If you had a choice of 5 places to turn for writing support, where would you go?
I’ve bounced about the workforce for 40 years now. My resume looks like I’m vastly experienced… or that I couldn’t keep a frikkin’ job.
But all my ventures had one thing in common. They required the ability to write. For the past 2 years, I’ve focused on storytelling and self-publishing, however I believe the principles of writing success are pretty much universal no matter what your genre or subject.
Here’s what stands out for me:
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.J. White
This short book contains the basics of composition, punctuation, and grammar. It gives practical examples of how to write with clarity – get your point across without bullshit. It’s a How-To, a How-Not-To, and it’s a contract killer on adverbs and adjectives.
Craft of Writing
On Writing by Stephen King
What’s really of value – it’s like sitting in a private meeting with King. Regardless if you like his stuff, you have to marvel at his success and he tells it in King style, F-words and all. Here’s straight goods from someone who’s been there / done that and he’s not one of the hordes of ‘experts’ who write about writing, rather than cranking out good stories that sell. I love his quote about Show vs. Tell – ‘Just tell the goddam story’ and about editorial correctness – ‘Grammer don’t wear no coat ‘n tie’.
Science of Storytelling
Wired For Story by Lisa Cron
This book caused me to go right back to square one and revise my manuscript. For someone like me who came from a totally anal adherence to science, I had a Eureka moment when I realized there was a straightforward science behind storytelling. Our brains are hard-wired for stories – always have, always will – and this is a science ap for making a page-turner. Serious. READ THIS BOOK!
Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Aside from The Bible, Think And Grow Rich is the world’s bestselling motivational book and for good reason. Personally, I think it contains more truth than The Bible and I don’t care if I’m convicted of Blasphemy for saying it. It was written in 1937 and is a timeless blueprint of 17 principles of personal achievement. The original version contains male vernacular of the time which may piss some people off, but get over it and absorb what it says. Politically correct versions are available.
Writing, Marketing, and Publishing
The Creative Penn Website by Joanna Penn
This is by far the best writer resource on the internet and I’m not just saying that because I consider Joanna a friend who’s helped me out enormously. In 4 years Joanna has built up a phenomenal wealth of online advice in her blogs, books, articles, and webinars. She also has about 150 free videos with the whos-who in the industry. She especially caters to idie self-publishers… because she is one herself. If you aren’t following Joanna, START!
So that’s my 5 cents.
What about you? What’s on your shelf that you gotta share?
I’m dying to hear your words.