Thursday, December 2, 2010

Books on Writing

I'm knee deep in revisions, so I thought I'd pick up a couple of books on writing this week, and both of them (so far) are excellent. I believe Valerie may have recommended one of them once before, but here they are.

Stephen King's On Writing
Part memoir, part cheerleader. Not so much a how-to book on writing, but more of an empowering and entertaining read from one of America's most beloved writers.

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
This is the first book in this series that I've read. So far I'm really enjoying it. Some of the steps in this book might seem like a no-brainer to you, but some of us need it spelled out. If you're part of the former, it never hurts to have a good reminder.

There are a lot of great examples in here on scene structure, building suspense in dialog, creating a bond with your reader via your main character, character arc, plotting, revising, etc. There are different activities you can try out on your own to see what works and why.

I've been told this is a great series to go with and so far, I'd have to agree.

I'd like to hear your recommendations. Read any great books on writing recently? Something we haven't covered in past posts? Have you read either of these two books?


  1. I haven't read Plot & Structure, but loved On Writing by Stephen King. It's my favorite writing book. I also use Elements of Style by Strunk & White as a reference for grammar, etc. I've been meaning to pick up The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass too. Good luck w/ revisions. :)

  2. In Plot and Structure, Donald Maas' other book, Writing the Breakout Novel, is mentioned. I didn't know he had another! I'll definitely check them out. Thanks, Kristi!

  3. On Writing is amazing. I've reread it I don't know how many times. I haven't read Plot and Structure, but I've read the same series' book on revision by James Scott Bell as well and it's awesome!

    Have you read Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott? That one is also great.

  4. Just found this blog, very helpful! I just blogged about some other writing books at

  5. I'd really like to pick up On Writing. Stephen King is one of my favorite contemporary authors. Thanks for the suggestions!


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