On Facebook, Twitter and Email, I get asked a lot of questions. So I use my website to funnel these questions which sometimes get asked more than once. Most of these are under the Writing Tip category here.
Q: What books can I read, or techniques can I use, to become more fluent in my expression? Sometimes I feel staccato. (Have Hodges Harbrace handbook at hand, any good?) Thank you in advance. MY ANSWER
To find your “voice” the best way is to do what Stephen King said to do read what you like and practice all the time. When someone said that to me I thought isn’t there an easier way? But there isn’t. Your voice is deep down in your soul and you have to wipe away years or even decades of other voices to find it. But with lots of practice – meaning writing every day and learning about your craft every day, it’ll come and when it does, it’s the most beautiful thing next to having a baby you will ever experience. Now Harbrace will teach you the technique just like a teacher will teach you the alphabet and how to write your name with the letters your parents gave you, but only you can write your signature the way you do. No teacher or book in the word can give you that. Only you. I can’t give you a time. I can’t say it’ll happen soon or in a couple of months after doing all this. All I can say if you work hard and never stop working and learning, it will happen and you WILL know it happened.
On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by King, Stephen (Sep 1, 2001)
|Kindle EditionWhispersync for Voice-ready||$8.62|
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Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Phillips, Larry W. (Jul 25, 2002)
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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Lamott, Anne (Dec 18, 2007)
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Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Clark, Roy Peter (Jan 10, 2008)
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On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by Zinsser, William (Sep 11, 2012)
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Do you have more advice for her?