Time for a nerd-fession: I spend much of my hard-earned money on grammar and writing books. Ultra nerd-fession: I’ve been known to special order them.
Having participated in two simultaneous BB Fanfic extravaganzas this year, I’ve written more in a shorter amount of time than I ever have in my life. With no time to leisurely amble through the writing process, I’ve had to be at the top of my writing game, and well, I got by with a little help from my books.
Here are my 5 favorite books on the craft of writing, in no particular order. Pardon the low-quality photos; these are from my personal collection.
1. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
My writing mentor once told me that I’d never need a book so much as I’d need this one. She was right.
2. “the making of a story” by Alice LaPlante
This one was recommended to me by a friend in an MFA program. Its primary use is a creative writing textbook, but I really use it for the writing exercises it includes. I just did an exercise yesterday on metaphors to help break me out of my writer’s block, and it did the job perfectly. Also: it covers more than just fiction; there are several chapters on nonfiction and essay writing as well.
3. The Write Type by Karen E. Peterson, Ph.D
I really enjoyed this author’s first book, Write, which was all about defeating Writer’s Block, so when I stumbled across this one in Portland last fall, I immediately threw money at the cashier as I devoured chapter one. The author is a psychologist, and she uses her knowledge in tandem with her writing experience to take writers on a journey to discover just why they write the way they do. This book helped me work with my insane writing habits instead of fighting against them.
4. Off the Page
This one is by a variety of authors who write about various stages of the writing process: drafting, revisions, conclusions, metaphors, etc. Writing is a solitary process, but it’s nice to know that you’re not the only one who struggles with sentence construction.
5. Bullies, Bastards, & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrell
Bought this one purely because of the title, but it’s now my favorite book on the craft of writing. Why? Because it’s all about how to write villains. Sociopaths, teen bullies, monsters, anti-heroes, it has them all.
What’s your favorite book on writing? Leave me a rec in the comments!
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