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Writing On Writing

Writing on Writing

This week sees the commencement of the LitSoc writing groups. In honour of this momentous occasion the blog is going to take a look at the 3 best books by writers on writing. (Based solely on the very subjective opinions of our own librarian).

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami’s book is as much about being able to run really far as it is about being able to write really good. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is Murakami’s memoir following his experience of long distance running. Unlike most books about writing there’s no advice in here, no step by steps. Instead what Murakami provides is a meditative tract on the long process of writing and the rewards of small and consistent efforts. The best thing about Murakami is his absolute refusal to romanticise writing, there’s no whiskey and wringing of guts, instead it’s just lots of hard work and sometimes running really, really far.

A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett’s collection of essays ranges freely over topics, from the comic to the tragic (and banana daiquiris). Pratchett explains with his usual wit and brevity how being a good reader is the one key element to becoming a great writer, a bit like magic. Terry Pratchett’s world expands well beyond fantasy with his essays expanding out into the political and historical, any fan of the discworld will see the way that Pratchett’s process seeps into every element of his writing.

On Writing by Stephen King

Stephen King’s text has become the go to text on writing. Part guidebook, part memoir. King’s book can easily appeal even to those who don’t see the appeal of scary clowns in sewers. In On Writing King follows his journey from Carrie to the enormous horrifying empire he stands over today.