31 days to a better blog: day 2

Today’s assignment is to write a list post, so here’s my list:

Top 5 favorite books on writing that I own

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. The 3 A.M. Epiphany
  2. The Portable MFA
  3. Self Editing for Fiction Writers
  4. The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories
  5. 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.

Leave a Reply