Monday, September 13, 2010

Melissa's Myths for Mondays

Myth #4

All Books About Writing Are Created Equal.

My first thought was to find the quintessential book on writing, and make that my bible. Surely if I chose the “best book” on writing, I could use that as my life long guide.

Not all books on writing are created equal. Writers who write about writing have to find a hook, just like the rest of us. There are some fundamentals that every book on craft will explore, Show Vs Tell, POV, Voice, etc… It’s the added information that makes reading a variety of books valuable. It’s those precious nuggets of fresh information that can add a layer to your story that will set it apart from the crowd.

What books on craft have you found that have an unusual slant, or different approach?


  1. That's a hard one. I think it depends on what you're writing, as well. For example, I love Stephen King's "On Writing". (Which I think I've mentioned about a hundred times.) I'm so stuck on it, I think it would work even for people that are writing romance novels.

    However, "How to Write a Breakout Novel" seems like an excellent choice for people that are writing action stories.

    There are also a couple of good books on character development, or plot development (sorry, no titles on hand) if you want to increase your writer's tool kit for those things.

  2. Hi Melissa,
    So far I haven't found "the" one. That special book I can call the bible for writing. I have one that's excellent for short story writing but that's about it. I get my info from my mentors ;)

  3. Art of War for Writers -- written in almost summary form but has all the good bits that remain memorable.

    On Writing -- written in a very different fashion. Not a lot of tips, but good nonetheless.

  4. I agree, Melissa! Some writing books helped me earlier on in my writing career--especially more inspirational ones. But now, I find that I need more meat, more specifics. My favorites are James Scott Bell writing books because he's so practical.

  5. I really enjoyed Self Editing for Fiction Writers (Browne & King) and Description by Monica Wood. Those two really, really helped me.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse