1. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Written Writing Wresources

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Terry D, Jan 18, 2011.

    There are a number of very good resources available to help aspiring writers learn the basics of the craft. Some of the ones I have found invaulable are;

    The Elements of Style by E. B. White and Howard Strunk -- this thin volume contains a wealth of information about gramar, punctuation, word usage, and many stylistic basics. I read it cover to cover at least once a year.

    Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block -- A bookfull of essays on the techniques and methods of fiction writing.

    Writing the Novel from Plot to Print also by Block -- I sjust what the title describes, a step by step buleprint for novel writing.

    Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury -- A wonderful look at writing by one of the great masters of the craft.

    What other books have you found which teach, motivate, or inspire you as a writer?
     
  2. Serpentine_Poet
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    Serpentine_Poet New Member

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    On Writing by Stephen King.
    Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
    The Gotham Writers Workshop: Writing Fiction

    I swear by the above titles. They've each changed my writing in a different way. Also, if you're really interested in writing and you're willing to listen to my suggestions, I would recommend reading the following to improve:

    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    The Stranger by Camus
    Siddhartha by Herman Hess
    Anything by Vonnegut

    Also, Cien a(~)nos de soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    On Writing is a window into Stephen King's writing habits. It should by no means by considered a How to Write bible.

    In general, I would be very wary of any book that offers a comprehensive blueprint of how to write. Too much of writing is very subjective and individual. Different writers organize research differently, take different approaches to overall planning, develop characters differently, use different revision strategies, and so on.
     
  4. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    The Art of Fiction by John Gardner was my primer in college. It really delves deep into the philosophy of writing. Great read.
     
  5. Serpentine_Poet
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    Serpentine_Poet New Member

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    I'll argue otherwise. And I'm just wondering, are you saying that it's useless, or that it's just not a writer's panacea but has merit (which I will agree to)?
     
  6. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I second this book. For its size and age, it is amazingly useful because many of the problem a writer will run into are explained in a simple and easy to understand manner.
     
  7. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Block's book is by no means a cookie cutter approach to publishing a novel. He covers the stages of the process from idea generation, to character creation, to publishing contracts from the perspective of a very successful author. His advice is as practical as boxer shorts and written with humor. For many years lawrence Block was the fiction writing columnist for Writer's Digest. He stresses throughout the book the subjectivity and individuality you mention.
     
  8. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I agree. On Writing is more than a great book for writers. It's just a great book in general. I would have been fascinated by it had I no intentions of writing. The memoir section is worth a read in itself.
     
  9. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    I don't think On Writing is a particularly good book on how to write. Stephen King is not a particularly good example of how to write.

    And I think I can say that, because I'm a dedicated fan of Stephen King, and I think there have only been a few times when he has written a good novel.

    A very good book that every fiction writer should read is The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) by Jack M. Bickham. Take a look at it here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Most-Common-Fiction-Writing-Mistakes/dp/0898798213/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295422156&sr=1-1
     
  10. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    He doesn't only tell us how to write, but how to tell a story and what things to avoid. Personally I thought it was an amazing read.
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can only remember the real name and author of the one im reading right now but its very good and inspiring: Revision and self-editing by James Scott Bell.
    I also wold like to read Techniques of the selling writer by Dwight Swain, have anyone read that? Would you recommend it? I have heard so much good about it.
     

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