Guest Post: Top Books About Writing By Master Authors

This week’s guest post offers some resources on writing by some of the best writers in the business.

Learning from the Best: Top Writing Books Penned by Master Authors

Every writer’s goal is to become better at writing. That is, every writer dreams of creating content that makes a difference in someone else’s life. While some writers put a lot of focus on comma usage and other points related to grammar, others are more concerned with giving real meaning to the words they string together.

In reality, if a writer wants to do either of these things, he/she must set a goal of becoming extremely efficient at writing. Gifted writers learn to develop their skill. They write on a regular basis, and they know and take advantage of the time of day or night that they are most creative. In addition to these things, writers read and they learn from master authors.

Writers gain inspiration from their surroundings, from the people in their lives, and from the books they read. If a writer identifies with a writing style or technique used by a master author, that style can and should be adapted and used in the writer’s own work.

Seeking out ‘how to’ information from master authors is a way to build confidence and to help learn valuable tips that can help define a writing career. Below are some examples of top writing books by celebrated authors.

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Tips from the masters can make writing easier.

Politics and the English Language and Other Essays, George Orwell

The rules described in “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell mainly focus on keeping content direct and concise. Writers are cautioned not to use metaphors, similes, or figures of speech that are commonly seen in print. In addition, long word should be avoided whenever possible.

One rule stresses the importance of using active verbs, and another focuses on the value of using as few words as possible and keeping the terminology simple.

You’re a Genius All the Time: Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, Jack Kerouac and Regina Weinreich

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet whose work continues to inspire many modern writers of today. The tips and ‘rules’ he shares seem to be much more than writing tips; it’s almost as if they are words of wisdom about life.

For instance, one tip mentions being in love with your life and another says to believe in the holy contour of life.

On Writing, Stephen King

Stephen King, a modern-day master of horror writing, provides a practical guide that can help writers of all genres become more skillful at developing characters as well as plots. King includes tips about editing out pointless details and the avoidance of unneeded adverbs.

According to King’s method, writing is based on a combination of instinct, writing on a daily basis (which is hard work), and regimented editing.

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Reading can be the key to a writer’s success.

Fortunately, numerous master authors are willing to share writing tips and advice. Reading their work is an excellent way to get motivated. Not only can it help inspire creativity, but the writer that reads the work can also learn new styles and techniques.

If you have learned some tricks and tips from a celebrated, successful author, why not share it here – and if you found this article helpful, please share it with your social network.

Debbie Allen is a freelance writer who frequently shares tips about online reputation protection and brand management.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 comments

  1. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the post!

    The two most helpful books on writing craft that I’ve read have been The Art of Fiction by John Gardner and Method and Madness: The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante. I highly, highly recommend both of them.

  2. mary brady says:

    Neato! A guest blog that is clearly written & helpful, to boot!
    I’m pleased that Stephen King’s book was included. In that book, he included a ‘sample edit’ of his story, ‘Room…oh hell…what’s the number?…1401? 1408?’ It’s something like ‘Room 1408.’

    Whatever. King included several pages of his marked up manuscript, showing excess words crossed out, revisions made
    to paragraphs, etc. Something about seeing Stephen King making the same corrections that I have to make to my stories made me feel more like a ‘real writer.’ That’s always a good thing.

    I also liked the idea King proposed about NOT doing a detailed outline for a story. That seems quite freeing. It’s
    possible to plan a story to death. By the time you write it, any
    excitement there may have been is gone.

    Thanks to Debbie & to Kevin for the titles of books to check out.

    L&K, MaryB

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