Books About Writing

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It is often said that every good writer reads. To be inspired by other authors, to commiserate with them and perhaps most importantly to learn from them is the key to good writing. It is also said that everyone has one book in them. However, in order to actually translate that book into reality, to make that book shine, one may need a little help from experienced authors. Books about the art of writing are must for anyone—people interested in the profession; amateur and aspiring writers; and even published authors.

  1. The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think and Work by Marie Arana: In this book, more than fifty contemporary authors talk about their profession and their personal journeys—their work habits, their inspirations, how they discovered their talents, how they deal with the ups and downs of their professions and many other secrets.
  2. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craftby Stephen King: This bestselling author, in this book, chronicles his life as a writer. In this revealing and honest look into his life, he also imparts practical advice and provides the reader a view of the basic tools a writer must possess.
  3. How to Write Bestselling Fiction by Dean R. Koontz: It is every writer’s dream to write a bestselling book and Dean Koontz in this book tells you how to do it. This comprehensive book gives advice on how to write a compelling story—structure, language, character and plot development, pace, relevance—as well giving advice on how to handle the business side of writing—agents, publishers, contracts, sales and rights. Along with this practical advice, he shares with the reader his personal views on what makes a writer great.
  4. Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within Youby Ray Bradbury: With his usual passion, Bradbury in this book shares with the world what drives him to write and how one can find the same sense of adventure that inspires him.
  5. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White: This familiar book is an old, but is still a very relevant book for every aspiring writer. It explores the basic principles of English writing and is recommended by many authors as the first book one should read before embarking on the journey of writing your own book.
  6. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard: In this brilliant book, the author writes about the sometimes torturous and sometimes transcendent process of writing a book. She writes honestly about the ups and downs of life as a writer.
  7. The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick: This book addresses one of the most powerful forms of writing—personal narratives. Through examining the works of other celebrated authors of memoirs and delving into the ideas of truth in narratives, this book is a powerful read.
  8. On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser: With much attention given to writing the perfect novel, non-fiction books are often neglected. William Zinsser brings it to the forefront by addressing what it takes to write quality non-fiction books by giving practical and sound advice in a clear and concise manner.
  9. The War of Artby Steven Pressfield: All writer, in fact all artists, have voices of self-doubt in their heads. This book written particularly for writers teaches them how to recognise it, silence it and ultimately defeat it in order to make your dreams come true.
  10. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on the Writing Lifeby Anne Lamott: Practical, profound and witty, this book deals with all aspects of a writer’s life from writer’s block to jealousy to how to get published in a well-written and interesting manner.

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