Books on Writing.

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Full Member
Jul 26, 2018
Perhaps you would care to share any good 'uns you have read? I particularly liked:

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
Writing Down The Bones - Natalie Goldberg
On Writing -Stephen King
The Poetry Handbook-Mary Oliver (pertaining to poetry obvs, but some lovely stuff in there)
How not to write a novel: 200 classic mistakes and how to avoid them. - Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.
hilariously funny in places and very pertinent. A good book for those trying hard to get agents' attention.
Always On Writing ... easy book to read ... interesting read ... sort of says it all about the advice inside doesn't it? I don't even like all of King's books but I like this one.

I've been flipping through a book called Story Structure Architect lately. Also... Heroes and Heroines - Sixteen Master Archetypes ... AND The Emotion Thesaurus. These aren't books I sit down and read. I read bits and pieces of them.

Also, Self-editing for Fiction Writers.

@Rainbird -- The Mary Oliver book is pretty standard for many college creative writing courses. I remember I was off poetry when I was required to read it and didn't give it much attention. But I still have it. I should look at it again.

I also have Writing Down the Bones and a few others of Natalie Goldberg's. I think ... well ... once I sat down to look at it I wasn't into what she was saying. Which, like the Mary Oliver book, says most likely says more about me than either of these books. I might take a look at that one again too.
Thank you @Tim James , I will check that one out. They get extra points for being funny!

@Amber, I've made note of those also, thank you. Some books resonate with me wherever I happen to be at that time, and with some, it takes me a few forays back to appreciate what they have to say :) But thanks for those recommendations. I'm compiling my Christmas list!!
Solutions for Writers by Sol Stein, and Solutions for Novelists (Secrets of a Master Editor) by the same guy. Sol Stein is a heavyweight in the editing world; some of his authors have sold millions. Well worth a read.
I've read several books on writing this year, one of the most useful of which was Joe Moran's First You Write A Sentence.

Joe Moran:

I also liked Sam Leith's Write To The Point. Anything by Noah Lukeman is informative and supportive.

What these three writing gurus have is a lack of pomposity and a colloquial warmth in getting their points across. It's always better to be encouraged than told off!

William Strunk's Elements of Style is available as a free download from Project Gutenberg:

The Elements of Style by William Strunk
what about ... Reading like a writer by Francine Prose and How fiction works by James Woods
How to Write : the essential guide for authors by Harry Bingham and Story Line: finding gold in your life story by Jen Grisanti
I hesitate to recommend it, but one of the most honest books on writing is How To Not Write A Novel, by David Armstrong. I read it after two years of writing my first two Cornish Detective novels and querying about 300 literary agents, recognising much of what he says.

How Not to Write a Novel by David Armstrong

To call it wry is kind, as it would put off most novice writers straight away, if they had the wisdom to recognise the hard-won truth of his words...which might be a very good thing. I bought my copy on eBay, and just checking the UK site there are seven available for less than £3. Most books on writing are guides to what should be, but David Armstrong's is more like a war diary of what actually is!
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