Hot answers tagged book-rec
Strunk and White: The Elements of Style
First of all, it's great of you to take such an interest in your niece's passion for writing! I'm sure it's much appreciated :) To the main point, I'm not finding much in the way of books on writing for children. And I think that's for good cause: nobody's trying to get children to write fiction particularly well. Kids at that age aren't really in the ...
The 1999 4th edition is probably your best bet, and has the benefit of being small. The newer 50th anniversary edition contains the same text as the 4th edition and costs more - its only selling point appears to be the black cover.
Mine is a 3rd Edition (1979). I've never replaced it because it acquired magical powers when I was in college! I carried it in the back pocket of my jeans for a couple of semesters and it got heavily creased and worn. More than once, a prof commented that although he/she might disagree with me, I must be right since I always had S&W with me. I've looked ...
I can't give you the advice you want, but I will give your advice you need: The books you need to read are models, not how-to guides. Count me among those who, unlike the many you mention, do not highly regard any book that markets itself 'for dummies'. More specifically, the industry of teaching people how to write creative works is a parasitic and ...
I really like The Writer's Journey. It's very accessible and clearly written.
Try these: On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
You might need to define urban erotica. I know that I'm not familiar with that particular subset of the genre, and I am an erotica writer! As for what flavor of writing appeals more to women, you're looking at more plot-driven writing, something with a story to it. PWP (Porn without plot) does have its allure, but for the most part, you can't go wrong with ...
The Chicago Manual of Style
The one grammar book that has been recommended to me by school teachers and university lecturers again and again is Raymond Murphy, English Grammar in Use There are different editions, some "with answers" and a CD-ROM, there's an accompanying workbook, and other supplementary material. I own the second edition from 1991 without any of the gimmicks, and I ...
Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann. I found it extraordinarily challenging, and worth it. Twice.
Well, there's the aptly titled "The Blackmail Ring", a 1932 pulp thriller by Walter B. Gibson. Other than that, searching for fiction about blackmail just seems to turn up a lot of romance novels. Actually, the fact that it doesn't seem to be a popular novel topic can be in your favor. It won't be a setting that readers are intimately familiar with (unlike, ...
Instead of White's book, you might want to check out Joseph Williams' Style: Towards Clarity and Grace. It's much better. There are several widely differing editions. Use the original Chicago Press, 1990 edition or the Harper Collins, 4th edition 1993. All the other editions have been mangled in various ways.
Something like Cloud Atlas, you mean? Indeed this is basically Nonlinear narrative. I use it a lot when I write because it can be great -- if well done -- to generate expectation and mystery. For me, the key of nonlinear narrative is to leave roles that the users can't fill at that point. You can use other chapters to get back to the loose ends and help ...
I'd also recommend trying The Breakout Novelist. It uses many examples from current novels, is easy to read, and has exercises to try at the end of each section. It covers both the core concepts of writing a fiction novel and then expands on them in more detail afterwards. It's actually a combination of three writing books also written by the same guy, all ...
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