BOOK REVIEWS

Books for Writers

This is a great book focusing more on the creative side of the writing process, but based on courses Le Guin has taught. Because of its genesis, it is eminently practical. She includes examples in every lesson and exercises at the end of each.

This is a book you can come back to again and again.

From Amazon:

Completely revised and rewritten to address the challenges and opportunities of the modern era, this handbook is a short, deceptively simple guide to the craft of writing. Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view. Each chapter combines illustrative examples from the global canon with Le Guin’s own witty commentary and an exercise that the writer can do solo or in a group. She also offers a comprehensive guide to working in writing groups, both actual and online.

Masterly and concise, Steering the Craft deserves a place on every writer’s shelf.

From Steven Pressfield, this book is a short series of chapters based on his experience in advertising, script writing, and then as a prolific  fiction and nonfiction writer. This anecdotal collection is like sitting down with the author and asking him, “how can I make people want to read my sh*t?”

From Amazon:

There’s a mantra that real writers know but wannabe writers don’t. And the secret phrase is this:

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T.

Recognizing this painful truth is the first step in the writer’s transformation from amateur to professional.

“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with ev­ery sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?”

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