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Recommended Books
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    A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation
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  • Adventures in the Screen Trade
    Adventures in the Screen Trade
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  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
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  • A Room of One's Own
    A Room of One's Own
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  • The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts
    The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts
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  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
    The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
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  • The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present
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  • The Associated Press Stylebook 2009 (Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law)
    The Associated Press Stylebook 2009 (Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law)
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  • Aspects of the Novel
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  • Becoming a Writer
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  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
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  • Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas
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  • Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Seventeenth Edition
    Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Seventeenth Edition
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  • The Careful Writer
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    The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
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  • The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear
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  • The Craft of Fiction
    The Craft of Fiction
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  • The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
    The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
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  • Fiction Writer's Handbook
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    Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction
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    The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
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    For Writers Only
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  • William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays
    William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays
    by William Goldman
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    Fowler's Modern English Usage
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    The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard
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    A Glossary of Literary Terms
    by M.H. Abrams, Geoffrey Harpham
  • How Fiction Works
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    by James Wood
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    How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar
    by William Safire
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    How to Get Happily Published
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    How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (Genre Writing)
    by Orson Scott Card
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    How To Write Short Stories: With Samples
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  • If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
    If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
    by Brenda Ueland
  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
    Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
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    Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Harvest Book)
    by George Orwell
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    Lapsing Into a Comma : A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print--and How to Avoid Them
    by Bill Walsh
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    Letters to a Young Poet: Translated and with a Foreword By Stephen Mitchell
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    Making a Good Script Great
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    Making a Literary Life
    by Carolyn See
  • Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
    Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
    by Paul West
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    Metaphors We Live By
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    The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain
    by Alice Weaver Flaherty
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    Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)
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    Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Movie Set
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    Narrative Design: Working with Imagination, Craft, and Form
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    New Grub Street (Broadview Editions)
    by George Gissing
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    Nonconformity
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    On Becoming a Novelist
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    One Writer's Beginnings (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization)
    by Eudora Welty
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    On Writing Short Stories
    Oxford University Press, USA
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    On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
    by Stephen King
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    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
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    The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Paperback Reference)
    Oxford University Press, USA
  • Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
    Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
    by Paul Fussell
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    The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. 1-4
    by The Paris Review
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    Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
    by Francine Prose
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    The Rhetoric of Fiction
    by Wayne C. Booth
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    The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
    by Julia Cameron
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    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
    by Renni Browne, Dave King
  • Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)
    Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)
    by Dan Poynter
  • Simple & Direct
    Simple & Direct
    by Jacques Barzun
  • Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences
    Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences
    by Kitty Burns Florey
  • The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
    The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
    by Vivian Gornick
  • The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing
    The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing
    by Ben Yagoda
  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    by Robert Mckee
  • Stylish Academic Writing
    Stylish Academic Writing
    by Helen Sword
  • Successful Television Writing
    Successful Television Writing
    by Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin
  • The Summing Up
    The Summing Up
    by W. Somerset Maugham
  • 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
    13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
    by Jane Smiley
  • Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories
    Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories
    by Peter Hanson, Paul Robert Herman
  • To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
    To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
    by Phillip Lopate
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
    Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
    by Scott Mccloud
  • What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
    What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
    by Anne Bernays, Pamela Painter
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    by Steven Pressfield
  • Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
    Plume
  • Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Women Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews
    Modern Library
  • The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
    The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
    by Brooke A. Wharton
  • Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    Ambrose Bierce's Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynic's Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers
    by Ambrose Bierce, Jan Freeman
  • The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    The Writer's Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the Twentieth Century's Preeminent Writers (Modern Library)
    Modern Library
  • The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1
    by Janet Sternberg
  • The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
    The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
    by Christopher Vogler
  • The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition
    The Writer's Legal Companion: The Complete Handbook For The Working Writer, Third Edition
    by Brad Bunnin, Peter Beren
  • A Writer's Reality
    A Writer's Reality
    by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
    A Writer's Time: Making the Time to Write
    by Kenneth Atchity
  • Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
    Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past
    by William Zinsser
  • Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
    Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Paperback)
    by Natalie Goldberg (Author)
  • Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
    by L. Rust Hills
  • Writing for Your Life
    Writing for Your Life
    by Deena Metzger
  • The Writing Life
    The Writing Life
    by Annie Dillard
  • The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work
    by Marie Arana
  • The Writing of Fiction
    The Writing of Fiction
    by Edith Wharton
  • Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
    by Lawrence Block
  • Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
    Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life
    by Bonnie Friedman
  • You're a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
    You're a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
    by Regina Weinreich, Jack Kerouac
  • Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You
    by Ray Bradbury

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Monday
May302016

Don't Try to Guess What Editors Want

Don’t try to guess what sort of thing editors want to publish or what you think the country is in a mood to read. Editors and readers don’t know what they want to read until they read it. Besides, they’re always looking for something new.

WILLIAM ZINSSER

Sunday
May292016

Competence Is Deadly 

To go from being a competent writer to being a great writer, I think you have to risk being – or risk being seen as – a bad writer. Competence is deadly because it prevents the writer risking the humiliation that they will need to risk before they pass beyond competence. To write competently is to do a few magic tricks for friends and family; to write well is to run away to join the circus. Your friends and family will love your tricks, because they love you. But try busking those tricks on the street. Try busking them alongside a magician who has been doing it for 10 years, earning their living. When they are watching a magician, people don’t want to say, “Well done.” They want to say, “Wow.”

