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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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  • 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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  • 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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    The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
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    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
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    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
  • How To Write Short Stories: With Samples
    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
    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
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    Master Class: Scenes from a Fiction Workshop
    by Paul West
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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)
    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)
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    On Writing Short Stories
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    On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
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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
  • 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

Wednesday
Mar092016

Find Another Source of Income

The first thing a writer has to do is find another source of income. Then, after you have begged, borrowed, stolen, or saved up the money to give you time to write and you spend all of it staying alive while you write, and you write your heart out, after all that, maybe no one will publish it, and, if they publish it, maybe no one will read it.

ELLEN GILCHRIST

Tuesday
Mar082016

A Good Stylist Should Have Narcissistic Enjoyment As He Works

A good stylist should have narcissistic enjoyment as he works. He must be able to objectivize his work to such an extent that he catches himself feeling envious and has to jog his memory to find that he is himself the creator. In short, he must display that highest degree of objectivity which the world calls vanity.

KARL KRAUS

Monday
Mar072016

I Can Write Anywhere

I can write anywhere. I made up the names of the characters on a sick bag while I was on an airplane. I told this to a group of kids and a boy said, “Ah, no, that’s disgusting.” And I said, “Well, I hadn’t used the sick bag.”

J.K. ROWLING

Sunday
Mar062016

Good Writing Is the Hardest Form of Thinking

Good writing is the hardest form of thinking. It involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear. If the writing is good, then the result seems effortless and inevitable. But when you want to say something life-changing or ineffable in a single sentence, you face both the limitations of the sentence itself and the extent of your own talent.

PAT CONROY

Saturday
Mar052016

Writer’s Block Is Very Real

In my experience, writer’s block is very real. You’ll be writing something and suddenly it stops. The characters stop talking. You’ve been happily just transcribing everything they’ve been saying, and suddenly they sit down and shut up. Suddenly, you are in deep trouble. It does happen. It’s very real.

NEIL GAIMAN

Friday
Mar042016

The Artist Must Raise Everything to a Higher Level 

The artist must raise everything to a higher level: he is like a pump; inside him is a great pipe reaching down into the bowels of things, the deepest layers. He sucks up what was pooled beneath the surface and brings it forth into the sunlight in giant sprays.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Thursday
Mar032016

Have No Unreasonable Fear of Repetition

Have no unreasonable fear of repetition. True, the repetition of a particular word several times in the same paragraph can strike a jarring note, but ordinarily the problem arises differently. The story is told of a feature writer who was doing a piece on the United Fruit Company. He spoke of bananas once; he spoke of bananas twice; he spoke of bananas yet a third time, and now he was desperate. “The world’s leading shippers of the elongated yellow fruit,” he wrote. A fourth banana would have been better.

JAMES J. KILPATRICK

Wednesday
Mar022016

Cultivate Indifference to Both Praise and Blame

I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.

JOHN BERRYMAN

Tuesday
Mar012016

One Must Be Poisoned by Emotion

I think that to write well and convincingly, one must be somewhat poisoned by emotion. Dislike, displeasure, resentment, fault-finding, imagination, passionate remonstrance, a sense of injustice—they all make fine fuel.

EDNA FERBER

Monday
Feb292016

Things Start to Happen On Their Own

During my very early writing, certainly before I’d published, I began to learn characters will come alive if you back the fuck off. It was exciting, and even a little terrifying. If you allow them to do what they’re going to do, think and feel what they’re going to think and feel, things start to happen on their own. It’s a beautiful and exciting alchemy. And all these years later, that’s the thrill I write to get: to feel things start to happen on their own.

ANDRE DUBUS III

Sunday
Feb282016

First Draft: Let It Run

First draft: let it run. Turn all the knobs up to 11. Second draft: hell. Cut it down and cut it into shape. Third draft: comb its nose and blow its hair. I usually find that most of the book will have handed itself to me on that first draft.

TERRY PRATCHET

Saturday
Feb272016

Write From the Inside Out

This was my main problem when I was just starting out: I was trying to say something. When I began to write, I was deeply self-conscious. I was writing stories hoping they would say something thematic, or address something that I was wrestling with philosophically. I’ve learned, for me at least, it’s a dead road. It’s writing from the outside in instead of the inside out.

ANDRE DUBUS III

Friday
Feb262016

Any Life Will Provide Material for Writing

If you have to urge a writing student to “gain experience with life,” he is probably never going to be a writer. Any life will provide the material for writing, if it is attended to.

WALLACE STEGNER

Thursday
Feb252016

Writing A Novel Is A Terrible Experience

Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system.

FLANNERY O’CONNOR

Wednesday
Feb242016

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

Tuesday
Feb232016

Children Like to Read About Success

Children like to read about success, whether it’s winning the hand of the best princess or prince, saving a life, helping people who need it, beating the other team in the game of the year, or discovering another universe.

JANET and ISAAC ASIMOV

Monday
Feb222016

You Can't Change Something from Nothing

Write from your heart and don't be afraid to write shitty pages. You can't change something from nothing. Get it down on paper first, no matter what it looks like.

SYD FIELD

Sunday
Feb212016

Know Where You’re Going and Then Put the Water On

I realized I was going to have to get up at five in the morning if I wanted to write fiction. It took a while, the alarm would go off and I’d roll over. Finally I started to get up and go into the living room and sit at the coffee table with a yellow pad and try to write two pages. I made a rule that I had to get something down on paper before I could put the water on for coffee. Know where you’re going and then put the water on. That seemed to work because I did it for most of the fifties.

ELMORE LEONARD

Saturday
Feb202016

Bring It Back to What You Really Feel

Almost the whole problem of writing poetry is to bring it back to what you really feel, and that takes an awful lot of maneuvering. You may feel the doorknob more strongly than some big personal event, and the doorknob will open into something you can use as your own.

ROBERT LOWELL

Friday
Feb192016

Story Was Crucial to Our Evolution

Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution—more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to.

LISA CRON

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