As a writer I am sure I am not alone in spending too much time procrastinating. There always seem to be distractions. Some are easy to ignore; others less so. One problem is that we feel we need to improve our craft through learning and reading about writing rather than just getting on with the writing and learning as we go.
Having said that I am now going to contradict myself and say that we c an all learn from others. After all, why do we need to reinvent the wheel? If others have been there, done that, we can learn from them. And every writer has books about writing on their shelf.
Here are some of mine (in no particular order):
How to Write a Blockbuster by Helen Corner & Lee Weatherly
Authored jointly by a literary consultant/agent, and a highly successful published author, it offers not simply a guide to writing a novel, but an introduction to writing a plot-based, action-focused blockbuster.
It was the first ‘how to write a novel’ book I bought and I still refer to it ten years later.
Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson
A clear, concise and entertaining guide to English usage and spelling from one of our favourite authors. What more could you want?
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
The ultimate guide to staying out of the rejection pile, written by a literary agent. Probably the best book of its type. Nuff said.
Novel Writing: 16 Steps to Success by Evan Marshall
Thinking of writing a novel? Read this book first. It provides a methodical, easy to follow and effective approach to planning, plotting, writing and finishing a successful novel.
The Craft of Writing Articles by Gordon Wells
More than 15 years old this book set me on the way to writing articles. Although a little dated much of the content is still relevant today.
More about How to Write a Mi££ion: The Essential Guide to Becoming a Successful Author by Jack Bickham, Kit Reed and Monica Wood
Almost 20 years old but worth its weight in gold. This book takes you through all the elements of writing a novel, such as conflict, action and suspense, theme and strategy, scene and structure, in an easy to follow manner.
The Complete Handbook of Novel writing by Writer’s Digest
An invaluable addition to the bookshelf. With contributions and advice form more than 70 successful authors.
Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing by Don George
Written by a top travel writer this book is packed with insider tips and writing examples. If you want to try your hand at writing travel articles it’s the book for you.
So, there you have it. Not comprehensive by any means but I challenge any aspiring writer not to find something of great help in that list.