I’m a writing book junkie. I can’t help it, especially if the book is written by an author I know and respect—one who can really write. Like biographies, I use these books mainly for motivation. I know I need to study them more, but time crunches keep me from memorizing the author’s brilliant phrases about writing, following suggested activities, and using the books as private tutors like I should. Between teaching, performing in my Scots-Irish band, and my own creative writing, there’s not many windows of time for that. However, I do use them as reference tools and do exercises or follow prompts as I have time. I tend to mark what I read by highlighting or underlining anything I may need to come back to. I also scribble questions and notes to myself in the margin. I have also found that these books lead me to other authors and some very good books that I need to read. Anyway, here are several books on the craft of writing that I have read and found most helpful.
Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life by Erica Jong.
Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood
The Spooky Art by Norman Mailer
On Writing by Stephen King
The Lie that Tells a Truth by John Dufresne
Techniques of Fiction Writing: Measure and Madness by Leon Surmelian
The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood
Writing from Personal Experience by Davidoff Kelton
Writing for your Life, edited by Sybil Steinberg
Writing Horror, edited by Mort Castle