Monday, 13 October 2008

Writing books

This afternoon I have ordered yet another writers' book. I used to be addicted to them, but it's under control now. Just about. There's only one thing I like doing more than writing and that's reading about writing.

So I started to think, what is my favourite book about writing. Not an easy question, there have been so many over the years I can barely remember them all. But a few stand out.

"Story" by Robert McKee. It's really about screenwriting but a story is a story regardless of the medium. I love his elegant style.

Anything by James N. Frey. I started with How To Write A Damn Good Novel and ended up reading a few more of his. His writing has such energy it is inspiring and it taught me a lot about story structure.

Wannabe a Writer by Jane Wenham-Jones is a good laugh and she has some useful insights.

78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might by Pat Walsh is a reality checklist. If you have any illusions about your ability this will help squash them.

No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty is the procrastinator's bible, written for anyone who's been planning that novel for years in his head but never put pen to paper. Very entertaining and inspiring.

Better stop there, although there have been others. No doubt I'll remember a few more by next time.


Lori said...

These look like very good suggestions. I am going to put some of these books on my reading list. I used to reject any advice on writing but now I am at a stage where I need a lot of guidance, so I welcome all the writing books.

Sandra Patterson said...

They are addictive, Lori, and some are not worth the money. Check out the writer's pedigree first - if they have had writing success themselves it's a good guide.

Jane Smith said...

Sandra, I reviewed the New Writer's Handbook recently over on my blog, and loved the book; and my all-time favourite, Taking Reality by Surprise, has to be mentioned too.

Sandra Patterson said...

Yes Jane, that in fact is the book I ordered and it came today. Saw the recommendation on your blog. (See the power you have!)
I'll have a look at Taking Reality by Surprise.