Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Great Article About Writing Books

Over on The WM Freelancer's Connection, Pam Houghton has written an article recommending 3 excellent writing books. You should absolutely check out the whole article, "Classic Writing Books," whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

Houghton's choices are:

1. Bird-by-Bird by Anne Lamott (1994)
2. Writing down the Bones - Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg (1986)
3. On Writing Well - by William Zinsser (1976)

I'll give an enthusiastic AMEN to each of these. William Zinsser's book, especially, changed my life. He singlehandedly took me from an academic mindset that made me think that I had to use big words and convoluted arguments in order to appear smart, to a mental place where I suddenly valued clarity, content, and communication. Shorter sentences, simpler, clearer words, and actual things to say.

Another good one is Stephen King's On Writing; that's one I read bits of quite often. Anyone have any other recommendations for writing books?


  1. Four books that I particularly like and used when teaching creative writing workshops are:
    The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
    First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S. Wiesner
    Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman and
    The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
    Excellent books!

  2. I love The First 5 Pages (which we already have, or I would have entered your contest!)--though I have to admit, it kinda scares me! I feel like I'm doing too much wrong...