Everyone needs help and advice and below are some of the people, resources and books that have helped me to improve my writing.  Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments and I will add all the good ones to the list.

Books about writing, style and grammar.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

by Stephen King 

On Writing:A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, published in 2000, is a memoir of the prolific author’s experiences as a writer, and also serves as a guide book for those who choose to enter the craft. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly listed On Writing 21st on their list of The New Classics: Books – The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008, making it King’s only entry. On July 13, 2010, Scribner published a 10th Anniversary edition of the book, featuring an updated reading list from Stephen King.

 

Sin and Syntax 

by Constance Hale 

 

Today’s writers need more spunk than Strunk: whether it’s the Great American e-mail, Madison Avenue advertising, or Grammy Award-winning rap lyrics, memorable writing must jump off the page. Copy veteran Constance Hale is on a mission to make creative communication, both the lyrical and the unlawful, an option for everyone.

With its crisp, witty tone, Sin and Syntax covers grammar’s ground rules while revealing countless unconventional syntax secrets (such as how to use—Gasp!—interjections or when to pepper your prose with slang) that make for sinfully good writing. Discover how to:

*Distinguish between words that are “pearls” and words that are “potatoes”

* Avoid “couch potato thinking” and “commitment phobia” when choosing verbs

* Use literary devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and metaphor (and understand what you’re doing)

Everyone needs to know how to write stylish prose—students, professionals, and seasoned writers alike. Whether you’re writing to sell, shock, or just sing, Sin and Syntax is the guide you need to improve your command of the English language.

 

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 

 

The best reading experiences”, says Sol Stein, “defy interruption”. With Stein’s assistance, you can grab your reader on page one and not let go until “The End”. Stein–author of nine novels (including the best-selling The Magician) and editor to James Baldwin, W H Auden, and Lionel Trilling–offers “usable solutions” for any writing problem you might encounter. He is authoritative, commanding, and neither cheerleader nor naysayer. Instead, he rails against mediocrity and demands that you expunge it from your work. Perhaps the concept of scrutinising every modifier, every metaphor, every character trait sounds like drudgery. But with Stein’s lively guidance, it is a pleasure. Stein recommends that you brew conflict in your prose by giving your characters different “scripts”. He challenges you, in an exercise concerning voice, to write the sentence you want the world to remember you by. He uses an excerpt from E L Doctorow to demonstrate poorly written monologue and a series of Taster’s Choice commercials as an example of dialogue that works. Stein’s bottom line is that good writing must be suspenseful. Your job, says Stein, “is to give readers stress, strain, and pressure. The fact is that readers who hate those things in life love them in fiction”. Jane Steinberg.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting

by Robert McKee

“Story” deciphers the guiding structural principles that animate every classical and award-winning film, ranging from “Citizen Kane” through to modern acclaimed works like “The English Patient”.

Zen in the Art of Writing

by R Bradbury

Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it’s your turn. Jump!” Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft-everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style-as well as the inside story of Bradbury’s own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays. Zen In The Art Of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. In it, Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.

Useful websites and links

Format Your Novel for Submission

http://theeditorsblog.net/2011/01/05/format-your-novel-for-submission/

Authonomy Writing Community

http://www.authonomy.com/writing-community/

Common faults in short stories submitted

http://willesdenherald.blogspot.com/2008/02/common-faults-in-short-stories.html

Query Letter Synopsis: Maximize Your Main Conflict

http://www.writersrelief.com/blog/2011/08/query-letter-synopsis-blurb-summary/

The Publishers Marketplace

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/

The Best Writing Advice

http://www.advicetowriters.com/home/2012/1/31/the-best-writing-advice.html

 

 

 

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