Today’s assignment is to write a list post, so here’s my list:
Top 5 favorite books on writing that I own
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. This is a best-beloved book for many writers I know: it’s not so much about how to make a plot, but also how to deal with editing, interruptions, and writer’s block.
- On Writing by Stephen King. Love him or hate him as novelist, King writes some damn good nonfiction, too. I loved Danse Macabre because I love books about pop culture history, so when On Writing came out I knew I had to have it. Despite the discomfort I had with how candid King is about his drug addiction, there was still a lot to learn about how to write, how to make a living and how to live as a writer.
- Starting From Scratch by Rita Mae Brown. This is the one I’ve owned the longest: it was a gift from my father when I was a teenager, and I still go back to it when I need some inspiration or level-headed advice.
- First Paragraphs by Donald Newlove. This isn’t a manual on writing, as such: what Newlove does is take several opening paragraphs, some famous and some not so much, and looks at what makes them work—or why they don’t.
- The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey. This is not a book for advice about plot. This is a short story about a writer named Mr. Earbrass and how he writes a novel called The Unstrung Harp. It’s about finding inspiration, revising, finishing, plotting, and insomnia. Like most Gorey stories, it’s a little spooky layered with dark humor. Every writer should read this, just to know you’re not alone in this madness.
UPDATE: Buy links have been removed for the time being, as Amazon is being an asshat.
And here is its companion list:
Top 5 books on writing that I want to read
- The 3 A.M. Epiphany
- The Portable MFA
- Self Editing for Fiction Writers
- The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
- A Natural History of the Romance Novel
There may be more of these list post things. I have a list now. (Of course I have a list. I don’t get out of bed without a list .)
Mirrored from Jenna Jones.com.