Sunday, August 17, 2014

Books Every Writer Should Own

I own a lot of craft books, and I will be honest and say I haven't read them all. But these three books I have read over and over and over again. I reference them and quote them. I have sticky notes all through them and lines from them are in the back of my mind every time I write (and often written in the margins of my notebooks.)

So here is something I learned from each one. If you're interested in being a writer I strongly encourage you to purchase these three books. They will save you so much time, so much frustration and teach you so much. Of course, tell me the other craft books you love in the comments because I'm always looking to add to my collection!

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

This is the technicals book. The book that helps the writer look at each word, each sentence, each punctuation mark. This book is considered a guide to nonfiction, but many of the rules can be applied to all fiction. Rules like careful word choices and succinct language use. This book taught me how to be direct and efficient.


Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott taught me to be patient with my writing. Prior to reading her book I had a horrible habit of writing everything as though it was the final draft, which is neither helpful nor productive. You don't have to keep every word you write. You simply have to write. And to take each piece of work page by page, bird by bird.


On Writing by Stephen King

Someone recently pointed out that I quote this book often. It's true. I do. Because this book made me feel like a writer. This book taught me to think like a writer, to live my life like a writer. This book taught me more about writing, and gave me more confidence in my craft, than any other book I have read. And if you can only afford one of these three books, this is the one. 

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