Author Topic: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own  (Read 2517 times)  

Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
« on: November 30, 2014, 04:32:10 am »
I know a lot of people point to Strunk and White's Element of Style, but I think this book is a nice "modernization" that debunks some of what is talked about in it.  I've really enjoyed The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.  Part of the blurb explains better than I could why this book is so useful:

Quote
Rethinking the usage guide for the twenty-first century, Pinker doesn't carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rule books of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose. In this short, cheerful, and eminently practical book, Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination, empathy, coherence, grammatical know how, and an ability to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others. He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence, allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously, rather than robotically, being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish.

Does anyone have other writing related books to recommend?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 08:58:06 am by Michael_J_Sullivan »
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    Offline 10105

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 05:30:37 am »
    Please fix your link.

    Offline Lazy Bodhisattva

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #2 on: November 30, 2014, 05:39:17 am »
    Stephen King's ON WRITING


    Offline Whiskey_Tango

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    She is fond of books, and it has turned her brain. - Louisa May Alcott

    Offline Pauline Creeden

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 06:47:58 am »

    Offline Jerri Kay Lincoln

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 07:25:07 am »
    I'm just about to buy both of those books . . . they've been on my list for a while.  I would add The War of Art, and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  They changed the way I wrote.

    JK Lincoln

    Offline Eskimo

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 07:31:28 am »
    Screenplay by Syd Field. Everything you need to know about plot structure is right here and it absolutely applies to novels, as well as for film. It was written 30 years ago and while the examples are old, the lessons presented here are timeless.

    Offline johnlmonk

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 07:45:04 am »
    I'm just about to buy both of those books . . . they've been on my list for a while.  I would add The War of Art, and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  They changed the way I wrote.

    Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to buy these after hearing him on The Creative Penn.

    Cheers

    Offline RBK

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 07:45:54 am »
    Dwight V Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer.

    An oldie but a goodie.

    Offline johnlmonk

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #9 on: November 30, 2014, 07:47:44 am »
    The most recent/best writing book I read was "It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences."

    Link:
    http://amzn.com/B0036S4AX6

    Offline BrentNichols

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #10 on: November 30, 2014, 09:00:17 am »
    I just picked up the Indie Author Power Pack, at http://www.amazon.com/Indie-Author-Power-Pack-Publish-ebook/dp/B00OS96EYU/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417366630&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=gaugran+power+pack. It's about the business of Indie publishing, rather than craft.

    For a craft book, I'll recommend Story by Robert McKee. It's for screenwriters, but it's loaded with insight for novelists.

    Offline S Jaffe

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #11 on: November 30, 2014, 09:05:47 am »
    An editor/friend recommended to me the book Sin & Syntax by Constance Hale.  I never found a grammar book so engaging and a great source for brushing up on the fundamentals of our craft. Plus, some of the trickier parts of language are demystified. Highly recommend.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sin-Syntax-Craft-Wicked-Prose-ebook/dp/B00BH0VUHY/
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    Offline Avis Black

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 09:24:07 am »

    How Not to Write a Novel

    Every newbie author ought to read this one.  It's an excellent guide for avoiding the pitfalls.


    Offline going going gone

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 10:01:31 am »
    + 2 on McKee's Story and Swain's Techniques. With those two books for explaining plot/structure/scene structure, you'll certainly learn something. :)
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    Offline johnlmonk

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #14 on: November 30, 2014, 10:07:36 am »

    How Not to Write a Novel

    Every newbie author ought to read this one.  It's an excellent guide for avoiding the pitfalls.

    "I read that -- very good book," I say coquettishly, with a quivering left eye languishing delicately on your calm repose.

    Offline AndrewPMayer

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #15 on: November 30, 2014, 10:41:23 am »
    + 2 on McKee's Story and Swain's Techniques. With those two books for explaining plot/structure/scene structure, you'll certainly learn something. :)

    I found Story is a lot more useful than Syd Field. I feel like there was a 10 year period where I was desperately trying to understand what the hell Field was getting at, and then Story came along and explained it in a far more understandable way.

    Film Crit Hulk's "Screenwriting 101" is an amazing companion to McKee. He manages to deconstruct the rules in an organic way that frees you up from some of the limits that Story imposes, and gets to some deeper truths about compelling plot and characters.

    YES, HE WRITES IN ALL CAPS. Luckily the ebook has a "Bruce Banner Version" included that uses normal, readable text.

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    Offline Mip7

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #16 on: November 30, 2014, 11:19:03 am »
    Stein on Writing
    Romans 10:13

    Offline Michelle Lowery

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #17 on: November 30, 2014, 11:22:14 am »
    I haven't read it lately, but Stephen King's On Writing is one of the best ever. I should actually read it again.

    Right now, I'm in the middle of Write. Publish. Repeat. which focuses on indie publishing and marketing your work. I highly recommend it.

    Offline jillb

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #18 on: November 30, 2014, 01:34:01 pm »
    I'm in the middle of Write.Publish.Repeat. As well. It's by far the best book I've read on indie writing/publishing so far. Highly recommended.

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #19 on: November 30, 2014, 02:38:19 pm »
    I love craft books and I've been stockpiling them like crazy. A few biggies for me are James Scott Bell's stuff and Steven Pressfield for the butt in chair sort of thing.

    Other than those books, may I also suggest:

    John Truby Anatomy of Story
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052Z3M8A/

    Elizabeth George Write Away
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GCFWWS

    KM Weiland Structuring Your Novel
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EJX08QA

    Jodie Renner Fire Up Your Fiction
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009BWWOR0

    Offline Walter Spence

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #20 on: November 30, 2014, 04:50:16 pm »
    One on self-publishing I liked which I read recently is the second edition of David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital. It retails for $4.99, but you can get it and two others (including Write. Publish. Repeat.) for $3.99 as part of The Indie Author Power Pack.

    Walter Spence

    Offline dragontucker

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #21 on: November 30, 2014, 05:44:05 pm »
    Im excited to check out the write publish repeat book when I get home :)

    Offline Chris Fox

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #22 on: November 30, 2014, 06:54:33 pm »
    Most of my favorites have been listed, but I'd add Line By Line: How to edit your own writing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Line-How-Edit-Your-Writing/dp/0395393914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417402406&sr=8-1&keywords=Line+by+line

    Thanks for posting this, Michael. Your recommendation looks worth a read. Just bought it.

    Offline Sever Bronny

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #23 on: November 30, 2014, 07:00:04 pm »
    I'll be sure to pick it up, thanks :)

    Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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    Re: Best book on writing I've read lately...add your own
    « Reply #24 on: December 01, 2014, 08:58:36 am »
    Please fix your link.

    Oops-sorry, fixed.
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