The Five Best Books On Writing

 As I continue to work at improving my skillset as a writer, I continue to read and write on a regular basis. Occasionally someone suggest a book specifically on writing or someone asks me to recommend a book on writing. To date, I have found these five to be the most helpful. They are listed in no specific order.


Hemmingway always said it was bad luck to talk about writing, but numerous time throughout his life, he tossed out some pretty sound advice. Phillips assembles the gems into one cover and a brief 140 pages. I may be a little bias, but you can't go wrong with writing advise from a master.

On Being a Writer provides 12 simple habits to develop and maintain a writing career. Though some may seem simple and obvious, they provide good suggestions that can benefit every writer new, established, young, and old.

Storyville gets into to nuts and bolts of good fiction - developing plot, characters, scene, summary, backstory, drafts, revisions. I highly recommend this book to anyone setting out to write fiction or already engaged in this daunting task. This is a book a fiction writer will go back and re-read from time to time.

If you don't know who Jane Friedman is, as an writer, you owe it to yourself to find out. In this book, she introduces the reader to the publishing industry (Trade, Magazine, Online/Digital, and Literary publishing), how to get published, literary agents, publishers, query letters, book proposals, self-publishing, freelance writing, blogging, author platforms, book launches, and more. 

Friedman's knowledge of the industry is evident through out the book, and she provides sound advise and how to information from cover to cover. Additionally, she provides a wealth of resources on her website to aid writers. This book is an invaluable resource that I personally return to regularly.

I received this book as a birthday gift and immediately dug into it. At first, I was a bit put off as it seemed like it was simply King's memoir. But halfway through, he switched gears and began to pour out sage advice for writers - especially fiction writers. As I said in reference to the Hemmingway book, you can't go wrong with writing advice from a master, and there is no denying King is a master of fiction. The final sections of the book provide samplings of his edit process which are quite insightful and substantiate a point he and Hemmingway both make:  first draft- brain dump, get it on paper, then second draft- clean it up. I found this book both helpful and encouraging.

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