Have Any Favorites?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Have Any Favorites?
7
Wed, 04-28-2010 - 2:35pm

Do you have any favorite books on writing? Here's a list to help you - http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/galleycat_reviews/readers_collect_the_best_writing_books_159609.asp


I've got at least three on their list - and several on other people's lists. What have you got?

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 12:43pm

Without a doubt, my favorite book on writing is Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, mainly because it's short. It's only 158 pages in the Bantam paperback. And it's so much my favorite that I'll think I'll read it again right now.


(I'm being lazy and copying the books from the Galleycat list. The perk I noticed was a link to the author. I'll check it out when I'm done to see if I should delete it.)


78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might by Pat Walsh

JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2005
Fri, 05-14-2010 - 12:50pm

Here are the books I keep going back to, year after year:

STRUNK & WHITE'S ELEMENTS OF STYLE
MAKING A LITERARY LIFE -- Carolyn See
SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS -- Terry Brooks
MY STAGGERFORD JOURNAL -- Jon Hassler
BIRD BY BIRD -- Anne Lamott
ESCAPING INTO THE OPEN -- Elizabeth Berg
WRITE AWAY! -- Elizabeth George
THE RIGHT TO WRITE - Julia Cameron
THUNDER AND LIGHTENING -- Natalie Goldberg
NEGOTIATING WITH THE DEAD -- Margaret Atwood

Ink in My Coffee: http://devonellington.wordpress.com Hex Breaker: http://hexbreaker.devonellingtonwork.com www.fearlessink.com www.devonellingtonwork.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 05-14-2010 - 4:19pm
Great list, Devon! I have over half of them and have a feeling I should invest in the rest. Don't know where I put my Strunk & White! It won't hurt to have two, will it?

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Fri, 05-14-2010 - 9:24pm

I generally don't have a favorite among the writing books (though I might have to look at the Ray Bradbury one if I can find it). There are far, far too many that written by people who don't write fiction and come across like diet books. But one that I've recently read that has made me go "Wow" is David Gerrold's Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. Instead of laying out rules like a lot of the other books do, he offers opportunities to expand writing knowledge.

I picked up the book last week looking for ideas on world building (light there), but then I hit a couple of chapters, and I kept coming back to them. One was on E-Prime, and the other was on meter. I've never seen those written about anywhere else, so it was really new to me.

E-Prime: Basically, it's eliminating the 'to-be' words. But in the context Gerrold put it, it wasn't for eliminating passive voice but to think about how the sentences were worded and stretch yourself to come up with something different. Since I had to revise my first chapter, I decided to try it there. All I did was eliminate one word from the narrative (dialogue I left it): Was. The results were astounding. I came up with sentences very different than what I would normally do. It really made me think about the writing.

Meter: Straight out of poetry. This was recommended to David Gerrold by Theodore Sturgeon, a well-known science fiction writer. I got some poetry books to see if meter is something I can do.

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Edited 5/14/2010 9:26 pm ET by linda_adams

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 8:42am

I'll have to check out that book! (Probably from the library. LOL!)


There's no rule that says we must stick to the genre in which we write when reading a writing book. There is something to be learned from all. Though you may feel that more than half a book is wasted on you because it's too genre-specific, there are pearls among those oyster shells you may think too ugly to apply to your writing. That said, maybe I should pick up a book on writing romance sometime this year. ;-)


I'll read anyone who takes recommendations from Sturgeon. I do myself. When it comes time to edit my cookbooks, I'll post one of Sturgeon's Laws above my work area - "90% of everything is crap!"

JudyB







JudyB






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2004
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 6:17pm
One of the really nice things about the book is that he treats all the elements of writing as things to be explored and experimented with. Many of the more traditional books treat it as, "This is what you're supposed to do. Here are the rules. Do as I say."

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Writing Blog |

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 7:23pm

Went to the library. The computer said it was on the shelf before I left home. Couldn't find it. Just as well, though, since I didn't have my library card.


I'll try again after I find my library card. Now, which purse did I leave it in . . . ?

JudyB







JudyB