A Few Select Books About Writing

I would like to recommend a few how-to-write titles. Every author collects a small shelf of these books as they learn their craft. You may have a few (or a lot) already. If you do, then you probably have your own favourites. Perhaps I can add a title or two to your list. If you are just beginning, the books here will ensure you get off to a good start.

Bookshelves with assorted books.

From the earliest days of writing, aspiring authors have garnered shelves of books about writing in all its aspects. A few select titles become inspiring favourites. (Image: Wikimedia)

I am new to being an indie, but I have been writing for over twenty years – mostly as a keep-me-sane hobby in a chaotic world. Yet, I still like to revisit the odd how-to-write manual now and then. Doing this helps eject any bad habits that may have crept in (and they do keep creeping in!). Some of the recommended books go back a ways, but sound writing principles have not changed over the years. The classic books about writing are the ones found useful by large numbers of writers. Many of today’s most successful writers (of any kind) got started with these very books.

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Indie Writers Need Critical Feedback

The thing indie writers lack more than anything else is honest feedback. In the traditional publishing industry, all but the biggest-selling authors are subject to the opinions of their publisher’s various editors. Stories deemed too long or excessively rambling earn requests for cuts and rewrites before publication. Poorly drawn characters must be made more vivid. Perceived defects in the plot must be remedied. The use of words not suitable for the novel’s type or period also comes under fire. Copy editors rework spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Some companies even change works to fit their notion of what a book of any particular genre should be like; and so on.

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis (of Narnia fame) depended on editors to clean up his shaky spelling and clumsy punctuation. (Image: public domain)

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My Favourite Indie Publishing Books

I decided to look into self-publishing on January 7, 2012 (thereby fulfilling a New Year’s resolution) and began in the obvious way by reading a whole slew of how-to books. These are often short – little more than articles really – and do not require a lot of time. Since their authors use them to promote other works, many of them are free for the downloading on Smashwords. Most of the rest are inexpensive. What you learn from them is essential if you are to have any chance of success. Do not skimp on this step. My advice is to soak yourself in self-publishing ebooks until the juices have made you a dyed in the flesh indie. I spent about a month with them.

An Indie Writer's Odyssey

Francis Porretto’s book yields an enjoyable and enlightening look at the indie writing experience.

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A Philosophical Writer’s Blog Begins

Well, after much hemming and hawing and comparing of blog hosts I’ve finally taken the plunge and started a blog on WordPress. I’m a mature writer with a wide philosophical streak that leans towards psychological explanations for our spiritual and mental lives. Naturally, I will announce the publication of my work here and document some of my experiences as I self-publish, but mostly I intend to post about writing from a philosophical perspective, what it means to be an intellectual, the nature of the authentic self, and my thoughts on the way Western societies are trending. I will feature a few reviews of indie works that seem especially good. For good measure, I will write about interesting mainstream books I’m reading and the ideas in them that have caught my attention.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn is the best season in life for philosophizing. This blog presents a mature writer’s attempt to integrate creativity, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. (Photo: Public Domain Pictures)

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