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Five Great Writing Resources

Updated on April 22, 2011

What A Novel Idea!

          Well, today, I think I will begin writing a novel. Sounds pretty simple, right? After all, I have college, those college essays and many years of writing memos at work under my belt. I have even published articles related to my previous career, covering many technical aspects and offering my own brand of expertise. In front of my computer, I now stare at a blank page and blinking curser. Surely, at any moment, the words will begin to flow.

          It is funny to look back over these words now, reflecting on my own approach to writing. Like so many, I too have college, essays, memorandums and other work in my past. However, for so many years, the idea of writing a book was just that – an idea. It was only a couple of years ago, when I made my first attempt. Now, two years later and into my third rewrite, I have learned many valuable lessons.

Read as often as possible
Read as often as possible
Write, write, write
Write, write, write

Build On The Basics

          While all of those things mentioned before are good, they cannot provide a free pass around the basics. In Stephen King on Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he says it best. “You cannot succeed as a writer unless you read a lot and write a lot.” While I have always been an avid reader, I have certainly raised the stakes over the past two years.

          When it comes to writing resources, the choices are unlimited. However, the majority of them are not really all that good. The so-called “How-To” books are usually of no benefit to anyone, except the author who convinced you to buy it. There are a few carefully selected books that I can recommend highly and own a copy of myself.

Five Great Writing Resources

Stephen King on Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Much like the dialogue in his fiction novels, Stephen King provides honesty and pulls no punches here. The book begins with a summary of his life and ends with as he calls it, “talk about the job.”

The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

This little book has provided help to millions of readers and has been in print for more than forty years. It is one of the best books on basic grammar and usage and a reference I keep handy.

William Zinsser: On Writing Well

William Zinsser turns his focus on brevity and simplicity. This one is especially helpful for anyone writing articles, memos and non-fiction work. If you are struggling to find your “style,” this one will help.

The Natural Born Writer by Robin Moore

The children’s book author and storyteller will guide you on a journey through the storytelling process. This is a great book with a simple focus – the imagination. If you are considering writing fiction, or looking to write books for children, this one will serve you well.

The Chicago Manual of Style

This is another great resource for both common and complex questions about grammar and usage. I have found it especially helpful in the editing process.  

 

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    • flying_fish profile image

      flying_fish 6 years ago from GTA

      Very nice. I grew up reading Stephen King - his writing has influenced my thought quite a bit... I think the best way to write really well is just to do it and do it and do it, and polish it up in the editing process. I've heard that Hemingway's technique was to go back and rewrite everything he'd previously written every time he sat back down to it - resulting not only in his typically brief and to-the-point style, but a uniformity of style that makes the work all the more solid...

      Thanks for this!

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