I was thinking about the “craft of writing” books that I have read in recent years. I remember when I first began, I was disinterested in reading books about writing. I just wanted to write! But, as I have improved, I have come to learn that books about writing are valuable to the process. They stir ideas, tricks I might not have thought about before. Of course, I have to be careful. There are plenty of “how to” books written by people who are no more successful than I am…or maybe even less. I once met an author who was selling a “how to write the perfect mystery” type of book and they had only published one novel locally and their sales were not that great. I tried to be polite, but left shaking my head. What makes that author an expert whose opinion I should trust? I think that’s part of why I steered clear of these types of books. But, then I started finding the good ones, and those showed me why it was valuable to research the author.
The first book I recommend is for readers and writers alike. Stephen King’s “On Writing.” For a writer, it was hugely inspirational. The struggles he endured before he “made it” helps me continue. Plus, even though I hadn’t expected it, I find Stephen King has some pretty profound and extremely motivational things to say.
The second book I recommend is mainly for writers. It is Writer’s Digest series “Elements of Fiction Writing.” I have currently read only two in their series, but both are phenomenal. And, because it focuses on certain pieces of writing, I can focus my attention on the aspects I want to strengthen. Plus, they are written by people who, by anybody’s standards, are successful in their field.
I truly hope you find just as much enjoyment and value in these as I have.