Today I wanted to share a few things that have made my life easier when it comes to writing. It’s a quick list of 4 books that I find very helpful and find myself going back to over the years.
The first is Write Right! A Desktop Digest of Punctuation, Grammar and Style by Jan Venolia. The cover I used is the edition I own (which I’ve posted here simply because of the memories), but the link leads to an updated version, which is likely even better. At only 153 pages (my older version, that is) it’s quick and easy to find what you need. If you ever take a break from writing it can easy to forget the the little things, but Write Right has got you covered!
Next up is The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr & E.B. White. This one is pretty much a given, one you’ve likely at least heard of, but I wanted to include it because it lives up to its reputation. It may not be a book you refer to on a daily basis, but it’s a must in my opinion. And at just a little over 100 pages (for my Fourth Edition; not sure if there’s been an update since my purchase) it’s a very quick read, or re-read, that will help a lot.
Because of the Internet, and even Computers in general, books like this are less of a necessity, but Roget’s Desk Thesaurus is still really nice to have when you need a better, more descriptive word. And if you find yourself somewhere without Internet access (a nice relaxing vacation or getaway perhaps) and want to do some writing, the print version may be worth lugging along. Sometimes it’s nice to have the physical copy at home to flip through as well. Again, I used the cover of the edition I own, but there may be updated versions out since then.
Lastly is Roget’s Thesaurus of Phrases by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PH. D. This one gets a lot less use from me when writing fantasy because many of these phrases are more tied to our real world, but for other genres this book would likely be even more valuable. Although, even for fantasy, there are some pretty good entries, and, although it’s in typical thesaurus format, the author put it together cleverly, making it enjoyable to use. Again, I’ve posted the book I used, but an Amazon search revealed a bunch more that look interesting too!)
These are just a few of my favorites. What are yours? Feel free to share them with me!