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Recommended Books
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    The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (Oxford Paperback Reference)
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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
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    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
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    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    by Robert Mckee
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    Stylish Academic Writing
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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

Sunday
Apr172016

Every Story Presents Its Own Problems

Every story presents its own problems. For twenty-two years I’ve done this work, but I’m a beginner every time, searching for a new voice and a path that will lead to territory I haven’t charted.

MELANIE RAE THON

Saturday
Apr162016

Don’t Tell Anybody What Your Book Is About 

Don’t tell anybody what your book is about and don’t show it until it’s finished. It’s not that anybody will steal your idea but that all the energy that goes into the writing of your story will be dissipated.

DAVID WALLECHINSKY

Friday
Apr152016

No Book Ever Gets Written by Thinking About It

No book ever gets written by thinking about it or going bowling or playing golf. You have to put your butt down and spend many, many hours in front of a computer or a piece of paper, and don’t get up, even if you’re blocked or don’t know what’s going to happen next or you don’t know what the next sentence should be. You’re like a donkey, you just keep plodding. And that quality of perseverance and stubbornness is really important.

TIM O'BRIEN

Thursday
Apr142016

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

Wednesday
Apr132016

You Do Not Learn How to Write Novels in a Writing Program

You do not learn how to write novels in a writing program. You learn how by leading an interesting life. Open yourself up to all experience. Let life pour through you the way light pours through leaves.

PAT CONROY

Tuesday
Apr122016

You Must Have Discipline

You must have discipline for writing. It is not an easy task. It is very lonely. You're all alone. You are not in company. You are not enjoying yourself in that sense. You are enjoying yourself in another sense. You are delving into your depths, but you are profoundly lonely. It is one of the loneliest careers in the world. In the theater, you are with companions, with directors, actors. In film. In an office. In writing, you are alone. That takes a lot of strength and a lot of will to do it.

CARLOS FUENTES

Monday
Apr112016

Writing Is Not A Race

Writing is not a race. No one really “wins.” The satisfaction is in the effort, and rarely in the consequent rewards, if there are any.

JOYCE CAROL OATES

Sunday
Apr102016

Writing is a Kind of Double 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

Saturday
Apr092016

The Creative Artist Can Change the World

Figuring out what the public wants, or even what the public is: that's the job of pollsters and publicists and advertisers. All those people study the marketplace. But the creative artist can change the world. A true writer opens people's ears and eyes, not merely playing to the public, but changing minds and lives. This is sacred work.

ALLEGRA GOODMAN

Friday
Apr082016

Rules for Writing

Rules [for writing] are excellent organizational tools and efficient reducers of cognitive load, but they are no substitute for contextual sensitivity and personal judgment.

MARIA POPOVA

Thursday
Apr072016

Don't Be Afraid to Be Foolish

Try to be original in your play and as clever as possible; but don't be afraid to show yourself to be foolish; we must have freedom of thinking, and only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.

ANTON CHEKHOV

Wednesday
Apr062016

One Must Avoid Ambition in Order to Write

One must avoid ambition in order to write. Otherwise something else is the goal: some kind of power beyond the power of language. And the power of language, it seems to me, is the only kind of power a writer is entitled to.

CYNTHIA OZICK

Tuesday
Apr052016

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

Monday
Apr042016

All Writing Slants the Way a Writer Leans

I have yet to see a piece of writing, political or nonpolitical, that doesn’t have a slant. All writing slants the way a writer leans, and no man is born perpendicular, although many men are born upright.

E.B. WHITE

Sunday
Apr032016

You Must Get to the Mystery of Human Personality

You must get beyond divertissement, sketch, anecdote, the interesting moment. You must get to the mystery of human personality. What is the line of the story that leads us to a point where we see or intuit something we haven't before?

JOHN L'HEUREUX

Saturday
Apr022016

If You Want to Write

If you want to write, it must be the thing not that you want to do, or would like to do. It must be the thing you feel you have to do. It must be that without which you could not live. If you’ve got that, then it’ll be all right.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

Friday
Apr012016

Flannery O’Connor’s Ten Writing Tips

1. The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.

2. Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.

3. If there is no possibility for change in a character, we have no interest in him.

4. Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn't try to write fiction. It's not a grand enough job for you.

5. The beginning of human knowledge is through the senses, and the fiction writer begins where the human perception begins. He appeals through the senses, and you cannot appeal through the senses with abstractions.

6. The fiction writer has to engage in a continual examination of conscience. He has to be aware of the freak in himself.

7. The writer is only free when he can tell the reader to go jump in the lake. You want, of course, to get what you have to show across to him, but whether he likes it or not is no concern of the writer.

8. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don't sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won't be sitting there.

9. The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.

10. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.

Thursday
Mar312016

The Great Thing About Writing A Book

The great thing about writing a book is that it brings you into contact with people whose opinions you should have canvassed before you ever pressed pen to paper. They write to you. They telephone you. They come to your bookstore events and give you things to read that you should have read already. It’s this dialectical process that makes me glad I chose the profession I did: a free education that goes on for a lifetime.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

Wednesday
Mar302016

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

Tuesday
Mar292016

It Begins With A Character

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.

WILLIAM FAULKNER