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The Five Best Books on the Craft of Writing for 2012



Since there is a big difference between writing a story and crafting a story, I purchased several books on the subject in 2012, but these were the five I kept near me when I wrote. I refer to them often and wanted to share them with you.

The Art of Styling Sentences, 4th Edition, by Ann Longknife, Ph.D., and K. D. Sullivan.
This is a sophisticated workbook for writers who want to master the twenty basic sentence patterns (and the punctuation that accomplishes each). I can write a sentence well, but I wanted to improve my knowledge on craft. 

A Dash of Style: the Art and Mastery of Punctuation by Noah Lukeman.
This book dedicates individual chapters on the many varied ways to use: the period, the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the dash, the parentheses, quotation marks, the question mark, the exclamation mark, the use of italics, ellipsis, and the hyphen.  Not only is it a great reference, but it offers some new creative approaches.

Toxic Feedback:  Helping Writers Survive and Thrive by Joni B. Cole.
This is a great book on how to critique work so that it encourages writers to improve their craft; it emphasizes critiquing versus criticizing another person’s work. In the process, the one offering the critique also perfects his/her own work.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.
This inspirational book discusses the difference between successful, published writers and those who wish to be writers - procrastination, fear, lack of commitment, etc., and what to do about it.

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.
My favorite of all five, this book actually offers a “checklist” that refines the work of any writer. 

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