I’ve heard writers say that they never read writing books because all writing books are the same, and maybe they are right. However, I keep picking up books on writing because every time I read one I seem to find interesting tidbits that really help me with whatever issue I’m having with my work.
I write for my job (mostly marketing copy and technical writing) and I also write for fun (this blog and fiction) and I find that when I work on my writing in one area I see improvement in others as well. When I began reading Wired for Story I was feeling frustrated that my fiction writing wasn’t really going anywhere. I don’t have much free time in my schedule, so I don’t like to just meander. This book really helped me to get a handle on some technical problems I was having with the big picture of my fiction efforts, which helped cut down on that feeling of futility.
But I also found specific tips that helped in my professional writing–mostly things I know but hadn’t refreshed my memory on lately. This is why I think it’s worthwhile to keep reading this sort of book, and why I try to read a writing book once a quarter or so. If nothing else, I get good reminders.
Wired for Story is premised on the idea that brain science can help you craft a better story. That’s probably true, but this isn’t really a book about brain science. There are some brain science tidbits thrown in here and there, but mostly it’s a book about writing. It’s probably similar to other books about writing (although I feel like this one is more concrete and specific than most, which is helpful for where I am–if you’re looking for more of a vision-y book, look elsewhere) but I found it to be just what I needed right now.
If you’re a writer, what books on writing have you read lately?
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