Tag Archive | books on writing

A Writer’s Wish List – Books, Of Course

Yes, what does a writer need for Christmas? (notice the word “need”?) More books to sit on desks and tables and in bookshelves that you may or may not read!

Is this silly?

Yes, but we want them anyway 🙂

I have read a few on K.M. Weiland’s list and agree they are good: Story, Techniques of a Selling Writer, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, though Story is a bit of slog to get through and is set up for writing a screenplay, it does have good bits. If you’re a regular reader of K.M.’s blog, you know she follows the structure of screenplays with her story writing. Probably not exclusively (I don’t like to pigeon hole anyone) but in general she does, which is not a bad thing.

I would add: #1! – Roget’s International Thesaurus (I have the 6th edition but there may be newer ones). If you are ever stuck for words, this is a wonderful book! A must for any writer’s bookshelf.  Then The Writer’s Journey (3rd edition) by Christopher Vogler, Story Genius by Lisa Cron and Story Physics by Larry Brooks. On the grammar and punctuation side, (and yes, writers need to learn basic grammar and punctuation) is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (so funny for a non-fiction book on this subject matter), and Woe is I Patricia O’Conner (very practical and easy to use and understand!) And if you want a bit more: Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer (which hits on things that aren’t covered in the other two, if you can believe it).

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Here is K.M’s list:

Looking for Christmas gifts? Here are what I currently consider the 10 best books to buy a writer for Christmas.

Source: 10 Best Books to Buy a Writer For Christmas – Helping Writers Become Authors

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Writing Advice: Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury -Part 1.

I had no idea Ray Bradbury was still alive, let alone that he wrote a book on writing. It is not on my list. Thanks Tea and Biscut!

‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury is a classic book that you always find on those ‘100 books to read before you die’ lists. It’s a book that everyone has heard of and y…

Source: Writing Advice: Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury -Part 1. – A Cup Of Tea And A Biscuit

On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

kingI usually write my book review on my personal blog: ckbooksblog.wordpress.com, but today I am putting my book review here because this is a book that a writer might be more interested in reading.

Genre: Memoir/how to (? – really unsure how to categorize this one)

Blurb: (from Goodreads) Rarely has a book on writing been so clear, so useful, and so revealing. “On Writing” begins with a mesmerizing account of King’s childhood and his uncannily early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, “Carrie, ” will afford readers a fresh and often very funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King next turns to the basic tools of his trade — how to sharpen and multiply them through use, and how the writer must always have them close at hand. He takes the reader through crucial aspects of the writer’s art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection.

Serialized in the “New Yorker” to vivid acclaim, “On Writing” culminates with a profoundly moving account of how King’s overwhelming need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life.

Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, “On Writing” will empower — and entertain — everyone who reads it.

(Usual blurb – lots of spin!)

What I liked: It was interesting learning about Kings life. I had no idea (I won’t give anything away here in case you want to read it and don’t know anything about King, like I didn’t.) It is also interesting to hear what he thinks is important related to writing and story. He also has a list of books he has read that he likes. An interesting list as well.

What I didn’t like: Some of his recommendation/tips about writing are pretty vague. I think this is in part, because he has a pretty strong innate skill with writing. He would have to to be able to write and deal with the things he had to deal with (sorry, have to read the book to find out!)  e.g., When talking about dialogue, he says to be truthful (so a similar word). Sorry – not very helpful. I read one review of this book where the reviewer thought he was condescending. Maybe a little, but as a fellow writer put it – I guess he might have a right to be a bit condescending. I guess I would agree. He does know what he’s doing as his books and his readership will attest to.

Rating: 4/5