TOBY LITT

Saturday
May282016

Every Writer Is A Thief

I have myself always been terrified of plagiarism—of being accused of it, that is. Every writer is a thief, though some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies. The reason writers are such slow readers is that we are ceaselessly searching for things we can steal and then pass off as our own: a natty bit of syntax, a seamless transition, a metaphor that jumps to its target like an arrow shot from an aluminum crossbow.

JOSEPH EPSTEIN

Friday
May272016

You Get Ideas All the Time

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

NEIL GAIMAN

Thursday
May262016

Tell the Story That’s Been Growing in Your Heart

Tell the story that’s been growing in your heart, the characters you can’t keep out of your head, the tale that speaks to you, that pops into your head during your daily commute, that wakes you up in the morning. Don’t write something just because you think it will sell, or fit into the pigeonhole du jour. Tell the story you want to tell, and worry about how to sell it later.

JENNIFER WEINER

Wednesday
May252016

Be Daring

Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.

JOYCE CAROL OATES

Tuesday
May242016

There's a Rhythm to Good Writing

I’ve tried to figure out what good writing is. I know it when I read it in other people’s work or my own. The closest I’ve come is that there’s a rhythm to the writing, in the sentence and the paragraph. When the rhythm’s off, it’s hard to read the thing. It’s a lot like music in that sense; there’s an internal rhythm that does the work of reading for you. It almost reads itself. That’s one of the things that’s hard to teach to people. If you don’t hear music, you’re never going to hear it. That internal rhythm in a sentence or a paragraph, that’s the DNA of writing. That’s what good writing is.

SEBASTAIN JUNGER

Monday
May232016

Nice Writing Isn't Enough

Nice writing isn't enough. It isn't enough to have smooth and pretty language. You have to surprise the reader frequently, you can't just be nice all the time. Provoke the reader. Astonish the reader. Writing that has no surprises is as bland as oatmeal. Surprise the reader with the unexpected verb or adjective. Use one startling adjective per page.

ANNE BERNAYS

Sunday
May222016

Don’t Be Ashamed to Use the Thesaurus

Don’t be ashamed to use the thesaurus. I could spend all day reading Roget’s! There’s nothing better when you’re in a hurry and you need the right word right now.

SUSAN ORLEAN

Saturday
May212016

Great Writers Are Indecent People

Great writers are indecent people. They live unfairly, saving the best part for paper. Good human beings save the world so that bastards like me can keep creating art, become immortal. If you read this after I am dead it means I made it.

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

Friday
May202016

Don’t Market Yourself

Don’t market yourself. Editors and readers don’t know what they want until they see it. Scratch what itches. Write what you need to write, feed the hunger for meaning in your life. Play at the serious questions of life and death.

DONALD M. MURRAY

Thursday
May192016

Andrew Motion’s 10 Techniques to Spark the Writing

1. Decide when in the day (or night) it best suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly.

2. Think with your senses as well as your brain.

3. Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary.

4. Lock different characters/elements in a room and tell them to get on.

5. Remember there is no such thing as nonsense.

6. Bear in mind Wilde’s dictum that “only mediocrities develop”— and challenge it.

7. Let your work stand before deciding whether or not to serve.

8. Think big and stay particular.

9. Write for tomorrow, not for today.

10. Work hard.

Wednesday
May182016

Our Power is Patience

Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time.

KURT VONNEGUT

Tuesday
May172016

No One Put a Gun to Your Head

No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth.

STANLEY ELLIN

Monday
May162016

Tony Bill’s Advice to Aspiring Screenwriters

1. Move to Los Angeles. That’s where you need to live to get your work read and known. No one is looking for you. You need to introduce yourself and your work in person somehow. It will undoubtedly happen by accident. Los Angeles is where the accidents happen.

2. People are not looking for a writer to “bring their ideas to fruition.” It’s your ideas that they will be interested in, combined with your unusually talented screenwriting ability (if that’s what it is). "Good" will not be good enough.

3. By definition, “freelance” means that you are on your own, without a steady salary or ongoing employment. If you can’t survive financially in that manner, it’s unlikely that you should pursue screenwriting. It’s the most difficult and competitive form of writing there is. That’s why really excellent screenwriters are in demand and handsomely paid in the movie business…and the rest are not.

4. You better start thinking less about movie screenplays and more about writing for television. The cost of making films, and the diminishing audience for them, has almost outlawed the original screenplay. Series TV — weekly or limited — is the place to be if you’re looking for employment. That’s also where the original, fresh, iconoclastic action is.

5. Just remember: Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s all about execution. West Wing without Aaron Sorkin is a political show. Deadwood without David Milch is a Western. Homicide without David Simon is a cop show. Gray’s Anatomy without Shonda Rhimes is a hospital show. And none of them would ever have seen the light of day without the genius of those writers. And, by the way…you have to be able to put it out there 26 times a year for at least 5 years, or it might not be worth doing in the first place.

6. Whatever you do…don’t read any “How-to-write-a-screenplay” books. Just read a bunch of great scripts and let it go at that. (And if you have to ask what a great one is, you’re in trouble already.)

Sunday
May152016

Character is the Very Life of Fiction

Character is the very life of fiction. Setting exists so that the character has someplace to stand. Plot exists so the character can discover what he is really like, forcing the character to choice and action. And theme exists only to make the character stand up and be somebody.

JOHN GARDNER

Saturday
May142016

The Secret of Short-Story Writing

I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing, and here it is: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you will never please the public. But in writing the story forget the public.

O. HENRY

Friday
May132016

You Lay Out a Line of Words

When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year.

ANNIE DILLARD

Thursday
May122016

Vigorous Writing Is Concise

Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

WILLIAM STRUNK, JR. and E.B. WHITE

Wednesday
May112016

You Get Ideas All the Time

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

NEIL GAIMAN