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Best Writing References

5 Books | by Abby Thompson

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style

Books

This is the book that generations of writers have relied upon for timeless advice on grammar, diction, syntax, and other essentials. In concise terms, it identifies the principal requirements of proper style and common errors.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Books

We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
The Emotion Thesaurus

The Emotion Thesaurus

Books

"One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying emotion to the reader in a unique, compelling way. When showing our characters' feelings, we often grab onto the first idea that comes to mind, and our characters end up smiling, shrugging, nodding, and frowning far too much. Need some inspiration to get you beyond the basics? Inside The Emotion Thesaurus, you'll find: 75 emotion entires that list body language, thoughts, and visceral responses for each, a breakdown of the biggest emotion-related writing problems and how to overcome them, body language and action cues that address both acute and suppressed forms of emotion, suggestions for each emotion that cover a range of intensity, from mild to extreme, 75 description tips on emotion, dialogue, characters, and setting."--
On Writing

On Writing

Books

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. “Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird

Books

"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." --Los Angeles Times Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author: "Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"