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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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  • A Room of One's Own
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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
    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
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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 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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    Endangered Species: Writers Talk About Their Craft, Their Visions, Their Lives
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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
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  • Fowler's Modern English Usage
    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
    A Glossary of Literary Terms
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  • How Fiction Works
    How Fiction Works
    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
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  • 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
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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
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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)
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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)
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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
  • The Rhetoric of Fiction
    The Rhetoric of Fiction
    by Wayne C. Booth
  • The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
    The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
    by Julia Cameron
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print
    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

Sunday
Nov132016

Writing Is Selection

Writing is selection. Just to start a piece of writing you have to choose one word and only one from more than a million in the language. Now keep going. What is your next word? Your next sentence, paragraph, section, chapter? Your next ball of fact. You select what goes in and you decide what stays out. At base you have only one criterion: If something interests you, it goes in—if not, it stays out. That’s a crude way to assess things, but it’s all you’ve got.

JOHN McPHEE

Saturday
Nov122016

Just Type Something

Just type something. Then delete it, because it’s terrible. Type something else. Rearrange the words. Add festive punctuation. Then delete that, and start again. Eventually, something will start to seem right. (It’s like Michelangelo chipping away at a block of marble, only instead of marble you have a computer screen and instead of a chisel you have a stress headache. On the plus side, you, at least, have a flush toilet.)

UNA LAMARCHE

Friday
Nov112016

The Good Lines Come Unbidden

I can't discard anything unless I finish it. So I have to finish the verses that I discard. So it takes a long time. I have to finish it to know whether it deserves to survive in the song. So in that sense, all the songs take a long time. And although the good lines come unbidden, they're anticipated. And the anticipation involves a patient application to the enterprise.

LEONARD COHEN

Thursday
Nov102016

Write for Fifteen Minutes Every Day

Write for fifteen minutes every day. Set a time in advance, set a timer. Try to write at the same time every day. Your subconscious will get used to the idea and will start to work like a reliable water spout.

NAOMI ALDERMAN

Wednesday
Nov092016

The Purpose Of Being A Serious Writer

The purpose of being a serious writer is not to express oneself, and it is not to make something beautiful, though one might do those things anyway. Those things are beside the point. The purpose of being a serious writer is to keep people from despair. If you keep that in mind always, the wish to make something beautiful or smart looks slight and vain in comparison. If people read your work and, as a result, choose life, then you are doing your job.

SARAH MANGUSO

Tuesday
Nov082016

Writers Don't Write From Experience

Writers don’t write from experience, though many are resistant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

NIKKI GIOVANNI

Monday
Nov072016

Listen Completely

When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. When you’re in town stand outside the theatre and see how the people differ in the way they get out of taxis or motor cars. There are a thousand ways to practice. And always think of other people.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Sunday
Nov062016

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
Nov052016

Writing Is A Process of Inner Expansion and Reduction

The process of writing is a process of inner expansion and reduction. It’s like an accordion: You open it and then you bring it back, hoping that additional sound—a new clarity—may come out. It’s all for clarity.

JERZY KOSINSKI

Friday
Nov042016

Craft Is A Dangerous Thing

I think . I saw a trailer for a movie, I don’t want to say what the movie is, but it’s coming out soon. And it was gorgeous, it was…gorgeous. And it made me really depressed, and I was trying to figure out why. I think there was an amazing amount of craft and skill on the part of the filmmakers in this movie. And yet it was the same shit. I know that this movie is going to do really well, and I know that the people who made it are going to get rewarded for it, and so the cycle continues. So I think the danger of craft is that it needs to be in second position to what it is that you’re doing. It’s seductive to put it in first position, often because what you’re doing is meaningless or worthless, or just more of the same. So you can distinguish yourself by being very, very good at it. I think you need to be willing to be naked when you do anything creatively in film or any other form, that’s really what you have to do because otherwise it’s very hard to separate it from marketing. I think that it just sort of becomes what it’s about.

CHARLIE KAUFMAN

Thursday
Nov032016

The Koan of Writing

The significant story possesses more awareness than the writer writing it. The significant story is always greater than the writer writing it. This is the absurdity, the disorienting truth, the question that is not even a question, this is the koan of writing.

JOY WILLIAMS

Wednesday
Nov022016

The Work of Any Great Artist Is Directed At the Heart

The work of any great artist is directed at the heart, the spirit and the soul, not the brain. Critics feel with their brains, they probably fuck with their brains too. But the worst part is they fill their brainy shit into you and then we’re all made to feel we have to analyze literary works based on all this brainy shittage. No, if you feel Beckett, you see something else: that his writing evokes a sort of sacred chaos, a blissful holiday for the brain and a profoundly pleasurable call to the spirit.

AMITA MUKERJEE

Tuesday
Nov012016

Frustration Is Part of the Process

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that frustration is a part of the process. I’ve rarely written anything good that did not come out of moments of extreme frustration. It’s the frustration that propels you forward. If it doesn’t — if you back away from it — the work will be less than it could have been. When I teach writing, I find that students are relieved to hear this... that frustration is an indication of a literary problem to be solved, not a sign that they aren’t good enough writers.

DIANNE WARREN

Monday
Oct312016

Read Yourself Dizzy

Read yourself dizzy. Know how we got from there to here. Know how to recognize clear language, powerful language, evasive or pretentious language. Know stuff about a lot of different things.

JEFF GREENFIELD

Sunday
Oct302016

Build Pockets of Stillness Into Your Life

Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.

MARIA POPOVA

Saturday
Oct292016

Writing's A Lot Like Cooking

Writing's a lot like cooking. Sometimes the cake won't rise, no matter what you do, and every now and again the cake tastes better than you ever could have dreamed it would.

NEIL GAIMAN

Friday
Oct282016

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
Oct272016

Advice to Aspiring Co-Authors

Here's what you need to know before you agree to be a “co-author” for a celebrity or "expert":

1. Your “collaborator,” no matter how famous, will have a lot less expertise than promised, and you will have to do a great deal of research for which you'll receive neither credit nor compensation.

2. Your collaborator will not understand what writing involves, or how long it takes, or that a second draft is not a final draft (never show your collaborator a first draft) or that reading a chapter and making suggestions is not the same as writing it in the first place.

3. You and your collaborator will both believe that the work—and hence the money—has been unfairly divided.

4. In short, an amicable divorce is easier to pull off than a happy collaboration.

NANCY HATHAWAY

Wednesday
Oct262016

Pace Is Crucial

Pace is crucial. Fine writing isn't enough. Writing students can be great at producing a single page of well-crafted prose; what they sometimes lack is the ability to take the reader on a journey, with all the changes of terrain, speed and mood that a long journey involves. Again, I find that looking at films can help. Most novels will want to move close, linger, move back, move on, in pretty cinematic ways.

SARAH WATERS

Tuesday
Oct252016

Cross Your Fingers and Watch Your Back

I wish you good writing and good luck. Even if you've already done the good writing, you'll still need the good luck. It's a shark-filled lagoon out there. Cross your fingers and watch your back.

MARGARET ATWOOD