If you’re an aspiring writer, you know how important it is to have a good understanding of the writing process. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to write a novel, a memoir or even just a blog post, there are plenty of books out there that will help you craft the perfect piece of fiction.
Art & Fear
When you’re creating a piece of art, it’s hard to resist the temptation to get carried away. Especially when it comes to irrational fears and anxieties.
That’s why it’s no wonder that the authors of Art & Fear, David Bayles and Ted Orland, took on the challenge of verbalizing the most disquieting aspects of making art. In this book they discuss the best practices that can help you overcome those obstacles and make good art.
First published in 1994, this little 134-page gem quickly became an underground classic (and a bestseller). Word of mouth has helped boost its reputation to become one of the best-selling books on creativity and artmaking. It is a must read for anyone who has ever had a hard time getting their ideas down on paper.
The Sense of Style
Eminent psycholinguist Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century applies cognitive science to the processes of language and mind. In contrast to the rigid prescriptivists of Strunk and White, Pinker is more laid-back about grammatical correctness and defers to spoken usage.
He devotes a large section to syntax, which can be difficult to understand and use correctly. Having a solid understanding of how sentences work and how words are supposed to go together will make it much easier to spot when your prose is confusing or unclear.
The book is more helpful to fiction writers than non-fiction, but it’s still a good general resource for anyone. The advice is presented in a conversational tone and is quite easy to understand.
The Writer’s Life
The Writer’s Life is a book about writing and how it can help you overcome obstacles and challenges. It offers tips, exercises, resources, words of advice from other writers, and writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
There are also chapters on overcoming self-doubt and the business side of writing. These are things that most writers struggle with, so it’s good to know you’re not alone!
Dillard writes in an evocative, elegant style. She weaves a series of autobiographical anecdotes into her essays that offer insights about her craft.
The Writer’s Toolbox
This book is the heartfelt attempt of a community college English professor to take the art of effective writing beyond the walls of his classroom and into the lives of everyday Americans. It is a comprehensive resource that can be used by anyone who wants to strengthen their writing skills.
The tools in this book are designed to help you overcome obstacles and challenges. These tools can help you find the right words, sentences and paragraphs for any given writing situation.
The toolbox consists of First Sentence sticks that ignite the Inciting Incident, Non Sequitur sticks that create surprising transitions and Last Straw sticks that develop major actions and shifts in your narrative. These tools are excellent for starting new stories or helping to revive old ones in need of a fresh spark of energy.
Constance Hale’s Writer’s Toolbox
Constance Hale’s Writer’s Toolbox is a great book for any writer, whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional. It is a fantastic guide to writing that will help you overcome your fear of the written word and learn to write better.
This book will teach you how to break free from clumsy, complex writing traps, and get your work out into the world. The tips are simple, yet effective, and will have you writing with confidence in no time. This book is also a fantastic resource if you are unsure of what grammar rules to follow, as Hale’s advice is so straightforward and easy to understand. It is a must read for any writer! It will also help you get over your fears and anxiety.