As a struggling writer, and a writer sometimes struggling to write, I love to read books about writing.
When I find a book about writing that I love I pick it up over and over. The pages get weathered and the cover filthy. Here are a few of the books that always get me wanting to write.
Bird by Bird-Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott:
For those of us writers in the real world, who don’t have the luxury of poetic phrases falling out of our mouths and perfect sentences coming out of our ears, Anne Lamott is our savior. In “Bird by Bird” she admits right off the bat that writing is hard. But she goes on to give us chapters on Gettting Started and Shitty First Drafts. Her writing is witty and sarcastic and yes, it makes you want to write.
The Plot Thickens- 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman:
Once you get the urge to write and (hopefully) get something meaningful down on paper, it’s time to make it good. “The Plot Thickens” covers chapters on suspense, conflict, and characterization; the stuff that makes your writing unique. Lukeman gives you exercises to help you fill in details about your writing you may have overlooked. In short, he helps you create.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves- The Zero Tolerance Approach to Puntuation by Lynne Truss:
Now if you’ve gotten to the editing stage of whatever you are writing, I salute you. I also feel sorry for you. Editing can be the hardest part of any piece of writing, but this book can at least make the technical stuff easier. Not only does it cover the essentials of grammar that we may have all forgotten in middle school, Truss is just down right funny. It shows you just how important punctuation can be and is also (amazingly) entertaining.