Monday, March 8, 2010

Out Of the Best Books

Loved the Oscars! Gorgeous dresses. Sigh. My children cracked me up with their running commentaries. It was like listening to a roomful of sports announcers giving crucial play by play information on dance numbers, acceptance speeches, and cohost comedy. Very funny.

I am behind on my deadline for the humor column I write, and I need to revise an entire chapter today at the least. Therefore, a quick blog entry for Monday. Thanks for all the help over the weekend with the snippet I posted. You are great writers, blogging buddies. I appreciate your wisdom and insight.

During this segment, I wanted to ask you for the titles of your favorite books on writing. Here are my top four.

On Writing by Stephen King (Spicy language but so good!)
Techniques Of A Selling Writer by Dwight Swain (His motivation-reaction units theory is awesome.)
Naming the World: And Other Exercises For the Creative Writer by Bret Anthony Johnston (Excellent writing prompts!)
The Elements Of Style By William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (All you need to know about grammar and more.)

There's my list. Now, tell me yours. I'd love to add more good reference books to my shelves.

Have an awesome day, and Daniel Craig sends his love and encouragement. . .


  1. I didn't know you write a humor column I would love to read that! And I didn't comment about your snippet the other day, I didn't know what I could say that would help, but I did really like reading it :)

    I love books about writing, I haven't read a couple on your list I'll have to check them out. A few of my favorites are:

    The Call of the Writer's Craft by Tom Bird (this is the most encouraging book I've ever read about writing)

    Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

    Thanks, But this Isn't for Us by Jessica Page Morrell (what not to do with your writing, genius!)

    Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb (it helped get me started)

    Have a great day!

  2. I love "On Writing" by Stephen King.

    Have you read, "The Fire in Fiction" by Donald Maass? Also very good.

  3. On Writing by Sol Stein (yes, same title as King's but more thorough). Any writing book by Sol Stein is more than worth the purchase price.

  4. I did read King's book, but haven't read too many others on the craft. Mostly I just read, read, read, mostly commercial fiction and memoir, to see how it's done.

  5. I will take a look at those. Thanks!
    I so want to read your humor column.
    How is your muse?

  6. Writing with Power by Peter Elbow is a fave of mine. And another on my shelves is Successful Writing A Rhetoric for Advanced Composition by Maxine C. Hairston.

  7. Besides Stephen King's, I also found "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne & Dave King to be really helpful.

    I'd be interested in reading your humor column too. :)

  8. I liked, Hooked by Les Edgerton. Although examples from his own work wasn't that great, everything else was very helpful.

  9. I forgot all about the Oscars... oh well.

    I love Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont.

    Good luck with your column!

  10. I second Bird by Bird. I also love King's On Writing. So practical, so fun.

  11. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (my writing bible)

    Walking on Alligators

    Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block

    The 3 A.M. Epiphany

    The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron

  12. I would love to read your humor column!

    King's book is my favorite, but since it's been mentioned several times, I'll list four others I love:

    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers/Renni Browne & Dave King (This is outstanding)
    2. The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers/Christopher Vogler
    3. Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style/Arthur Plotnik
    4. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft/Janet Burroway (fabulous book, ridiculously expensive)

    P.S. I have a little something for you over on my blog. :)

  13. STYLE: LESSONS IN CLARITY AND GRACE by Joseph M. Williams is my personal favorite. It breaks down writing to the sentence level, and it's changed how I write more than any other book. The way he talks about cohesion, coherence, emphasis, and the "magic 7" get me every time. Awesome!!!

  14. I only have Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. It's a fantastic book!

    I love writing "help" books. I don't really know why, I just love 'em!

  15. I THIRD 'Bird by Bird'...excellent.

    Honestly, I have shelves of these books, and Bird by Bird and Strunk and White's EoS are the best.

    Roxy, we too had a blast mocking some of the outfits (sarah jessica parker...eek, that sack dress!), and cheering the winners. On the east coast it went until almost midnight...we get up at 6 am. Yawn. I'm going to bed early tonight.

  16. Story by Robert Mckee is one of my favorites. It's technically a screenwriting book, but it translates so well to fiction. Love it!

  17. From Where you Dream by Robert Olen Butler.

  18. I'm excited to investigate these new writing books you've shared with me. Thanks for the great comments, bloggers!