A piece of advice you’ve probably heard (from me and others) is that if you want to be a better writer, you should read lots. I think it’s helpful to read books in general and books about writing. You can learn a lot from other people’s writing style and the advice from people who know a little something about writing. I’ve discussed various books on writing since 2015, but I thought I would put it all of my suggestions one place. I hope these books help you, and be sure to comment with your opinions on different books, too!
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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – What I love about this book is how Gilbert puts creative living in perspective. I’m sure the vast majority of creatives want their work to be successful or to change the world or something, but everything you make doesn’t have to. In fact, Eat, Pray, Love was Gilbert’s fourth book. Her fourth! And even if nothing Gilbert makes in the future comes near to the success of that book – or how many lives were changed because of it – it doesn’t matter. That book and the subsequent movie touched so many lives. But, most importantly, it touched hers. Most creatives may want to be successful, but more importantly, they have to create. If I don’t write, even just on this blog, I don’t feel like myself. In this book, Gilbert reminded me of that, and to stop putting so much pressure on myself. Everything I write doesn’t have to win awards or be a commercial success. I just need to write, even if just for myself. Check out my full review.
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Astounding Story by K. M. Weiland – One of the important parts of writing a novel is its structure. You can have wonderful characters and a great plot idea, but without awesome structure, it can’t be an awesome novel. K. M. Weiland’s tips are so good! The first part of the book is about the structure of the novel itself, and the second part is about what you should know when editing your novel.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg – I love this book so much and I cannot recommend it enough to any writer. There are a whole lot of different tips for every type of writing issue or part of writing. Like with all the books on this list, I was highlighting and taking notes while reading it because it’s just that good. This is a lot less dense than Big Magic or Structuring Your Novel.
Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White – Speaking of books that are less dense … Elements of Style is tiny in comparison to the others but it’s so important. As you can probably gather from the title, this is more about the style of writing than some others. This is a great book to have on hand while you’re trying to make the quality of your writing (not just the plot).
What do you think the best books on writing are?
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