Friends You Need While Writing

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Friends You Need While Writing

You have a story to tell, a story that only you know the best. The urge to share that story washes over you and you begin to write and everything is fine... until you hit the wall.  That’s when you need a friend to tell you your steps and whisper precious advice into your ears, for writing a book is like a thousand mile journey, long and arduous, complicated and mysterious, full of unsought twists in dark woods. Here I have collected five of the best friends you could ever imagine having with you, just in case you stumble on something. 

On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King
Without a doubt, this is one of the best books on writing I've ever read. It’s short, simple, and clear-cut down to the bone and fat-free. King shares his insights into the art of writing, and in doing so, he tells his marvelous story of how he become one of the most successful novelists of our time. It’s part memoir, part writing class, with vivid memories from his early years and struggles to publish his first novel, Carrie, and the tools of his craft, from character development to plot and imagery to work habits a writer needs to develop in order to get published. It has it all in one book, concise. Most MFA programs should be afraid. Not because of King’s horror novels, but because of this book. For if you read it, you might stop writing your statement of purpose and begin writing your first story. Long Live The King!
 
Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott
Bird by bird is a step-by-step instruction manual the beginner writer needs  - from the first draft to the revised and edited version of your baby in your hand - to get published. Anne Lamott is frank about it: there’s no elixir for the magic of writing, no cure for the virus of writing. It’s done word by word, sentence by sentence, draft upon draft, day after day. In this book, Ann Lamott recounts her own writing journey to reveal her writing techniques and how she tackles obstacles that come along the way, interfering with her writing flow. She offers concrete advice on the basics of writing, character, plot, setting, and other topics of interest to writers.
 
Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction by John Casey
In this book, John Casey, a masterful novelist, teacher and National Book Award-winning author of Spartina, offers essential insight into the art of writing. With conversational essays - as if you're sitting with him in the classroom - John Casey guides you through the realm of writing with the knowledge of a sage. He offers “suggestions about things to do, things to think about when your writing has got you lost in the woods.”  He covers the essential elements of writing - from voice to structure, point of view, dialogue and many more aspects.
 
Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer by Bret Anthony Johnston
Naming the World is a great resource for any writer or teacher looking for inspiration or guidance. Bret Anthony Johnston, Harvard creative writing professor and acclaimed author, has assembled the best writing advice from the most prominent writers of our time into one gem of a book. From Joyce Carol Oates's writing prompts to Holiday Reinhorn’s revision techniques, and daily warm-up writing exercises, Naming The World contains everything you need to know and do, to transform your writing to a higher level.

The Lively Art of Writing by Lucile Vaughan Payne
This is a wonderful book for those beginner writers who need to improve their writing skills at word level, paragraph level and at the sound level of a sentence, and much, much more.  Lucile Vaughan Payne tells you what it takes to craft a beautiful sentence, and how to use syntax to mold your personal writing style. The Lively Art of Writing is a book that strips away the mystery from writing and reveals the principles of crafting good sentences that culminates in good writing.