My Essential, Infallible Micro-Library of Writing Guru Go-Tos

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From left to write. Yes, I meant to say that. Strunk and White. I’ve been hanging with these wise guys since college. The Elements of Style has lived on the desk of every classroom in which I hung out my shingle, and helped me fix 4,912 comma mistakes. If I slipped the poor little thing out, you’d witness the ugliness–the turned down, dog-eared pages, the defilement by highlighter, pen and pencil.

So I’ll move on to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird gifted me by my brilliant writer cousin, Greg. He and Lamott changed my perspective by granting me permission to let my hair down, to find my own voice. And that Lamott’s funnier than a rooster in socks is something to write home about.

Then there’s Annie Dillard, master of her domain–ecclesiastical prose–not what you were thinking. Reading her stuff makes me want to slit my writing throat in hopeless despair.

Next up, Stephen King. Well, he’s . . . the. King. Not only of horror, but of the brilliant metaphor. I curtsey to him for those gems alone. He bares his soul unflinchingly in On Writing. And you love him all the more for it.

Rubbing right elbows with his highness is prolific young K.M. Weiland, new find and Twitter friend who is kind and generous and a Christian to boot. Her authoritative voice in Structuring Your Novel forced me to look at my third book baby in scenes and sequels and resolutions, oh my!

And at last, Writetight, William Brohaugh’s masterpiece on precision. I’d yank the curtain closed and zap the vote button for anyone who can identify 16 types of flabby writing alone. Actually the library police are probably hunting me down for the desecration of Brohaugh’s pages as well.

Don’t tell them where I live.

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