fiction and end the list with a few great gift ideas that aren’t books. I've linked the books to Amazon, but most are available at any on-line bookstore or through your favorite brick and mortar store.
1. Flip Dictionary – The description on this resource’s Amazon page says, “You know what you want to say but can't think of the word. You can describe what you're thinking but you don't know the name for it. Flip Dictionary solves this common problem!”
2. Synonym Finder - With a simple alphabetical arrangement this book has been expanded to include thousands of new words and expressions that have entered the language in recent years, and includes clearly labeled slang and informal words and expressions.
3. Emotion Thesaurus – This is one of my favorite resources. If you want your character to feel anxious, go to the word in this handy little book and it lists all the body language associated with anxiety as well as the internal reactions. There are a lot of tips for writers interspersed throughout the book as well. The authors have also come out with two companion books, The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus. I actually prefer the Kindle edition because by keeping my tablet close to me while I write I can look up the emotion I am considering, then with a tap on the screen go to other similar emotions without having to flip through the pages.
4. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – The subtitle of this book is “How to Edit Yourself into Print. – Shortly after I began seriously writing fiction this book was recommended to me. It’s been revised and is still a best seller for writers. It's one I often go to again and again.
5. Revision and Self Editing by James Scott Bell – An author in his own right, James Scott Bell not only writes fiction he teaches how to write it. A great companion to the self-editing book at #5.
6. Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell – Another great writing book by Bell, especially good for plotters, but also for pansters to help them be more of an outliner.
7. Scrivener: Many writers swear by this software which enables a writer to organize all his material for a project in one place. All your research is right there and you even write your manuscript in the program then convert it to Microsoft Word for submitting to publishers and agents.
8. Registration to a Writers Conference – The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference is the premiere conference for fiction writers because its main focus is fiction, but there are other writers conferences that might be better for you or the writer in your life. If you can't swing the whole registration, why not a partial?
9. Membership to writing organizations (highly recommend ACFW) – If you can’t afford gifting a whole conference, why not pay for a year’s membership in an organization like ACFW? Membership provides a host of different benefits to beginning writers as well as multi-published authors.
10. New laptop – Hey why not go big and ask for a new laptop. I’m a Mac user and would love to get a Mac Air someday. I’m always carting my laptop somewhere and my shoulder would appreciate a lighter weight computer. There are a myriad of different styles of laptops in either a Mac platform or a PC.
And as a bonus suggestion go to Pinterest and check out all the fun writerly items you can get the writer on your Christmas list.
The list is not exhaustive. Please chime in and offer your suggestions for special gifts for writers. Maybe share a special gift someone has given you!
Merry Christmas everyone!