asterisks and touchstones


One more thing I like to do during Nanoprep and while writing in November is read or re-read books on the art and craft of writing. I have at least a hundred books on writing, maybe more, haven’t counted them. This year’s selection:

  • 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, Jane Smiley
  • No Plot, No Problem, Chris Baty
  • The Art and Craft of Novel-Writing, Oakley Hall
  • The Art of Fiction, John Gardner
  • The Writer’s Notebook, edited by Howard Junker
  • Techniques of the Selling Writer, Dwight Swain
  • Make A Scene, Jordan E. Rosenfeld
  • Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
  • The Art of Creative Writing, Lajos Egri

Through October and November I’ll dip into these books for inspiration, rejuvenation, to crack writer’s block to smithereens or melt the frozen tundra my mind becomes when I sit down to write, and also to just take joy in writing. These books serve as my touchstones. Like the glow of Earendil’s star, they are a light in dark places.