Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo #8: Books on Craft

Don’t forget to put time aside for inspiration. You may not have time to read a book on the craft of writing NOW, but here are a few to consider ordering from your local bookstore in December:

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: a classic for good reason. Superb writing advice and inspiration. Go to Squaw Valley Writers Conference and get to hear her in person.

On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner: another classic. Still taught in every writing program in the country, I bet. Will remind you to keep your expectations realistic.

Steering the Craft by Ursula LeGuin: also a classic. Nuts and bolts lessons and exercises to improve your writing. Indispensible.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose: you must be able to analyze other writers’ work in order to understand how to put together a story. This book will teach you how.

The Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter: one of The Art Of series, this one is particularly good at teaching you about weaving overtones and undertones into your fiction. If your story seems one-dimensional, you might want to read this.

The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Dennis O’Neill: do your plots lack narrative drive? Not enough oomph? One of my professors at Hopkins recommended this book. Makes plotting crystal clear.


  1. Good suggestions. I'll check out The DC Comics Guide.

  2. Excellent! Added all of these to my to-read list