What About All Those Books on Writing?!

I have coughed up big bucks for writer conferences over all my writing years. But you know what has taught me the most about writing?

Books on craft and critiquing others’ work!

And I would not be able to critique others’ manuscripts without the knowledge absorbed from these books.

In the past I’ve spoken about a few books on writing, yet it was not until my latest purchase that I realized I have a stack of books on craft (I think it might be time to re-read them all again).

Why do I find books on craft so helpful? Because I can absorb the information at my pace. I can read, highlight, pause, contemplate, and read again. I can go back and look up specific information when I’m stuck on a manuscript (It’s not nice to pause an entire conference so you can skim through your manuscript and make a note).

My advice for books on craft is, the newest…the bestest (not a word I know). Writing is always changing with what is acceptable and what is “historic writing.” If you are reading a book published in 2001, while a large chunk is still relevant, a lot is not. (Yes, I understand Stephen King’s book on writing is timeless, shriek, no I haven’t read it)

Bonus: my latest interview can be found here.

P.S. If you have any books on craft that you love let me know!

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6 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, yes, critiquing other stories has been absolutely eye-opening in fixing my own. I need to finish reading the books i have on craft too. Gail Carson Levine has a book for teens that I love for adults. Writing Magic maybe? Can’t remember the name for sure.

  2. I agree with you and have been thinking along the same lines, especially when cash is scarce: Learn from writing books versus conferences. Thankfully, SCBWI offers local chapter Mingles for the networking aspect you’d get a workshop. I have about the same stack of reference books as you do. Great collection, great knowledge!

  3. Do they still publish these books or are some of these out of print Savannah? I can’t tell you how many art books I have on drawing this & that! I’m really looking for an easy to read or user friendly book on how to write stories( or short stories). Love the interview, that research on toilets must have been something. I know the feeling when having to juggle your job that pays the bills, and the job that brings you so much joy. The sleepless weekends are the worst! When you get some free time grab your self a Hershey bar and check out a book called, “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life”. This book is pretty amazing and I’m going to start using some of the information from that book to incorporate into my life.

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