I Bought my First Writing Book

Not On Writing. But one that looked pretty detailed and informative. I don’t think it’s going to make me Michael Connelly anytime soon, but this is a good sign. Somewhere inside me I’m still thinking about resuming my writing at some point. And maybe this book will help a bit with that. Especially since I know absolutely nothing. I just go with the flow right now. Ha.

I’ve already written about writing books before. So I won’t be asking specifically what you think of them or if they’ve helped you. But don’t you think just about any book with good information would help someone like me?

18 thoughts on “I Bought my First Writing Book

  1. Absolutely. Buying one shows intent and moves you into doing it. My favorite (though you didn’t ask)–Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. And it’s funny.
    The Artist’s Way helped, too, because you had to write three pages every day–about anything.


  2. I’m a bit weirdly obssessive about writing advice – I’ve done a creative writing course, read quite a few guides and subscribe to online forums and a writing magazine which has lots of tips as well as competitions and other writing opportunities. Bit overload, probably.
    I think some guides aren’t actually that helpful. I read one that had such a complicated plot guide (all the ‘beats’ you’re supposed to hit with your plot) which suggested drawing graphs to chart character and story arcs … Well, it was like a maths lesson! I dumped that one.
    Many are good, but when it comes down to it, you sift through all this stuff and have to use your own judgement.


  3. Which book was it, out of curiosity?

    Writing books can almost only help – they’ve definitely helped me. You don’t need to be told this, but take some of their advice with a grain of salt though. I’ve read enough writing books to realize that two authors can have totally different perspectives on what good writing is. John Gardner calls genre fiction “junk” – James Scott Bell thinks it’s the best thing out there. The person who wrote your writing book probably has good advice to give, but some stuff is always up to opinion/personal taste.


  4. I’d also love to know which one you bought. I have a whole shelf of them and some are more useful than others, but it really depends on what stage of your writing life you are at. Some that I like most are not popular with other writer friends, while books they have raved about don’t always work for me. I hope the one you bought works for you.

    Along with King’s “On Writing” two of my other favourites are “Solutions for Novelists” by Sol Stein and “Plot versus Character” by Jeff Gerke.


  5. The first book I bought on writing was called something like WRITE, Your first novel. Or something lame like that. The cashier and B&N asked me if I was going to write a novel and I told him it was a gift for my sister. It was like buying condoms and having the clerk say, so you’re getting laid tonight, huh? Long story short – the book really helped. I didn’t read the entire thing, but it helped with structure and reining in all the crazy ideas, plots, etc in my head. You don’t have to follow every single detail, use it as a guide – your talent will do the rest. Good Luck!


  6. I think most books on writing are beneficial in some way, depending on what you’re looking for. You know this already, but I have a ton of writing books, and I use them all for different things. Honestly, I haven’t read all of them cover-to-cover. I pick out the advice that is relevant to my story at that time. Since no one book on writing has included everything I’m looking for.


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