Everyone has a favorite book or two about writing that has served him well, that he recommends to other writers and aspiring writers.
My own list would include the first book I read about writing, The Trouble with Tribbles by David Gerrold. He tells how he became a writer and details the process of writing the script for his famous Star Trek episode. I read this for the first time when I was in the fifth grade; that’s when I discovered people could tell stories for a living and got some idea of how that might work. I was hooked. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be in print now; you’ll have to search for used copies or check with your library.
As a high school graduation gift from a teacher friend, I received a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. I finally got around to reading it during the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college. My writing, which had already been pretty darn good, improved dramatically overnight. This little book comes in for a lot of unwarranted bashing these days, but I think it’s lessons are invaluable for anyone who wants to write clearly.
Other books I would recommend:
* David Gerrold’s Worlds of Wonder; it’s specifically about writing science fiction, but the lessons can be applied to writing any genre of fiction (again, no longer in print);
* Damon Knight’s Creating Short Fiction;
* Jerry Cleaver’s Immediate Fiction; and
* Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King.
Your turn: what book or books about the art and craft of fiction writing have benefited you?