Books for Writers

This is a list of my favourite books about writing and writers. It will always be a work in progress, and I will add more whenever I can.

The Process of Writing...

Becoming a Writer - Dorothea Brande 

This book was a revelation to me when I first read it, and remained so on the second and third readings! Have you ever read a book and thought 'This writer is talking to ME'? 

The book concentrates on the processes necessary before we even begin to think about what we will write - its aim is to prepare the reader for life as a writer. Especially interesting are the sections on the different roles of the left and right brain (although when it was first written in 1934, these terms did not exist!), and how to train ourselves to employ them both to their best advantage.

I find this a very reassuring read - Dorothea Brande seems to recognise every sensation of fear, disillusionment and insecurity which is likely to beset the new writer, and once she's done that, we feel we can begin to write!

Exercise Books... 

The Five-Minute Writer - Margret Geraghty

A beautifully-structured book of writing exercises. The book is organised into interesting, bite-sized chapters, each chapter addressing a particular aspect of writing fiction, and each one ending in a stimulating writing exercise.

This is a very useful book to turn to if you wish to fill a few minutes; each exercise can be completed in five minutes, but they're so inspiring that sometimes it can be difficult to stop! 

The Write-Brain Workbook - Bonnie Nebauer

Subtitled '366 exercises to liberate your writing', this is a chunky book crammed with challenging writing exercises. A real work of art, each page of the book has been skilfully and imaginatively designed to complement the subject of the exercise, and to give added stimulation. So much work has obviously gone into this book that as a reader you feel you are being complimented the moment you open it.   

The Pocket Muse: ideas & inspirations for writing - Monica Wood

This is an appealing, pocket-sized volume, full of short writing tips, black and white photography, statements, quotes, suggestions... Pleasing just to pick up and flick through, its quirky ideas and lovely presentation are excellent for sparking creativity.