This article gives you a comprehensive list of 7 books that you must read to become an author
Writing is one of the best hobbies or professions that one can aspire for. It is not difficult to write things out on a piece of paper. Anybody can do that! But the actual difficulty lies in articulating your expressions and giving them a proper shape so that the meaning of your thoughts comes out alive. Doing this definitely is not everyone’s cup of tea. Even the already established writers have to constantly work on the art of expression and articulation. While it is a great thing to produce your own write-ups, it is equally important to read. Reading improves a writer and compels him to write better and better.
Hence here are a few books that you should definitely read to become a good author:
1) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Given the much hype about his recently released horror novel turned into the movie IT, the name of Stephen King is not unknown to the masses. But the mega-bestselling author has also written a book on the craft of writing- “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” and it’s a must read for all the aspiring authors out there. It is here that Stephen shares most of his writing strategies including the suggestion of how you should write for your “Ideal Reader” apart from sharing his own experience and evolution as a writer.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
2) The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
If you aspire to be a modernist writer writing on modern lines, then reading this book is a must for you. Introducing what she calls as the “morning pages”, Julia Cameron writes by employing a stream of consciousness technique which had also been employed by the other great authors like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf in their novels. This technique is simply about writing in accordance with the flow of thoughts in your mind even if it doesn’t occur in a systematic way. This novel surely implores an author to write his/her morning pages even if they do not intend to share it with the rest of the world.
“All too often, it is audacity and not talent that moves an artist to center stage.”
3) Daily Rituals by Mason Currey
They say, “Do not judge a book by its cover.”- thankfully here, you can because the cover is sure to capture your attention. This book is not a mainstream book on the art of writing. It is actually a great inspiration for the budding writers as it deals with a compendium consisting of the daily habits and personal foibles of 161 great personalities- scientists, writers, thinkers, artists, etc. It also deals with a personality who stood on his head to get rid of the writer’s block.
“If you have to discipline yourself to achieve art, you discipline yourself.”
4) About Writing: 7 Essays,4 Letters & 5 Interviews by Samuel R. Delany
More like a private tutorial on the art and craft of writing, this book explains by taking up each topic with insight and clarity.- dealing with the specifics, structuring a novel, treatment of characters, importance and use of flashbacks. Not only this, but it also highlights the difference in the condition of the modern contemporary writers and their predecessors like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and others. Hence this book by Delany is a must read for the aspiring authors.
“Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind—vividly, forcefully…”
5) Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
It’s expected from a former editor like Lynne Truss to come up with this Runaway #1 British Bestseller. Being an editor and gravely concerned about the existing grammatical state where the placement of commas and semicolons are generally overlooked or neglected, Truss draws our attention to the necessity of using both and considering them as some of the vital components of language. This she does in a way which is witty, urbane and very much English.
Again as remarked rightly by Truss,
“Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.”
6) The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience by Chuck Wendig
Believe it or not, but this book definitely needs to adorn your bookshelf if you are on your journey to become a writer. An amateur writing has to face a large number of challenges- to be able to write better dialogues, to connect with the audience, to build and sustain the suspense and most importantly “how to start!” This book not only deals with the long, perilous and difficult journey of a writer but also allows him to overcome his uncertainties and transform himself completely into a KICK-ASS writer by allowing him to see himself as a wizard and his writing as some sort of a magic.
“Creative agitation can serve you well. Embrace it. Look into that dark hole for answers, not fear.”
7) Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar’s Greatest Films by Dean Movshovitz
The last one on this list is undoubtedly Pixar Storytelling which gives you an effective set of rules for an excellent storytelling based on Pixar’s greatest films. This book divided into 10 chapters gives the aspiring author an insight into the common core of Pixar’s works- his story ideas, creation of a conflict that is both moving and gripping and the ultimate resolution that comes about in his films fulfilling the emotional needs of the readers and viewers.
“Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.”
While it is okay for the writer to write anything that comes to his mind, it is imperative for him to read more and more. Even the greatest of the writers used to keep themselves updated by reading the works of other people. Again, while the content that a writer comes up with should be devoid of any rules, it is important to follow the rules, especially in structuring the content. Writing after all is not merely about jotting down sentences. It is more about how compelling a sentence appears to the readers. It is about stirring their thought process. Hence reading these books to become a successful author is a must.