A few weeks ago I finished reading a book by Stephen King on the craft of writing. I’ve never been a fan of Stephen King, nor do I plan on writing a novel, but the book was very insightful and I enjoyed reading about the “craft of writing” a lot.
I’ve read one or two Stephen King books and found them to be pretty boring. I think his books read more like television than books. That may be their appeal. After reading On Writing, I have new respect for the man and his craft.
I’ve read a lot of books on writing. It’s an invaluable skill that is worth getting a professional’s perspective on.
Another very good book that I’ve read many times is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Zinsser focuses more on non-fiction, but his philosophy is very similar to King’s–you must master the fundamentals.
Creativity alone will not make you a writer, at least not according to these two professionals. You must be able to use the language. Sentences should be complete (most of the time), pronouns should be clear, and superfluous adjectives should be removed. I’ve worked with writers before (well, they weren’t writers in profession as I was working with them), and I would love to know what they thought of these books.