May 13, 2014

Books on Writing Craft

One of the main reasons that I want to write this blog is because I haven't seen a lot of blogs that look at books about writing craft.

I don't know, maybe I am alone in this, but I spend a lot of time reading about writing, and so far the best sources I have found for discovering new books are Amazon reviews, Goodreads, and word-of-mouth. Personally, I generally find Amazon reviews to be the best source because of the variety of view points about any given book. What I'm trying to do here is look at specific components of writing books. What works? What doesn't work? Which books are redundant? Which ones are a must-read for authors?

This exercise is as much for me as for anyone else. I want to remember the positive aspects of books that I liked. Much like a book report does, I hope this blog forces me to question the bigger picture and pick out the positive and not-so-positive aspects of each book. So even if nobody else reads this blog, I still think it will be helpful for me.

Do you read books about writing craft? Any particular favorites? What do you think is the best source for discovering new books on craft?


  1. I think this blog is a great idea! Here are my overall thoughts: I’ve read several books on writing (coincidentally, many of them are in fact titled “On Writing”) and after you’ve read a few it starts getting really repetitive. I eventually stopped reading books on writing because it reached the point that I would have to read 200 pages before I found one sentence that I hadn’t already read before.

    What I would love to see in this blog is you select the top 2-3 “must read” writing books. Then when you are reviewing other writing books you go through and pick out the good stuff that is not just a re-hash of the stuff that’s already in the “must read” books. I know I would become an avid reader of this blog if I knew that each post was going to pick out new stuff for me to think about instead of just re-reading the same old stuff ad nauseum.

    1. That's an awesome idea! I have a worksheet that I use when I read them so that I can pull out specific information, but I love the idea of anchoring them to a few "must reads" for comparison. I completely agree that most of the time, it's just more of the same information. Thanks for the feedback! I'm going to start trying to decide which the essentials should be, and I love the idea of focusing on the elements that you can't find anywhere else. Thanks Greg!