Like most writers, I’m addicted to books on the craft. Reading books that talk about writing and dispense advice and tips gets me fired up like nothing else. Though innumerable books exist out there to help writers on every topic imaginable, there are a few I turn to quite often.
I bought this book in a WHSmith store in Belfast many years ago, just when I was setting out to write fiction. It took a while for me to properly understand the lessons embedded in each chapter and incorporate them into my fiction. With the aid of examples galore, this book illustrates every salient feature of good fiction.
Any writer who’s looking to improve their speed and productivity of writing fiction and novels must read this book! Rachel Aaron explains how she went from writing 2k words per day to 10k words per day.
I bought this paperback on a whim, but it turned out a fabulous book to help refine writing skills on a technical, sentence level. Every chapter suggests a new strategy and explains it with examples. Exercises at the end of each chapter
This is a golden oldie, filled with advice that may not work for you today but also a lot that will. I remember wandering through the aisles of the book fair in New Delhi when my eye fell on this. It spurred me to pick up the writing habit ages ago, and I’m glad to say the habit stuck!
This is one for novelists looking to revise and edit their completed novels, to prepare them for querying and submission. Dave King also writes a column on Writers Unboxed where he dissects sample pages sent to him.
That’s five of my most frequently referred writing books. I know On Writing by Stephen King ranks as a favourite among most writers, and I’ve read it too. However, I’ll be frank and say it didn’t work for me as well as the above books. I found it generic and lacking actionable advice, though I quite enjoyed learning about his writing journey and how he writes thousand words every day.
Do you have any favourite books on writing? Let me know in the comments!