Good morning my lovely bookaholics! As some of you will know, I devote my spare time to creative writing, something I have been doing ever since I was a little kid. That is why I would like to give you some book recommendations for people who want to polish their writing style. Let’s see what I have in store!
Now, I won’t lie and say I’m terribly successful—mostly because I rarely get past the draft stage and never send anything for publication. The only thing I can boast of is that I will soon have one of my short stories published in The Oxford Writing Circle anthology. However, there are a number of titles that have been helping me every time I struggled a bit with my writing, and I would be delighted to let you know about them. Let’s start!
The Elements of Style, Strunk & White ★★★★☆
Widely known for being the classic of creative writing, this book gives you all the help you could possibly need to make your writing fluid and pleasing. If you have any doubts as to how to write a particularly tricky sentence or whether that obscure word you have heard means what you think it does, this is the perfect reference book to consult.
The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker ★★★★★
Although The Elements of Style is an excellent reference guide, it could be argued that it is a bit dated. I would strongly advise to read The Sense of Style immediately after Strunk & White; in it, Pinker tells us how some of the advice they give may not be as useful now as it was before. For instance, do you use the word ‘they’ to refer to a generic third person singular individual, in order to avoid ‘he’ or ‘she’? You’re in good company then: as Pinker reveals, both Shakespeare and Austen used this word in this way. Very illuminating, and very highly recommended.
On Writing, Stephen King ★★★★★
Half auto-biography and half advice compendium, Stephen King gives tells us about the practicalities of the business. Writing is like any other craft, he says, and in order to master it we need to have the proper tools and be confident while using them. Nothing I could say would be better advice than the name of the author himself, so I’ll just say that it was a very motivating read for me.
Wonderbook, Jeff Vandermeer ★★★★★
The quirkiest book in the whole list! If is filled with illustrations, contributions by famous authors (such as George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, Joe Abercrombie, etc.), hands-on material, and very, very practical advice. I would recommend it particularly for fantasy and sci-fi writers, though I’m sure it would help anyone in their quest to become better writers!
Those are my recommendations for the day! What do you think of them? Have you read any of them before?