Say What? – Why These Are My Favorite Books About Writing

There are many books out there that give you information about writing or publishing. But these are some of my favorites: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott; On Writing: A Memoir of Craft by Stephen King; The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner; Second Sight by Cheryl Klein.

I like these particular books for the same reason I like most of the books that I like:  the VOICE.


The authors give their tidbits of information, or share their stories, or proffer their advice, and I can hear who they are when they do it. I aspire to maintain my voice when I blog, and sometimes I achieve that and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m too brash; other times I’m much nicer than I actually am. Ultimately it all feels like a persona anyway, not really an authentic representation of who I am.

Of course its different when you’re writing fiction, because then the voice of your characters is what you’re going for. That’s equally important, but different still.

How do you think your voice measures up in your writing? When you write fiction does it feel authentically you? Do the voices of your fictional characters sound the way you thought they would? What do you think about books on writing? 


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6 responses to “Say What? – Why These Are My Favorite Books About Writing

  1. My voice comes through best when I’m picturing whoever is going to be reading what I’m writing. In most cases, it’s a nerdy kid sitting in a corner away from everybody else. As long as I can see that kid in my mind’s eye, I can channel the voice.

  2. My voice is clear when I write about boogers and mud and passing gas at the table, but it sometimes hides when I write pretty things. My voice also steals the keys to the car and stays out past curfew when I try to impose too many writing rules.

  3. I’ve got all four of these in my writing library also.

  4. Oooooo, I think I’ll be adding a couple of these to my Amazon wish lst 😉


  5. Many literary agents, editors and publishers looking for the Voice. It’s just an elusive term that maybe it’s just like faith. Books about writing are nice and all, but many Megad Best Sellers didn’t follow their advice, so it might be better to follow the advice of Mega Best Sellers’ authors. I didn’t read any of the books above, but neither (I auume) was the author of 50shades. I submit that the focus on quality of writing that many books and agents advice and look for is less importnat than understading the psychology of readers and writing to connect with them. Just my views, of couse.

  6. The Forest for the Trees is great!