5 Best Resources for Authors

Hi again! Welcome back.

Did you know you and I have something in common? Besides our love of comics and books, of course.

I’m an author, too.

That’s right! Not only do I work with authors and creators to improve their projects, I also create my own. And I’m not just talking about blog posts.

I’ve been creating stories ever since I can remember (never heard that before!). But its true. For the most part, my writing has always been for me and no one else. I’ve never attempted to publish anything.

I write because I love it and because sometimes it feels like I HAVE to. As if I don’t get the story out of my head it will kill me.

As an author, there are a few resources I find essential in my day-to-day writing. Some of the suggestions below, help with my proofreading and editing services as well.

Today, I wanted to share them with you.

The Breakdown

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

The Elements of Style is a tiny book with a ton of helpful information. This book has been around well over 50 years and is still a number one go to for many writers. Even though you can most likely find this book free throughout the internet, I would suggest purchasing the paperback.

Sections included:

  • Elementary Rules of Usage
  • Elementary Principles of Composition
  • A Few Matter of Form (Headings, Numerals, Parentheses, Quotations, etc)
  • Words and Expressions Commonly Misused
  • Words Commonly Misspelled

 

On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

Not only does On Writing Well offer fundamental principles, it also provides us with the insights of Zinsser himself derived from years as a writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher.

This book is a great library addition for anybody who wants to learn how to write. Or maybe I should say, anybody who writes. Though geared toward nonfiction writing, Zinsser discusses principles that apply regardless of what kind of writing you do.

 

Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies By Sol Stein

Stein on Writing provides actionable advice for writers of fiction and nonfiction. No matter your ‘level’ of expertise, you will find this book useful.

Stein is very clear and precise in his explanations. I would describe this as a ‘no-bullshit’ book for writers.

Stein is direct and concise and doesn’t pull any punches. 

 

Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell

Part of the “Write Great Fiction” series.

Admittedly, there may be more comprehensive resources on story structure out there, however this a good intro piece with a lot of helpful information.

Some of the information in this book could be considered common sense or things we should already know, however, everyone needs a reminder once in a while — even more experienced writers.

It also contains a lot of helpful exercises to get your creative juices flowing.

 

Description & Setting: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Believable World of People, Places, and Events by Ron Rozelle

Part of the “Write Great Fiction” series.

I’ve always had a hard time with descriptive writing. Not just in writing it myself, but in reading it also. Yes, I am that person that will skip the page describing the trees and flowers and smells. Maybe it has to do with my ADHD, but overly descriptive scenes in books bore me. I lose interest and focus.

If you’re like me, I suggest reading this book. It does a good job of helping you see the use of description as an enhancement to the story. A tool to deepen characterization, move the plot, and make the setting feel real.

Bonus Suggestion:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft By Stephen King

Stephen King has written more than fifty books. FIFTY. Even if you’re not a fan of King and his writing, you have to admit that is an impressive number. He has to be doing something right. Am I right?

Stephen King can write. There’s no denying that. So why wouldn’t you want to read his thoughts on the craft?

My Thoughts

Now if you’re technically savvy enough you can find most of these books free online, as I tried to and did. However, I did purchase the paperback version of these books.

First of all, I would never recommend a book I have not 1) read myself and 2) purchased (always support the author!).

Secondly, purchasing the book also allotted me the opportunity to make notes for myself where needed, which in the future will come in handy. I suggest you do the same.

Unless you’d rather print out a copy. But why kill more trees? Just purchase already dead ones.

I will end with this …

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” — Pablo Picasso

Or if you prefer,

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” — The Dalai Lama XIV

Until next time!


Do you have a work in progress or a completed project you need help with? Tell me about it, here!

Don’t forget to subscribe! You don’t want to miss out on all my incoherent ramblings, do you?

Lastly, if you enjoyed this, please share!