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4 Great Books on Writing


There are lots of choices when it comes to books on the "craft" of writing. Following are four of my favorites. I thought I would pass them along in case you are looking for a little inspiration.

1. On Writing by Stephen King
Let's just say it's everyone's favorite for a reason. I admit that this is the only book I've read by Stephen King, though having read it, it makes me want to read one of his novels. He interweaves his own story into tips on the craft of writing. He's often quoted for saying if you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write. And I have to agree with that.

2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The great thing about this book is that the writing is so good. It reads more like a beautiful work of fiction than a manual on writing. She shares some of the lessons learned from her own career as well as things she's shared with her class as a writing instructor. Her perspective grounds you in realism, especially the chapter on publishing.

3. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
Written by an agent whose seen his share of manuscripts, Maas offers a lot of very specific advice on structure, plot and characterization that seem to be common in the novels that "break-out." Even if you aren't planning to write a break-out novel, the advice would be helpful to anyone trying to write a compelling book.

4. Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
There comes a time when the fun of a first draft is done. Then revisions must be faced. Sometimes as a writer, you know your manuscript needs a makeover but it's hard to know what or how to fix it. This book offers tremendously specific advice about how to polish your story to perfection before sending it out.



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