What Writing Books are on your Shelf?
I’m taking a basic editing course with my wife and some of the material got me wondering about what writing books I have on my shelves. So I had to go look and have listed them below:
The Chicago Manual of Style—14th Edition
The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing
The Writer’s Handbook—2002
Literature and the Writing Process—6th Edition
A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature—4th Edition
DeScriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary—3rd Edition
Rewrite Right: How to Revise Your Way to Better Writing
The Elements of Style
The Elements of Grammar
The Elements of Editing
The Random House Guide to Good Writing
The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing
The Creative Writer’s Style Guide
How to Get Happily Published—4th Edition
Writing for Dollars: 75 Tips for the Freelance Writer
Fighting Words: Words on Writing from 21 of the Heart of Dixie’s Best Contemporary Authors
The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile
Write is a Verb by Bill O’Hanlon
On Writing by Stephen King
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
The New York Times Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, & Mispronounced Words
Of course, I’m not listing the dictionaries, thesaurus, and baby name books; or the texts on proper documentation of literary papers; or even all the reference books on different interesting topics.
You would think I had nothing left to learn about writing. If only. Unfortunately, you can read every guidebook out there and never become a decent writer. Practice, practice, practice, and a good group of friends that won’t spare your feelings when they read your work is the recipe. Also, I have found that critiquing other writers helps you to recognize some of your own flaws.
There is some good wisdom in these books too, but you don’t want to be known for having book-learning with not a lot of smarts. At least I heard that somewhere before.