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10.29.2007

A Note on Writing Resources

Short post today, as we're nearing the end of the term at the college and things are piling up. I've been working with a group of creative writers that have really taken to the process of solid self-editing. They've gotten to know (really learn) their copies of the Writer's Harbrace Handbook: Brief Third Edition, so when issues come up they've been able to address them. This makes any teacher happy, because the majority of the questions (2/3 maybe?) that students ask are about technical aspects of mechanics, grammar and formatting. The answers are out there, and the best students find them and make the corrections.

But what about the resources for the writer just starting out? I highly recommend Stephen King's On Writing, a conversational, engaging and encouraging tome that is filled with biographical information and also some excellent practical advice on topics such as dialogue attribution, use of adverbs and pacing.

E.B. White and William Stunk Jr.'s indispensable The Elements of Style is a must-have for any fledgling writer. Read it cover to back before you set out to type the first line of your short story. The work will thank you for it.

And I like the links to Chuck Paluhniuk's tips and Richard Laymon's rules. Both are in the Writer's Links section of my website www.danielwpowell.com.

I've heard Donald Maas' text Writing the Break-out Novel is solid. And your local library will have a wall of books devoted to the subject, including How to Write a Novel for Dummies.

Any I'm missing? Please list in the comments section...

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