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Discover Seven Brilliant Books on Writing

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Lauran, gareth, Derek and 16 others found this witty
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Writing is a solitary pursuit, which is why it's comforting to know that other writers can accompany you in it through these brilliant volumes. 

    Why I Write

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives—and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.

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    On Writing Well

    Stressing the importance of strong, clear prose that expresses the writer's personality, this text encourages students to develop their individual voices as writers. Part 1 covers such general principles as clarity, simplicity, and unit, while part 2 applies these principles to different forms of non-fiction writing such as: writing about people and places, writing about one's life, writing on the job, sports writing, travel writing, technical writing, writing humour and writing criticism. This fifth edition has been reorganized to give it a sharper focus.

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    On Writing

    Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999--and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it--fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

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    The Elements of Style

    You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

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    Into The Woods

    We all love stories. But why do we tell them? And why do all stories function in an eerily similar way? John Yorke, creator of the BBC Writers' Academy, has brought a vast array of drama to British screens. Here he takes us on a journey to the heart of storytelling, revealing that there truly is a unifying shape to narrative forms - one that echoes the fairytale journey into the woods and, like any great art, comes from deep within. From ancient myths to big-budget blockbusters, he gets to the root of the stories that are all around us, every day.

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    The Seven Basic Plots

    Breathtaking in its scope and originality, "Seven Basic Plots" examines the basis of story telling in literature, film, and libretto. No one will ever see stories in the same way again. This remarkable and monumental book at last provides a comprehensive answer to the age-old riddle of whether there are only a small number of 'basic stories' in the world. Using a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling. But this is only the prelude to an investigation into how and why we are 'programmed' to imagine stories in these ways, and how they relate to the inmost patterns of human psychology. Drawing on a vast array of examples, from Proust to detective stories, from the Marquis de Sade to E.T., Christopher Booker then leads us through the extraordinary changes in the nature of storytelling over the past 200 years, and why so many stories have 'lost the plot' by losing touch with their underlying archetypal purpose. Booker analyses why evolution has given us the need to tell stories and illustrates how storytelling has provided a uniquely revealing mirror to mankind's psychological development over the past 5000 years. This seminal book opens up in an entirely new way our understanding of the real purpose storytelling plays in our lives, and will be a talking point for years to come.

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    The Opposite of Fate

    An unbearably moving, intensely passionate, deeply personal account of life as seen through the eyes of one of America's best-loved novelists.`When I began writing this history, I let go of my doubts. I trusted the ghosts of my imagination. They showed me the hundred secret senses. And what I wrote is what I discovered about the endurance of love.'So writes Amy Tan at the beginning of this remarkably candid insight into her life. Tan takes us on a journey from her childhood, as a sensitive but intelligent young Chinese-American, ashamed of her parents' Chinese ways, to the present day and her position as one of the world's best-loved novelists.She describes the daily difficulties of being at once American and Chinese and yet feeling at times like she was truly neither. Most significantly, and heartbreakingly, she tells the history of her family: the grandmother who committed suicide as the only means of defiance open to her against a husband who ignored her wishes; her remarkable mother, whose first husband had her jailed when she tried to leave him; and the shocking deaths of both her father and husband when Amy was just 14.How this weight of history has brought itself to bear on the adult Amy looms large in her own story. Ghosts, chance and fate have played a part in her life, and `The Opposite of Fate' is an insight into those ancestors, the women who `never let me forget why these stories need to be told'.

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    British-Lebanese author and media entrepreneur. My writing has appeared in The Guardian, GQ and Brownbook amongst other places. Author of Our Man in Beirut (2012) and currently working on a ... Show More

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    Lauran, gareth, Derek and 16 others found this witty
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    2 Comments

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    Amy E. Robertson
    All excellent suggestions! Also all by white men I noticed... let's add a few more to the list! The Way of the Writer by Charles Johnson, The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott would be my suggestions.
    Nasri Atallah
    You are right. They are all white men. Which is something I normally try to avoid, having become hyper-aware of my own non-whiteness in recent years. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll add them. 

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