For all of you that are participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
340 pages, 125 of 138 reviews are 4 or 5-star
On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sole, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.
130 pages, 42 of 55 reviews are 4 or 5-star
With color, irony and sensitivity, Pulitzer prize-winner Annie Dillard illuminates the dedication absurdity, and daring that is the writer’s life. As it probes and exposes, examines and analyzes, The Writing Life offers deeper insight into one of the most mysterious of professions.
Annie Dillard has written eleven books, including the memoir of her parents, An American Childhood; the Northwest pioneer epicThe Living; and the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. A gregarious recluse, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
288 pages, 35 of 36 reviews are 4 or 5-star
Here’s a useful book for the novice writer battling the fears and insecurities that attend when she contemplates her first novel. Highly successful as the writer of a dozen novels of suspense (A Place of Hiding, etc.) and a teacher with significant experience, George reveals that those same fears and insecurities still bedevil her. She quickly moves beyond that to a consideration of the craft of writing-mastering the tools and techniques that a writer needs in order to create art. While George illustrates her points with passages from both her own works and those of numerous writers she admires (Martin Cruz Smith, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris), this remains more of a how-I-do-it book than a how-to-do-it book. Thus George will typically discuss an aspect of writing, such as creating the landscape of a novel, illustrate it with examples from various writers and then show how she approaches it.
The result is an informative, instructive and idiosyncratic examination of the structure of the novel and of one writer’s rigorously disciplined approach to creating one. George makes clear that writing is a job and that mastering the tools and techniques of the craft can go a long way toward making a writer successful. Finally, she advocates self-discipline, or what Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One) calls “bum glue.” As George puts it, “A lot of writing is simply showing up… day after day, same time and same place.” Both aspiring writers and fans of George’s novels should enjoy the author’s insights into the creative process.
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320 pages, 97 of 121 reviews are 4 or 5-star
In this entertaining and edifying New York Times best-seller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and tricks of the masters and to discover why their work has endured.
Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire listeners to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart; to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; to look to John le Carre for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue; and to Flannery O’Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most importantly, she cautions listeners to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.
274 pages, 47 of 60 reviews are 4 or 5-star
Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid—at all costs—if you ever want your novel published.
In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious “mis-examples” to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they’ll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.
208 pages, 2 of 3 reviews are 5-star
Based on Lawrence Block’s extremely popular seminar for writers. Discover Block’s tips for overcoming writer’s block and unleashing your creativity.
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