There are numerous aspiring writers, but only a few are notable. These are the ones who have learnt to make the best use of the written word to engage and communicate with their readers. Many didn’t get to the limelight for years, and it took a lot of dedication and learning to get where they are today.
You, too, can become a great writer if you work on your writing skills. Your starting point should be reading as many books as possible. We recommend reading books on writing skills.
Here is a review of 5 of the best books to improve writing skills.
- 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Gary Provost)
- Revising Prose (Richard Lanham)
- On Writing (Stephen King)
- The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (Steven Pinker)
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Stephen King)
The title of this book may sound cliché, but the content therein is anything but. Gary Provost shares some interesting insights on how anyone can become a writer in 100 different ways.
This book emphasizes on the need to choose your words well. It teaches that any sentence, no matter how short, can communicate volumes. In a way, Gary Provost tries to make his readers understand that their writing should be musical, so to speak – readers should go with the flow instead of trying hard to make sense of your writing.
The book also touches on other factors such as idealism, grammar, vocabulary, and all other basics of writing. It has helped many amateurs hone their writing skills, and is ranked among the top books on writing.
One of the common mistakes that most writers make is trying to use complex jargon to impress their readers – and themselves. The results are just the opposite: readers are not impressed by complicated words. Revising Prose by Richard Lanham goes a mile further to show why your writing should be simple. Simple writing makes for easy reading, which is why this is this is one of the best books to improve writing.
Richard Lanham uses examples from accomplished writers such as Warren Buffet – you may find it difficult to believe, but Buffet is as good a writer as he is an investor. It teaches writers how to communicate their thoughts in the simplest way so that readers get the full picture.
Stephen King is regarded as one of the best writers. His novels have a global audience, and although some are thousands of pages, long readers do not mind going all the way. This is why his writing guide, On Writing, is considered a classic among other books to improve writing.
Stephen King seeks to mold other writers to be like him. He touches on diverse concepts. For instance, he tries to get writers into the writing mindsets that will get their thoughts and words flowing. He also tries to teach writers how to recognize and avoid mediocrity. Finally, he describes the essence of a writer in the simplest of words.
Be forewarned: this book is not for the average writer. Steven Pinker is a linguistics professor at Harvard University, and he doesn’t mind bringing out the arsenal to get through to his readers. To this end, some writers consider this book to be overly-descriptive – ironically, Professor Pinker makes a point to warn his readers against this.
The essence of this book is to enable writers to come up with simple, flowing prose. And, despite the fact that Pinker is a linguistics professor, he encourages writers to bend the rules every once in a while as long as it suits their readers.
If you are a writer seeking to get to the next level, then you will find this to be one of the best books about writing.
Here is another one of the best books on writing by Stephen King. This one is specially written for writers specializing in fiction.
Stephen King adopts a conversational tone with this book. Reading it, you will have the feeling that you are directly conversing with the renowned writer. It gives a variety of insights on coming up with interesting ideas that will captivate your writers. For fiction writers, this is one of the best books to improve writing skills.
There are numerous books that teach students how to write. This makes it hard for students to choose the best book. This list helps you to narrow your choice.