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The 25 Greatest Essay Collections of All Time

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A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood. To these fascinating issues Booker Prize-winner Margaret Atwood brings a candid appraisal of her own experience as well as a breadth of reading that encompasses everything from Dante to Elmore Leonard. On Writing by Eudora Welty. For as long as students have been studying her fiction as literature, writers have been looking to her to answer the profound questions of what makes a story good, a novel successful, a writer an artist. A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

Here she introduces a method of discipline that applies specific Zen practices to enhance and clarify creative work. Map Your Way to Success by K. The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. These revealing, revelatory self-portraits have come to be recognized as themselves classic works of literature, and an essential and definitive record of the writing life. The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Well now you can fulfill that dream without having to devote tons of money or time.

A Memoir by Isabel Allende. Finding an hour free of work, children, or obligations can seem impossible. The book consists of ten chapters, each of which explores an aspect of storytelling that Pixar excels at. With Write Great Fiction: Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot.

A Personal Account by V. Naipaul sifts through memories of his childhood in Trinidad, his university days in England, and his earliest attempts at writing, seeking the experiences of life and reading that shaped his imagination and his growth as a writer.

Reading Like a Writer: By reading the work of their predecessors and contemporaries, says Francine Prose. In Reading Like a Writer , Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome.

In Scratch , Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field. Instead of rules, theories, or recipes, Singing School emphasizes ways to learn from great work: The Situation and the Story: Slay the Dragon will help you understand the challenges and offer creative solutions to writing for a medium where the audience not only demands a great story, but to be a driving force within it.

Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez. Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view.

With Story Trumps Structure , you can shed those rules — about three-act structure, rising action, outlining, and more — to craft your most powerful, emotional, and gripping stories. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives.

Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival.

Take Off Your Pants! Is one method really better than the other? In this instructional book, author Libbie Hawker explains the benefits and technique of planning a story before you begin to write.

They had mastered how to craft and present their stories in a way that allowed them to share their message with the world without seeming like they were lecturing their audience. Anyone can write a novel now, and in this essential book of tips, practical advice, and wisdom, Walter Mosley promises that the writer-in-waiting can finish it in one year.

Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy. To Show and To Tell: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: That place is called Fantasyland. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is your travel guide, a handbook to everything you might find: Both a hilarious send-up of the cliches of the genre and an indispensable guide for writers. Unless It Moves the Human Heart: Upstream by Mary Oliver. What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art?

The Way of the Writer: What separates literature from industrial fiction? What lies at the heart of the creative impulse? How does one navigate the literary world? And how are philosophy and fiction concomitant? The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer.

What Moves at the Margin by Toni Morrison. The works included in this volume range from , when Morrison was a new editor at Random House and a beginning novelist, to when she was a professor at Princeton University and Nobel Laureate. Where the Past Begins: Through spontaneous storytelling, she shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her novels.

Woolgathering by Patti Smith. New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Probst reveals her pathway to success, from struggling as a new writer to signing a seven-figure deal. Write Naked intermingles personal essays on craft with down-to-earth advice on writing romance in the digital age. Write Your Novel in a Month: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler.

These listings feature contact and submission information to help writers get their work published. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. And what happens to us when we embark on that journey?

Melanie Brooks sought guidance from the memoirists who most moved her to answer these questions. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Amid moving accounts of her own writing and life experiences, Dillard also manages to impart wisdom to other writers, wisdom having to do with passion and commitment and taking the work seriously. Here are their pleasures as well as their peeves; revelations of their deepest fears; dramas of triumphs and failures; insights into the demands and rewards.

She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire. Writing slowly, on the other hand, allows you to thoroughly define your characters and their voices, to develop the setting, and fill in holes in the plot.

Most professional writers, Koch explains, write three drafts. The first draft is usually fast, though not always. For these writers, a fast second draft can unify the story and bring vitality to the prose.

Fast draft, slow draft; slow draft, fast draft: Write a story in one sitting. Write as quickly as you can, and if you get bogged down, just skip that part and move on.

Just make sure you get to the end. And if you post be sure to comment on a few practices by other writers. Building an Author Website. Photo by ShutterHacks creative commons. Adapted by The Write Practice. Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. You can follow him on Twitter joebunting. Rep Your Practice If you practice, let the people who read your blog know.

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Whether you’re an aspiring artist working on your first drafts or a seasoned veteran in the publishing world, these are some of the best books on writing with insight and wisdom that can support you at all stages of your writing process. The 25 Greatest Essay Collections of All Time Books | By Emily Temple | March 19, Today marks the release of Aleksandar Hemon’s excellent book of personal essays, The Book of My Lives, which we loved, and which we’re .

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The essay format allows the author to develop ideas but add a personal touch, says the popular philosopher Alain de Botton. Here, he chooses his favourite essay collections. Published in Esquire in , this is the best-known essay by the late, great screenwriter and essayist. While she renders the experience of being flat-chested in the '50s with incredible humor and pathos, it is the essay's ending — the shock of it .