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Recommended Books
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  • The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts
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  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
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  • Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas
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    The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard
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    Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir
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    Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Harvest Book)
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    Letters to a Young Poet: Translated and with a Foreword By Stephen Mitchell
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    Making a Literary Life
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    Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
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    New Grub Street (Broadview Editions)
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    Nonconformity
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    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
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    The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Paperback Reference)
    Oxford University Press, USA
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    Poetic Meter and Poetic Form
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    The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. 1-4
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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.)
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    The Rhetoric of Fiction
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    The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
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    Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
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    Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)
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  • 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
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    The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
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    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
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    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

Wednesday
Jul062016

Writing Is A Kind of Double Living

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.

CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN

Tuesday
Jul052016

“Show Don’t Tell” Is A Zombie Idea

The advice “show don’t tell” is a zombie idea, killed 40 years ago by the publication in English of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, yet still sadly wandering the literary landscape…. What is boring in fiction tends to be the hackneyed plots with all their tired old stage business, while the interesting stuff usually lies in what is called the exposition, meaning the writing about whatever is not us.

KIM STANLEY ROBINSON

Monday
Jul042016

Explain

I tell every comedy writer this simple, profound secret. It's called, “Explain.” If you risk not getting a laugh for 12 minutes, then you can tell the audience who these characters are. You introduce Bialystock in dire circumstances and Bloom as a genius accountant who dreams of beautiful girls in the wings. You explain who they are, what they want and when they run into it. Then they will know what is happening. You take time for verdant valleys of information for a reason: to reach mountain peaks of humor. In most sitcoms these days, you aren't even sure who the characters are. Instead, they are always going for the jokes.

MEL BROOKS

Sunday
Jul032016

The Characters Want to Get Out

Writers write because they cannot allow the characters that inhabit them to suffocate them. These characters want to get out, to breathe fresh air and partake of the wine of friendship; were they to remain locked in, they would forcibly break down the walls. It is they who force the writer to tell their stories.

ELIE WIESEL

Saturday
Jul022016

Writing A Novel Is A Painful and Bloody Process

Writing a novel is a painful and bloody process that takes up all your free time, haunts you in the darkest hours of night and generally culminates in a lot of weeping over an ever-growing pile of rejection letters. Every novelist will have to go through this at least once and in some cases many times before they are published, and since publication itself brings no guarantee of riches or plaudits, it’s not unreasonable to ask what sort of a person would subject himself to such a thing.

ALICE ADAMS

Friday
Jul012016

Spend Some Time Living Before You Start Writing

Spend some time living before you start writing. What I find to be very bad advice is the snappy little sentence, “Write what you know.” It is the most tiresome and stupid advice that could possibly be given. If we write simply about what we know we never grow. We don't develop any facility for languages, or an interest in others, or a desire to travel and explore and face experience head-on. We just coil tighter and tighter into our boring little selves. What one should write about is what interests one.

ANNIE PROULX

Thursday
Jun302016

Writing Is Hard for Every Last One of Us

Writing is hard for every last one of us…. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.

CHERYL STRAYED

Wednesday
Jun292016

Heinlein's Rules for Writers

1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you write.

3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

4. You must put the work on the market.

5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN

Tuesday
Jun282016

You Want To Read A Book With Blood

I’ve always fought off becoming a beloved writer.... Once you get to be at a certain level of mastery, you get to be beloved. That’s something that I don’t really care about. Beloved author? Why is that important for me to become? It’s not. You want to read a book with blood. A lot of it.

LOUISE ERDRICH

Monday
Jun272016

Writing A Novel Is Like Living In A House Full Of Ghosts 

Writing a novel is like living in a house full of ghosts — even when you ignore them, they’re still there, waiting to talk to you. They have all the time in the world. No matter how much you avoid them, the time comes when you have to confront them. Hear them out. See what they have to say. Over time, their features become clearer, their voices stronger, their histories richer, their lives fuller.

LAILA LALAMI

Sunday
Jun262016

You Become A Character

I just give the illusion of exposing myself, but really, I'm not exposed at all. There's a real me that's inside my diary, and then there's a character of me. Whenever you write about yourself, real people live in the world, and characters live on the page, and you become a character.

DAVID SEDARIS

Saturday
Jun252016

A Story Has No Beginning Or End

A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.

GRAHAM GREENE 

Friday
Jun242016

Writers Read

Just as composers go to concerts and artists visit galleries, writers read. You will learn, in the most enjoyable way, more about style and language from reading good literature than you will ever acquire from workshops and how-to books.

JUDITH BARRINGTON

Thursday
Jun232016

The Plump Comforts of a Story

My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? What you need are the plump comforts of a story.

DIANE SETTERFIELD

Wednesday
Jun222016

Words Deserve Respect

I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.

TOM STOPPARD

Tuesday
Jun212016

Get Rid of the TV and Work

Everything you need to learn about writing you will learn, and can only learn, by writing. So get rid of the TV and work. And when you're stuck, write why you're stuck, with merciless honesty, and you will become unstuck.

DAVID MITCHELL

Monday
Jun202016

Swing for the Fences

Each time out should be a swing for the fences. Don't do base-running drills. You can do those on your own time.

TOBIAS WOLFF

Sunday
Jun192016

Write Like You Talk

A writer friend advised, when I was starting out on my first book: “write like you talk.” I took that to mean that good writing must have a conversational quality, should not be arch or pretentious. And as you are aware when speaking to others when their attention lapses, so when writing you must think: How do I hold the reader’s attention?

KEN AULETTA

Saturday
Jun182016

Don't Quit

Most people quit. If you don’t quit, if you rewrite, if you keep publishing in fancier places, you will understand that “What’s the secret?” is not the question, which is, “Are you having fun?”

ROBERT LIPSYTE

Friday
Jun172016

Move to New York City

Move to New York City. Get married. Buy an incredibly expensive apartment. Have children, a dog, a second home in the country. Lease an imported luxury automobile. Come the first of the month, I promise, you will have no problem writing.

BRUCE FEIRSTEIN