Itâ€™s a known fact that all good writers spend a lot of time reading. Through reading the words of others, writers learn what works and what doesnâ€™t, and what new things they can apply to their own work. While it helps to read a wide range of books, there are some “writerâ€™s manuals” that can help you with the basics of creative writing, as well as introduce you to the business.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
This is the volume that every writer must own. Itâ€™s a very short book, and yet it contains all the basic rules of grammar, punctuation, and composition. The advice in this book is very practical and, when taken to heart, can help you communicate your ideas better through writing. Most of the succeeding books refer to “The Elements of Style”, so this should be the first writerâ€™s manual on your shelf.
Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing by Claire Kehrwald Cook
Apart from writing, authors must learn how to edit their own work. This is much harder than editing another personâ€™s work because we rarely see our own shortcomings and mistakes. “Line by Line” helps you go through the steps of self-editing. This book tells you the flaws that you should watch out for, as well as how to edit each individual sentence. It also has hundreds of examples that you can learn from.
Fiction: The Art and Craft of Writing and Getting Published by Michael Seidman
For fiction writers, Michael Siedmanâ€™s book is a great resource. It contains helpful tips and techniques from conceptualizing fiction to getting your work published. The sections on the business of publishing are very true-to-life, and itâ€™s no surprise why. Siedman has worked in the field of publishing for over 40 years. Although you get to find out what publishers are looking for, this bookâ€™s main advice is that you follow your own voice and your own vision. Itâ€™s a must-have for every budding fiction writer.
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William K. Zinsser
Whether youâ€™re writing a student essay or a magazine article, “On Writing Well” can help you acquire a strong and clear writing voice. It also contains special sections on writing interviews, travel articles, biographies, technology, reviews and criticisms, and humorous articles.
Donâ€™t limit your creative writing resources to the four books above â€“especially if youâ€™re just starting out as a writer. Look into the autobiographies of other writers to learn more about their creative processes. One notable example is Stephen Kingâ€™s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”. These books will give you a real-life perspective on the art and craft of writing. Perfecting your own writing is a lifelong task and as long as you are a persistent writer, your abilities will definitely improve with time.
[tags]books, writing, tips[/tags]