There’s an old adage in surgery that goes “you see one, you do, you teach one.” Hey, why do you think they call it the “Practice of medicine?” Why am I telling you this medical saying when I usually blog about writing? I’m glad you asked.
No one can actually teach you how to write. You either have the innate, God-give talent, the desire to create pictures with words on the page, the all consuming need to tell your stories, intrinsically. It must be a part of your makeup, your creative DNA, so to speak. No, the talent of writing can’t be taught.
But you can learn the mechanics.
I’m a much better writer today than I was even yesterday ( and the years before) because of books and manuals I’ve studied which have helped and foster my ability to write.
I’ll admit I’m not the best speller in the world, sometimes my tenses get mixed up and I often tell you more than I show you in my stories.
All those things can be taught, improved upon, and ultimately make you a better conveyor of the stories you need to tell.
I’ve listed some of my all time favorite manuals/books here; the ones that I’ve devoured and have helped me become a better writer, and which have helped me find the road to publication a little easier. If publication is your goal, you will not get past the very first reader/agent/editor, if your craft is shoddy and unpolished. Your work must be clean, mistake-free, and tell the reader/agent/editor that you are a writing force to be reckoned with.
Even the best and most prolific writers in the world need a refresher course every now and again.
Here’s my list. See if some of yours are on it. And let me now your favorites if you don’t them listed here.
G.G.C. Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon
The Emotion Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
Writing the Synopsis by Pam McCutcheon