In a prior post, I said, “my toe-dip into the enormous corpus of literature on writing seems to indicate that most of it is not very helpful.” What a small and curmudgeonly thing to say! (I was possibly affected by one in which the author expressed her opinion that her title is TOTALLY AWESOME.) But that got me thinking: I bet some of you have read some good books on writing. I’d love to hear your favorite titles.
I have a few resources I really like (besides, of course the TOTALLY AWESOME search capability of Google). I started long ago with Elements of Style (Strunk and White), an early lifesaver. Today I use The Chicago Manual of Style online. Possibly the best fifteen bucks I spent last year in pursuit of writing. It’s more than encyclopedic and very interactive. Stephen King’s On Writing exposes the fact that King is a great writer, a great mechanic of words. Yes, I know, King writes Genre Fiction (you need to be looking down your nose while you say that), but then, so do I. Then there are the many books on the business side of writing. The best I’ve run into is The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published (Eckstut and Sterry), which is comprehensive, readable and funny.
There are probably lots of good writing books out there, and I felt a little bad about being snarky about the whole field. What are your favorites?