What better way to get really light a fire under you for NaNoWriMo than to read some writing books! Other than a notebook and a pen, books that discuss writing are essential for budding writers. And you can’t go wrong with these necessities:
Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
“Pull out a favorite novel or short story, and read it with the guidance of Clark’s ideas. . . . Readers will find new worlds in familiar places. And writers will be inspired to pick up their pens.” -Boston Globe
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
“This style manual offers practical advice on improving writing skills. Throughout, the emphasis is on promoting a plain English style. This little book can help you communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences.”
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice–“it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind.”
“Once you’ve read-and written-your way through this book, you’ll have a command of craft that will enable you to turn your ideas into effective short stories and novels.
You will be a writer. “
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life. From “Getting Started,’ with “Short Assignments,” through “Shitty First Drafts,” “Character,” “Plot,” “Dialogue.” all the way from “False Starts” to “How Do You Know When You’re Done?” Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses “Writers Block,” “Writing Groups,” and “Publication.” Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive.
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
“Zen in the Art of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.”
“A collection of cures for writer’s block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.
Draft No. 4 by John Mcphee
“A superb essay on the difficulties and joys of composition.”