This Christmas I received a happy little gift card to one of my local bookstores. With that gift card came a huge decision – to splurge on a new juicy piece of fiction or … to acquire a popular reference book recommended by other writers.
Let’s consider both options from our writerly point of view, shall we?
A new fiction novel would not only be entertaining, it would be educational by showing what tricks current authors are using. These techniques can be taken note of to use in our own writing.
On the other hand a reference book is guaranteed to have information that is good to have on hand. There are the style guides; MLA, Chicago, APA, and more. And then the “How to” books on everything under the sun; novel-writing, query letters, hooking a reader, accessing your inner writing genius, etc.
In the end I went with not one but two writing reference books. Here they are:
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White – I’m actually ashamed that this book hasn’t made its way into my library before now. It is a staple that has been recommended to me over and over. I don’t envision curling up to this one, but I can see myself checking it often for language usage questions.
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card – This one I’m excited to read. I love his writing and can’t wait to learn more about his method. Ender’s Game was one of the first science fiction books I read as a child and it captured my imagination in a way no other book had at the time.
Reviews to come!
As always, Happy Writing