Thursday Thirteen #4

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Thirteen Things Reference Books I most use when writing stories (with Amazon links for more information where I could find the book listed)

  1. Roget’s Thesaurus: I’ve yet to find a better thesaurus than the one that has evolved through Longman to Penguin.
  2. The Story of Western Architecture: More about the history of the development of architecture and the social and economic setting for that development than a manual of style (although it does cover that too)
  3. A History of England (Sir Keith Feiling): Not the best or most up to date history of England but it’s a book I’ve had a long time and I know where to find what I’m looking for in it.
  4. The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Underworld (Eric Partridge): Good for ideas for characters’ criminal schemes and associated language.
  5. The Book of Comparisons (The Diagram Group): I was taught to make sure my answers and data made sense in science at school by comparing them to other things I knew. This is the best book I know for helping with that and it avoids putting in details that are just silly too.
  6. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy: An essential reference to classic works, authors and publishers but also a mine of concepts.
  7. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Does for Science Fiction what The Encyclopedia of Fantasy does for fantasy.
  8. Brewer’s Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics: A great read with some really odd and nasty characters in it’s pages. Pretty much all of them real. Some of them still alive. A great source of ideas for characters.
  9. The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land: Where The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a serious work this is a comic guide to fantasy cliches. Very useful for avoiding the danger of slipping into dangerously over done territory.
  10. The Encyclopedia of Forensic Science (Brian Lane): There are a fair number of books like this on the market. I bought this one as a present for a friend and then kept it having found a better present. Lots of inspirational material again with many case studies accompanying the entries on a variety of macabre happenings that are ideal for inflicting on characters.
  11. The New Metric Handbook: Where The Story of Architecture is a book about the development of architecture this is a useful guide to the layout and structure of buildings.
    Just beating Neufert to a place on this TT because it got me through my final year degree project. Rather pricy but if you want to know what a particular building will have in it and how it is laid out this is the book.
  12. Food in England: An essential guide to the evolution of cooking in the UK including recipes and lots of other useful information that is great for adding colour to stories.
  13. Gary Gygax’s Extraordinary Book of Names: Gary Gygax, one of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons, had put out a lot of books trying to milk his name over the years. This is one of the few that I’ve found to be worth the money (I did get it in a sale). Listings of names by gender, country and time period along with useful notes on how a culture usualy puts them together and some additional sections on special cases like place names and names for Inns and Taverns.
  14. Oxford Senior Dictionary: My very battered dictionary that served me through school. Not the best or most complete dictionary I have but a handy quick reference.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

  1. Thomma Lyn
  2. jenny
  3. Randa Clay
  4. Fence
  5. Nicole Austin
  6. Nancy Lindquist
  7. Michelle M Pillow
  8. Crystal Jordan
  9. HighlandAmy
  10. Susan Helene Gottfried
  11. Janet
  12. Lori
  13. colleen gleason
  14. This Eclectic Life
  15. Joely
  16. Nicholas
  17. scooper
  18. Dane Bramage
  19. karen (miscmum)
  20. Lulu
  21. Language Boy
  22. Nancy
  23. Christine d’Abo
  24. Nadine

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Leave a Comment

29 Responses to Thursday Thirteen #4

Aniakovas Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

This is possibly one of the most useful lists I have ever seen...

she Sunday, April 8th, 2007

I love writer's resource lists. I too do a great bit of writing for a living (well, I did prior to this week) - just a different type. So far the only common things I can find on any writer's list tend to be the dictionaries and thesaurus'.


Nadine Friday, April 6th, 2007

Great list! I'd no idea some of those existed. I'm most definitely not a writer though, so no surprise. As some others pointed out, I'd read a few of those for fun!

Christine Friday, April 6th, 2007

Okay, I've written all these down. This is a fantastic list!

Nancy Friday, April 6th, 2007

Nice to meet you!

This is a great list of ref. books. I would read some just for fun!

Osman Friday, April 6th, 2007

Great list! I should bookmark it!

Thanks a lot! ;)

Lulu Friday, April 6th, 2007

#3 definitely sounds like the most interesting! I love English history. And currently, I'm in love with a new show on Showtime...The Tudors. Of course, any show or movie with Jonathan Rys Myers (sp?) is good for me.

Thanks for visiting my site! Loved your wasp story...horrifying, but funny!

Miscellaneous-Mum Friday, April 6th, 2007

I have a similar fantasy reference book written by David Gemmell. Great list! Thanks for visiting me :)

Dane Bramage Friday, April 6th, 2007

You win this weeks award for "T13 tha I am likely to refer back to at a later date". I am already looking for some of these books at Powells.

My Thursday Thirteen is up. It's #36 and it is 13 things about my friend Scott's book Trucker's Tales. Stop by if you get a chance.

scooper Friday, April 6th, 2007

I use the online Oxford dictionary and love it. I'm a tad bit upset that I'm not going to be able to use it much longer, now that I've graduated.

Vader's Mom Friday, April 6th, 2007

The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Underworld - That sounds like something I would enjoy having around. I'm not really sure why...

Nicholas Friday, April 6th, 2007

We have one in common at least -- good old Roget!

Joely Sue Burkhart Thursday, April 5th, 2007

A great list--I'm putting several on my wish list! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Mark Thursday, April 5th, 2007

My CSS is going back on in 20 minutes . It feels so 1995 having a site that looks so basic again. When mortals couldn't afford our own domain names and grey was considered the best choice for a background colour.

This Eclectic Life Thursday, April 5th, 2007

You came to my post and left quietly, without witty remarks. I'm feeling much the same! I know Roget's Thesaurus...but after that I'm lost. Your "naked" site is an interesting idea. I'm struggling to get css into my site, and you take it all away from yours. Hmmm.

Colleen Gleason Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Ohhhhh...but what about Strunk & White's Elements of Style? My fave.

And I actually gave up the thesaurus for's quick and easy and always accessible with a click of the mouse. I have it bookmarked on my toolbar.

Nice list....and thanks for coming by my TT!h

Lori Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I love the is my friend;)

Janet Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Food in England, now that sounds like an interesting book!

Susan Helene Gottfried Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Whoa. Encyclopedia of SF and fantasy??? Wow!!! I'd loooove to spend a few hours idling through the pages of those.

Thanks for visiting West of Mars -- yes, this week's TT took a lot of work. I think it paid off, though.

HighlandAmy Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I'd be lost (adrift, astray, lacking, wayward...) without my thesaurus!

Mark Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Crystal - I take it he didn't read the back cover just did the man thing of trying not to hang around too long in the shop while buying the embarresing item.

Crystal Jordan Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I hate to admit this, but i actually own the Encyclopedia of Fantasy. It was a gift, I swear! It's so not what he though it would be about, though. ;-)

Anonymous Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Great list, I love non fiction research books :)

Michelle Pillow, Author Blog

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I'm going out and getting, The Encylopedia of Fantasy this week. Thanks!

Nicole Austin Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Great list. I'm going to have to pick up a few of those. Thanks!

Fence Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Great list. Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics looks fascinating.

Happy T13

Randa Clay Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Really good list of resources!

jennyr Thursday, April 5th, 2007

sorry I can't relate...i don't read much,hehehehe! But Happy TT to u!!!

Thomma Lyn Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Wow, what a great list of resources! I've seen a couple of them but many are new to me, so I'm going to bookmark your TT post and check out those links. Thanks for sharing!

Happy Thursday Thirteen!

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