I am one of the people who believe that creative writing can’t be taught. Much like art or music. “What!?” Says the mob of angry people outside my door. “But I take guitar lessons and it is teaching me!” Yes, annoying linch mob. Lessons can teach you how to hone a skill but not have mastery over it. You can take guitar lessons everyday for ten years but unless you truly have a knack for it you may never be the next Jimi Hendrix.
I am a firm believer that people are born with creative talents and some people are born with many but lessons and guidance helps you develop and hone such skills. Three books I believe are absolutely necessary for writers both fiction and nonfiction alike.
The Elements of Style (William Strunk JR. and E.B. White)
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The Elements of Style is one of the most profound literary books for any writer to pick up. It i initially a rehash by E.B. Write of an old self-published book that his teacher in college William Strunk Jr. gave to his students. In it’s pages Strunk describes the way English should be written, the correct passive forms, how to use tenses and other literary devices. Instead of asking you to write in the said style he demands it. Normally, I would object once again claiming that writing can’t be taught, but he teachers how to correctly write, once again honing the skills necessary to be successful. All writers should pick this book up to spruce up their skills.
On Writing (Stephen King)
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On Writing is another great book for writers abound. In it’s pages, Stephen King describes his early life and then his climb to publication and later success. The book shows the publication process and what a writer may expect when working at publishing “the big one”. Though it may seem slightly outdated, due to some of his works being published in the ’70s and ’80s, the work involved and issues still apply to writing today.
Writer’s Market 2011 (Robert Lee Brewer)
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The final ‘necessary’ handbooks for writers is Writer’s Market 2011. This massive volume coins itself as”The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published” and it very well may be. The book lists thousands of literary agents, book publishers, magazines, writing areas for playwrights and scriptwriters and even professional organizations. Along with such a great list Brewer also gives tips on social media and getting published in 2011.
Pick up these books if you don’t already have them in your library.
What books do you deem being necessary for writers?
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