The more I read, the more I intrinsically understand flow, good writing, what works and doesn’t work, and what to do where (online, newspaper, magazine, business communication, marketing piece, etc.). Yes, reading makes for better writing. I hope I get there some day 🙂 LOL
Then there’s grammar. Now, now, before you peel your lips in an even bigger grimace…Many modern writers use their characters’ tones and personalities to create a particular effect in the reader’s mind. Stephen King is great at using dialogue and characters’ intonation and slang usage to indicate particular social class or regional origin.
For the rest of us, pro-wannabes, it’s of utmost importance to keep the fire burning under our intellectual hunger and a forward-moving momentum behind a very solid foundation. Which means the first baby step is knowing your basics: spelling and grammar.
One of my writing professors also teaches an editing course and she shared her class’s book title: The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. She recommends this book because it focuses on areas which are oftentimes confused by writers (its and it’s, which and that, there and their, where, and were, etc.) and also, because it features self-quizzes with an answer key in the back.
I discovered the book’s website earlier this morning, and upon posting it to my Twitter account, another Twitter user replied to let me know about another book she counts as a standby: The Elements of Style, by Struck and White.
There are a number of strong, solid resources. There’s also the warrying tribes of APA, MLA, and AP style guides to contend with. I think that these are great standbys for any writer’s tool kit/bookshelf. What’s your favorite resource in your writer’s tool kit?