5 Books on Writing That Every Writer Should Read
To be a better writer, there are really only things that you need to do: Read, and write. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t read about being a writer, and that having a well-rounded understanding of how writing “works” isn’t beneficial.
These 5 books were all assigned to me as a creative writing undergrad, and all have pieces of wisdom in them that have etched themselves so thoroughly into my brain that I feel like they’re all floating over my head while I’m writing.
I specifically chose these because they aren’t all just saying “here’s how I write, you should do it too”—the topics of these books are very diverse!
1. Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose: Like I said, the best thing you can do to be a better writer is read. But what does that mean? What should you read? Francine Prose (yes, that is her real last name, if you can even believe it!) helps you answer those questions, and shows how looking for certain things while you read and reread can strengthen your own writing. Check it!
2. On Writing by Stephen King: This is the one book on my list that is saying “here’s how I write, you should too”. But Stephen King is basically the most prolific writer ever, so I was happy to listen to his advice. Two points of his really stuck with me: 1. Adverbs are lazy and 2. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a story is put it down for a long time—like, 6 months or a year—and come back to it with eyes so fresh that it’s like you’re editing someone else’s story. I’d be interested to know what points of his sticks with you guys!
3. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: I posted about this the other day, but this book is like my writing Bible. In fact, a friend of mine who doesn’t even write got to reading it, and he loved it, too. Basically if you’re a human with a goal, this book will help you. And Anne Lamott writes kinda like this wise, kind mother who isn’t afraid to also tell you what’s up. Whereas a lot of other books on writing are about the actual storytelling, I like this book because it’s more about the writer’s “lifestyle”. Go get it now so that we can gush together!
4. The Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allan Poe: This is actually just an essay, but considering that Poe is often credited with being the inventor of the modern short story, I had to include it on this list. It’s in this essay that Poe famously defined a short story as one that can be told in one sitting. Whereas King’s On Writing is really “zoomed in” on topics like word choice, this essay is a high level, theoretical piece on what a story actually is. You can get it for 99 cents on Kindle, or, even better, read it as part of a collection of all of his stories… ugh, they’re SO good!!!
5. Elements of Style by Strunk & White: I cannot tell you how often I’ve received this little book as a gift—for high school graduation, for college graduation, and for many Christmases and birthdays. But it’s all good because it is kinda essential for a writer to have. Elements of Style is all about—gasp!—grammar. (I should probably give it a read-through again so that I can re-center and remember my grammatical skillz, actually!) Also, there are some cute versions out now that make it seem less snore-fest-y—I really want this illustrated copy!
If you read any of these books and post quotes from them on your Tumblr, tag them #yeahwritebooks and I’ll reblog you!
We need to stop seeing autism as some sort of one-dimensional sliding scale. Autism is not a thermometer. It’s not a rating that is “more” or “less”. High-functioning and Low-functioning do not exist in the real world.
Autism is a collection of symptoms and behaviours. Like a sundae bar. You choose your toppings that fit you.
Are you a bipolar extravert that loves socialising, is good at math and bad at remembering time? That’s ONE way to be autistic!
Are you a socially anxious autistic who has meltdowns when your clothes don’t feel right but a genius knowledge of music theory and is great at scheduling? That’s another way to be autistic!
Notice how both of those examples has strengths and weaknesses? Is one more “employable” or “high-functioning” than the other?
There is no one-size-fits-all category or rating for autism.
I decided to make this little OC meme! I think it could be good for practicing creating unique characters but I am putting numbers by it so it can be an ask meme for drawing/writing if you like <3
- Character with the most piercings
- Character with your favorite piercing
- Character with the most tattoos
- Plump character
- Bony character
- Character with a non-natural hair color
- Tallest character
- Shortest character
- Character with freckles
- Physically disabled character
- Aged character
- PoC character (generalized to save leaving out any groups, feel free to specify in asks <3)
- Character with the darkest skin
- Character that practices a monotheistic religion
- Character that practices a polytheistic religion
- Nonbinary character
- Queer character
- Trans character
- Most sexual character
- Least sexual character
- Elvish character
- Dwarfish character
- Character with horns
- Character with an animal trait other than wings
- Character with wings
- Character that smokes
- Non-neurotypical character
- Character that wears the most makeup on a regular basis
- Character that wears the most layers of clothing on a regular basis
Note: This list is by no means exhaustive! It’s just for fun ^^
I’m sorry but if you try to tell me there are only three wizard schools in the ENTIRE magical world I will fight you.
I wanna see Indian wizardry schools
Japanese magic schools where the house ghosts have shrines
Schools hidden in sand dunes and enchanted to look like mirages
American schools hidden in Roswell and Salem
Public magical schools for kids that don’t want to leave home for seven years
GIVE ME ALL THE WIZARD SCHOOL HEAD CANONS!
confessionsofalitgeek asked: Do you have any articles about writing fantasy races? I’m trying to come up with societies for them but also making their appearances more unique so I don’t just have regular Lord of the Rings type characters.
TIPS:GRAMMAR (WORDS):NAMES:NOVEL:CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE and OUTLINE:SETTING, WORLDBUILDING AND FANTASY:POINT OF VIEW:OTHERS:
- incredibly long crosscountry train ride AU
- police procedural AU
- bookstore AU
- reluctant teammates that save the world together AU
- platonic living together AU
- lawyers AU
- stuck-in-an-airport-because-the-flights-were-SO-VERY-delayed-and-it’s-like-two-am AU
- sent to live with cousins AU
- pretending to be siblings because of reasons AU
- teaming up to rescue respective abducted children AU
- pseudo-adopting-the-runaway-i-ran-into AU
- forget high school students AU i want a high school teachers AU
- law school AU
HERE HAVE SOME MORE
- on the same college tour AU
- trapped in a bank during a robbery AU
- forced to share a table at the coffee shop a couple days in a row because crowded coffee shop and no room AU
- DOCTORS AU
- medical school AU
- ride the same bus together literally every day AU
- vet clinic AU
- 'i'm pretending to be ur bff bc u looked VERY uncomfortable with that person at the bar hitting on u' AU
- college professors AU
- on a train together and the train is stopped in the middle of nowhere for some reason AU
- foster family AU