Saturday, January 8, 2011

Favorite Books About The Craft Of Writing


I thought I'd mention two of my favorite books about the craft of writing. The first is Self Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. I recall this book giving a good foundation for the basics of writing. I recommend this book to those who are just beginning the writing process and they long to pen a novel. The book also contains writing exercises, which is nice. Self-Editing covers subjects like "show, don't tell" and other topics that beginning writers need to know. I no longer have my copy and I'll probably purchase another. I loaned my copy to somebody and they never gave it back.


The second book I wanted to mention was Stephen King's book On Writing. WARNING, THERE'S SOME PROFANITY IN THIS BOOK, BUT IF YOU CAN GET PAST THAT, THE BOOK GIVES GOOD, SOUND WRITING ADVICE. This book is a memoir that tells about Stephen King's journey to publication and it also talks about his life. The book even tells about his problems with substance abuse. He also gives good, solid writing advice that most writers need to follow if they want to seriously pursue publication. I read this book several years ago and I still recall passages where Stephen talks about his pre-writing days, about how he'd be at work or doing a task and a scene from a novel would come into his mind. I was mesmerized by this book and I've often recommended it to aspiring writers.

What are your favorite books about the craft of writing? Please share those titles with us in the comments section!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

14 comments:

Lisa Jordan said...

Susan May Warren's Inside ... Out and Deep and Wide books have been my greatest resources for writing well-rounded characters and stronger plots. I recommend them for every writer!

Molly Noble Bull said...

Without a doubt, my favorite book on fiction writing is Techniques of the Selling Writer by the late Dwight Swain. If the book has a downside, it would be that all Swain's writing tips are at the same level. Therefore, the reader doesn't know what is important and what is super important.
Love,
Molly
www.mollynoblebull.com

Anne K. Albert said...

Throughout my writing journey I've always relied on "Walking on Alligators - A book of Meditations for Writers" by Susan Shaughnessy. It's as if she crawled inside my head when she wrote it!

Debby Tisdale Mayne said...

"I don't know if it qualifies as a craft book, but my new favorite writing related book is Forest for the Trees."

Katy King said...

One of my favorites is by Phyllis Whitney's Guide to Fiction Writing. Samm Sinclair Baker had a great book on writing best-selling non-fiction.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Lisa, I've heard positive things about Susan May Warren's writing tips, so the book sounds interesting. Molly, I believe I have Swain's book on my shelf, doesn't it have a yellow cover with black letters? I haven't read it yet though, so your comment has compelled me to pull it off of my shelf and read it!
Anne, I believe I've heard of Walking On Alligators! I'll need to keep it in mind for future reference!
Debby, that title does sound familiar! I'll need to keep that one in mind, too!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Katy, I know I've heard of Phyllis Whitney, but I've never heard of Baker. I guess since I don't read a lot of non-fiction, that may be why I've never heard of him. I'll need to keep the writings of both authors in mind.

Erin Valentine said...

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is great for her language and humor, plus she has some interesting things to say about the writer's life. For technique, right now I'm loving James Scott Bell's The Art of War for Writers.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Erin,

Yes, Anne Lamont and James Scott Bell...I've heard wonderful things about both of these authors.

Anonymous said...

I have many but definitely Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress heads the list.

Anna T.S.

Rita Gerlach said...

I've read a lot of books on the craft of writing. But without a doubt the best one I've read is 'Between the Lines' by Jessica Page Morrell, subtitle 'Master the subtle elements of fiction writing.

Lynette Benton said...

I'm editing a first novel for a client, and wanted to give her some tips to use as she does her revisions. Thanks so much for posting about Self-Editing for Fiction Writers! I'll pass the word among my writing students, as well.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Anonymous, Rita and Lynette, thanks for commenting and for making your suggestions! Lynette, I hope your students find Self-Editing For Fiction Writers to be helpful!

Teresa Slack said...

These books were some of the first I read on craft. Self-editing stands out in my mind. King's book was inspiring, except for the first half that was boring and crude, and I gleaned a lot of helpful tips from it.

Besides many of the books mentioned by others I learn a lot by reading fiction works of highly successful writers. Read to study craft. They must be doing something right/write.