When I’m in the middle of writing a SF novel, as I am now, I find it helpful to read books on writing. I rarely read genre fiction or books similar to what I’m writing. This is due to subconscious leakage from what I read into what I write. I suppose that happens while reading books about writing too, but that’s more of a good thing.
Every writer should make a concerted effort to improve their craft. This may include going to writer’s conferences, attending workshops or reading books on their craft. I prefer to read books on writing, but I usually get to a conference or workshop during the year too.
Sometimes I read books aimed specifically at writers and sometimes I read books that are aimed more at business readers. Since writing is a business as well as an art form, I find them equally helpful. Here is a list of some of the books I’ve been reading in the past six months. All of these authors should be on your Twitter follower list.
Poke the Box – Seth Goden This book is about pushing the boundaries and finding out what works and what doesn’t. It’s about starting new things and seeing them through. Inspirational and short enough to read in a few hours.
Enchantment – Guy Kawasaki This book is written by a former Apple branding guru and is all about making products that people fall in love with. I’m only a few chapters into it, but so far it’s proving very enlightening.
Booklife – Jeff VanderMeer Jeff’s book is important for all authors and its written by a working SF author who uses all the tools of the digital age to succeed as a modern writer. Some of the Social Networking information is a bit dated, but that does not detract from this book’s usefulness.
Nascence – Tobias Buckell Need an example of someone who is Poking the Box? Read Nascence. Tobias Buckell packages some of his short stories that failed to sell but that taught him valuable lessons on writing. He describes what he was trying to achieve with each story and what he learned about his writing skills from failing to sell them.