If you ever ask a professional writer for an advice, they will probably suggest you to read more. Books are the best resource that there can be. They help you to learn more about your creative discipline and offer inspiration. This article is a compilation of 10 books that you should read if you are an aspiring writer.
Sir Richard Steele said, “reading is to mind what exercise is to body.” And I agree wholeheartedly to this. Reading is a safe haven and books are the best mentors. It is difficult to put in word the manyfold benefits of reading. You ask why? Well because then we’ll be looking at a never ending list.
Reading is important for everyone. And the importance increases ever the more, in case of aspiring writers. Reading is a hobby that never stops giving. From combatting creative blocks to learning about new styles of writing, an aspiring writer can go back to books for so much. Reading can also revive your inspiration that you need your next write up or novel.
This article has a compilation of 10 best books that deserve a space in the library of an aspiring writer. Some books in the list have been included for the timeless practical advice they offer. While others have landed a space simply because of the writing marvel that they are.
1. Ernest Hemingway On Writing, Edited By Larry W. Phillips
Published in 1984, ‘Ernest Hemingway On Writing’ is a compilation of insights on the style and nature of writing. Ernest Hemingway, often shared his reflections on the nature of writing in the letters he wrote to his friends and publishers. The book is a dossier of his insights and reflections. This book is a must read for aspiring writers as it “contains Hemingway’s reflections on elements of the writer’s life, including specific and helpful advice to writers on the craft of writing, work habits, and discipline.”- From the Preface by Larry W. Phillips.
2. How To Write A Romance And Get It Published, by Kathryn Falk
An old classic with some of the best advice for contemporary writers. This book earns a place in your to-read list because of the density of information in it. Especially if you are planning to write a romance novella.
“How To Write A Romance Novel” is a collection of essays by famous writers, each entailing important details on writing. Compiled by Kathryn Falk, the CEO & publisher of Romantic Times, this book will actually take you from the style and writing guides of a romance novel to getting it published.
You can measure the efficacy of tips given in the book, by participating in Romance Writing Challenge on GoSocial.
3. The Sense Of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide To Writing In The 21st Century, by Steven Pinker
This is one of the best books out there for aspiring writers. It is a work of Harvard psychologist, linguist and science author Steven Pinker. Published in 2014, the book is a great pick for aspiring writers of this century.
Steven Pinker covers all the features of contemporary writing in detail. He also offers first-hand suggestions on how to use the language to convey messages. This informed writing guide uses a multitude of writing examples to convey how important it is to match what we write to what we want to express.
4. The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide To Revision, by Sandra Scofield
If you want to turn the first draft into a novel manuscript, you should add this book to your reading list. Written by an award-winning novelist, the tips in the books work on the formula of tried and tested. She has covered the important concepts of narrative structure, character agency, and core scenes, using models from classic and contemporary writers. The detailed, step-by-step plan, is an invaluable advice that both amateur and experienced writers can pay heed to.
In the pages, the author takes you through a multitude of examples of fiction to show that the best way to edit your final work is to first understand what kind of book you want to write. Post-read, you will be able to analyse your writing from the perspective of subject and vision.
5. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, by Stephen King
If you are curious to know about the lives of great writers and want to learn from their experiences then you should give this book a read. Written by the best-selling writer Stephen King’s, the book is a memoir that describes the author’s experiences as a writer. In this memoir the author shares his advice on style, form and other writing guides. These suggestions can prove to be very useful for aspiring writers.
6. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide To Creating Ridiculously Good Content, by Ann Handley
Writing is a gift that not everyone is blessed with. If you are a content writer or marketer, who is looking to meet a breakthrough with the help of good copy, you should definitely read this.
This book is a great pick to help you get on the right track of content writing. Written in a very reader friendly way, the book reiterates the benefit of good headlines and great grammar. With this, the author offers useful tips and examples of great readable content for aspiring content writers. Sharing her experience of online content writing, Ann Handley reveals insights on form, style, grammar, flow, pace, and story-telling. The book will handhold you through writing dynamic yet easily readable content pieces.
7. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
“The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It’s the lack of a deadline.”
If you are an aspiring novelist and trying to write a novel for the first time, then this book will be your best friend. No Plot? No Problem! is the kick of creativity that you have been looking for. It is about driving the creative block away. The book takes new writers around traditional writing tactics, and acts as a natural guide for aspiring novelists.
Written by Chris Baty of National Novel Writing Month, this book emphasises on free flow of writing. Its main purpose is to get your creative juices flowing. With the tricks and tactics mentioned, you will be able to focus on your subconscious. This way, you will be able to pen down your inspirations instead of adhering to expectations.
8. If You Want To Write, by Brenda Ueland
Originally published in 1938, Brenda Ueland’s ‘If You Want To Write’ is a classic masterpiece that every writer must have on their book shelves. This book contains inspiration and wisdom for amateur as well as experienced writers. By sharing her philosophies on writing, the author uses enthusiasm and encourage to pass on her words of wisdom. Her feisty spirit of independence and integrity shines through the book, and will inspire aspiring writers to find their craft and perfect it.
9. Letters To A Young Writer, by Colum McCann
Letters to a Young Writer is a quick read with brief and bold chapters. The book takes an upbeat voice in its tone and offers a multitude of helpful suggestions. This will help aspiring writers to think outside the box and create unique pieces that look outwards. In nutshell, you can assume that the book is a well written guide on how one can become a writer.
In this book, the author shares advices for aspiring writers on writing dialogues. The book will also advise you through plot and character development. In Letters To A Young Writer, McCann tries to convey the importance of seeing empathy in what you write and hear. He asks his readers to push their boundaries of creativity and experiences.
10. The Elements Of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
A well opinionated piece, this book is for sure going to become a family heirloom. The Elements Of Style, is a bit of an old-school, but useful nonetheless. The book is a dossier of advice that will motivate aspiring writers to stick to the roots of good old grammar. It also highlights the benefits of communicating efficiently by introducing ease of understanding.
The book is a holy grail not only for young writers but also for those who want to correct the way they approach English. In fact, we’d go ahead and say that if you write in any capacity, this book will be one of the greatest tools at your disposal. It will compel you to be a better writer.
We know that writing is hard. It demands a great deal of focus, practice, persistence and an undying grit. But we also know that with enough practice, you can master this art. It is thus very important to understand the craft of writing, and see it through the lens of those who have already proved their mastery. This list is a hands-on guide to 10 books that every aspiring writer should read.
It’s recommended to practice the knowledge that you get by reading these books. You can take part in writing challenges hosted on GoSocial and steadily work towards perfecting your craft. You can also host your community and share your learning with fellow writers. Happy reading!