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Look up the best books on writing and you’ll find thousands – all with similar sounding names and blurbs on the back. But there are some books out there that are so darned helpful that they could be adapted for any style of writing, and they’re firmly in my arsenal whether I’m writing novels, short stories, poetry, scripts, or copy.With limited time and limited budget, how do you know where to start? These are the best books in creative writing, no matter your genre or style…
It’s excellent advice to not over-describe, and to trust the reader to make part of the journey themselves.
It’s a reminder that this is part of the joy of reading, and that it’s an active engagement between author and reader.
Half rags to riches, half practical writing advice, Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is always mentioned in lists of the best books on creative writing, and for good reason.
‘On Writing’ reads in the style it suggests you write in. The first half is King’s own journey to writing (including lots of rejections), and the second part is his advice on writing.
I read ‘Zen and the Art of Writing’ mainly on my commutes to and from my content strategy day job a few years ago, and it made me feel like I could be, should be, would be a true writer as soon as I started typing.
This one might seem out of place in my list, but hear me out. Again, you might think a book of synonyms is quaint and out of date. Yes, you can Google synonyms for anything, but that’s if you already know what you’re looking for.
This was a hefty tome I’d seen and heard about lots of times before but I was convinced that I didn’t need.
Why buy a massive book when the world’s your oyster with the internet at your fingertips? Navigating publishing’s chopping waters can be tricky when you’re just one woman in a canoe.
I read this book over 7 years ago, and it’s still stuck in my head (and I’ve read a lot of writing guides). I hadn’t heard of Ray Bradbury (I know, I’d possibly been living under a rock), but this book had been recommended to me by a fellow writer.
It’s really a collection of informal (and really passionate) essays on writing with a lot of Bradbury’s real life experience thrown in.