April 16th, 2007


Resources For Writers

A friend asked for my list of the ultimate writing books of all time and, trust me, I've read dozens. Here is my list of the cream of the crop:

First, many of us need permission to write. We ask ourselves the question, what right do I have to share my writings with others? In order of importance:
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeleine L'Engle

  • On Writing, by Stephen King (Warning: Contains strong language)

  • Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury

  • If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, by Brenda Ueland
And grammar. Never, ever forget grammar:
  • The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

  • The New Well Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
And then, the specific nuts-and-bolts on writing:
  • Plot (Elements of Fiction Writing), by Ansen Dibell

  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing), by Orson Scott Card

  • Dialogue: A Socratic Dialogue on the Art of Writing Dialogue in Fiction (Elements of Fiction Writing), by Lewis Turco
A nice overview of the whole shebang in spite of the stupid title:
  • How to Write a *** Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling, by James N. Frey
And when the manuscript is done, comes the real hard work:
  • Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction, by David Michael Kaplan