What books can help improve my writing?

What are the best books to help improve my writing?

If you want to write better, there are plenty of books out there that can help.

Here are four books that will help you write better

Do you want to write better? Well, you can read these four books for a start. Yes, it‘s a small list, but these books will help improve your writing. A ton. How do I know this? Because I’ve read all four, and I love each. Each has a different take and a different focus, and each will help you look at and improve your writing from a different perspective.

1. The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White

This book tops most writers’ lists of best writing guides. In a not many pages, it covers all the basics of good writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. Don’t let its short length fool you—this book misses nothing important. It will help you write shorter, more clear sentences and help you write so that each sentence has maximum impact. Its principles are time-tested, and you can trust every piece of advice this book contains. No, this book won’t tell you what to write, but it will help you write what you want with more impact.

2. Telling Writing, by Ken Macrorie

A college textbook, Telling Writing is many ways the best overall book on writing almost no one has ever heard of. Its advice on writing better sentences is top notch, and it’s worth reading just for its basic tenet that good writing tells the truth. It can help you break the awful habit of writing what you think others expect you to say, freeing you to instead write what matters now: what’s happening now, what you’re thinking now, and what you’re feeling now. It will teach you how to use concrete details to make your writing come alive and help you avoid pretentious, wordy phrases and jargon. I can’t say enough about this book.

3. On Writing, by Stephen King

Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore Stephen King’s success or his ability to tell a story without tripping over his own prose. If only more fiction writers would read this book. Like The Elements of Style, this book is short, but its advice is concrete and actionable. Never use a thesaurus, King says. Eliminate most adverbs, King says. Read this book and do everything he says.

4. Thanks, But This Isn’t for Us: A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected, by Jessica Page Morrell

Even if you’re not an aspiring fiction writer, you can still learn much from this great book. Jessica Morrell is an established literary agent who desperately wants would-be fiction writers to submit better material. Why? Because she has to sell the materials you submit to publishers, and she wants to have a fighting chance to make that sale. She is also sick of reading your bad submissions. She will tell you what to do and not do when writing a story. After reading her book, I now recognize that many well-written dramas echo her simple but specific techniques. Ever wonder why so much fiction seems to put its characters into scrapes every time you turn around? Because such a technique works, So, follow her tips, or I guess you can keep getting rejected.

Happy writing!

Read these books, and feel free to suggest a few titles of your own. And feel free to contact me if there’s a book you think I missed, or you just have some questions about writing, especially writing your own book:

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