Monday, April 12, 2010

Read A Book About Writing

This morning, I read a review of a book written by Stephen King about the craft of writing. Who better than he to pen this one? It's called On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft. Published in 2000, it's still filled with pertinent information for this new decade. I read it when it first came out but would like to do so again.

Beginning writers tend to read books about their craft and that can be only beneficial to them as they weave in and out of the ups and downs of the writing life. I sometimes think that being a writer is like riding a roller coaster over and over and....  Once you consider yourself an intermediate writer or a professional, you might toss aside the books and do it 'your way' and maybe that's all right. Then again, maybe even seasoned writers can benefit from reading books about their craft. To be honest, I don't think there is any 'maybe' about it. No matter how many publications have our name on them, we can still learn something. And even if you don't learn something new, there's nothng wrong in reviewing those things you do know.

With that in mind, here's a list of a few of the books about writing that I've read and found useful. When I first began writing, I started a shelf in my bookcase for these books only. And every now and then, I select one and read it again, or at least parts of it. And I watch for new books about writing in bookstores and my library. Now, for the list which is only a small sample. Do a little research and start a shelf of your own.

1. On Writing--A Memoir of the Craft  (Stephen King)
2. Bird By Bird (Anne Lamott)
3. Write Away  (Elizabeth George)
4. Seven Steps on the Writer's Path: The Journey from Frustration to Fulfillment (Nancy Pickard)
5. One Writer's Beginnings (Eudora Welty)
6. Writing and Publishing Personal Essays (Sheila Bender)
7. Writing and Revising Your Fiction (Mark Wisniewski)
8.  Self-Editing For Fiction Writers--Second Edition:  How To Edit Yourself Into Print (Rennie Brown and Dave King)
9. Writing For Children and Teen-Agers  (Lee Wyndham)
10. Beginnings, Middles and Ends (Nancy Kress)

These are only a very few to get you started. A writer must first be a reader!

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