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May 15, 2015

Susan Paulson Clark: Five Awesome Books on the Craft of Writing

The Romance Shoppe
Over the years, I repeatedly turn to my favorite writing books for inspiration and instruction. I’d like to recommend these five and highlight some quotes to give you a flavor of how they’re written. Read these … only if you want to improve your own writing.

THE FIRST FIVE PAGES, by Noah Lukeman

This title written by a literary agent and author touches on mechanics issues and doles out practical advice. His examples are specific. When addressing the ever-problematic show-not-tell problem, he gives a concrete example:

“Instead of saying ‘It was very dark outside,’ the writer could say ‘The guards needed flashlights to patrol the corridors.’”

THE FOREST FOR THE TREES, by Betsy Lerner

This excellent reference, written from a book editor’s point of view, sheds light on the psyche of a writer and includes her own experience.

“As far as I can tell, people write for exactly two reasons”: (1) They are compelled to, and (2) they want to be loved.”

BIRD BY BIRD, by Anne Lamott

This famous writer and writing teacher recants her journey and provides sage advice.

“So much of writing is about sitting down and doing it every day, and so much of it is about getting into the custom of taking in everything that comes along, seeing it all as grist for the mill.”

ON BECOMING A NOVELIST, by John Gardner

Written in 1983, this book is still relevant. He addresses topics such what makes a good writing workshop and includes his experiences as a novelist and professor. Here he discusses his creative process:

“All I myself know for sure, when I come out of one of those trance moments, is that I seem to have been taken over by some muse.”

STORY, by Robert McKee

Although this is primarily a book about screenwriting, the fundamentals apply to the book author. McKee elaborates on structure such as the “inciting incident,” and in the following quote about shaping your protagonist:

“(The protagonist) must make a decision to take one action or another in a last effort to achieve his Object of Desire.”

Writers, if you want to improve by leaps and bounds, check out these five books!


Buy The Relationship Shoppe at Amazon


About the Author:
Susan Paulson Clark
Susan Paulson Clark has been writing for fifteen years. She's an avid reader of women's fiction, mysteries, and non-fiction titles. Susan enjoys painting (acrylic and oil) and spending time with her husband. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in English and Education -- and she's an avid believer in writers' critique groups!






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1 comments:

  1. Inspiring! And useful! :) Thank you for the post and the quotes! :) :)

    ReplyDelete

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