Reading for Writers

The Art and Craft of Feature Writing Appendix

Inspiration for Writing

As writers, we need inspiration. This inspiration can come from reading books that excite us and draw us in. From these types of works, we can accumulate knowledge of what makes great writing and begin to incorporate some of these things into our own writing.

What Should You Read to Become a Better Writer?

  • Read a basic English text slowly and thoroughly (read no more than a section/chapter at a time)
  • The Elements in Style by William Strunk and E.B. White (offers instruction for writing clearly, fluently, and concisely)

How to Choose a Book

Start with those who write in a simple, unobtrusive way and who use conventional structure because their writing will be more accessible during the early stages of learning. Forget trying to find a great work in the newspaper or a magazine, most writings are cliched and hopped-up prose. You need to find a book that entices you so that you can you can implement some of the same techniques you enjoy into your own writing.

Learning More About How to Write

Direct instruction is best taken in small doses. Student writers should learn mainly by osmosis (the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, ect.). Reading stories by authors that can deliver fluently will be of greater benefit.

More Useful Books to Read in the Future (Self-Help Books)

  • The Art of Fiction; Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner & Alfred A. Knopf
  • On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

Appendix 2

The second Appendix provides readers with the entire stories referenced earlier in the novel. These stories are useful to read if a writer is interested in writing more concisely, hooking a reader with a strong intro, and using different angles to cover a story.