Monday, March 8, 2010

My Favourite Books on Writing

Thanks for some wonderful, thought-provoking comments on my previous post. Theresa asked if I had any book suggestions. Great question, since I do have a few!

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is a wonderful, easy-to-read and entertaining book on writing. Full of great life advice, too.

On Writing by Stephen King has practical tips -- such as axing those pesky adverbs -- and also discusses the writing techniques that work best for him.

How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey: Terrible title, but if you can get past that it has very good tips on conflict and 'raising the stakes'.

Wanna Be a Writer? by Jane Wenham Jones was one of the first books I bought when I started out on the writing journey. Funny and irreverent.

Any other favourites out there?


KarenG said...

Someone else asked this same question today! My answer-- any writing book by Sol Stein is well worth the purchase price!

Theresa Milstein said...

Les Edgerton's, Hooked had great explanations about grabbing readers' attention right from the start, and to explain what your first chapters is supposed to accomplish. His own writing examples aren't great, but I liked everything else.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I remember reading a novel called i believe 'A Proud American Boy'.
Very clever in that that you are half way through before you realise one important fact.

Beth said...

Great post! Definitely The Renegade Writer and The Renegade Writer's Query Letters that Rock for freelance writers, as well as The Anti 9 to 5 Guide and My So Called Freelance life. I also really liked Old Friend From Far Away and Courage and Craft for memoir/personal essays.

Terresa said...

I'm currently reading Lamott's "Bird by Bird." It's excellent.

Another great one is "Writing down the bones" by Goldberg. I reviewed it on my blog here:

PS: I'm a London lover, too. Was there a few months back and didn't want to leave. Wahhhh.

Ann said...

I have the Anne Lamont and the Jane Wenham Jones books. I love "Writing Down to the Bones" by Natilie Goldberg. "The Right to Write," and "Sound of Paper" by Julia Cameron. Just to mention a few. Oh also "Pen On Fire"

Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh- great suggestions, Marsha, love this post. Great suggestions from the comments as well. I'm going to try and remember to tweet this link.

Thanks for sharing!

Marsha Moore said...

Thanks everyone, for all your great suggestions! I'm going to have to get 'Writing Down the Bones' - I keep meaning to buy it!