Writing

  • The Art of Nonfiction, A Guide for Writers and Readers by Ayn Rand, edited by Robert Mayhew.. "Writing is no more difficult as skill than any other, such as engineering. Like every human activity, it requires practice and knowledge. But there is nothing mystical about it. Any person who can speak English grammatically can learn to write nonfiction. ... What you need for nonfiction writing is what you need for life in general: an orderly method of thinking." -- Ayn Rand. This book is not only an excellent, condensed course on the technique of writing nonfiction, but also, more broadly, instruction on method for clear thinking.
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. Advice on achieving clear, concise writing and a model of same. Preferably find earlier editions; they are more essentialized.
  • Writing and Thinking by Foerster and Steadman. Rigorous information on the mechanics of clear writing.
  • Vocabulary from Classical Roots by Norma Fifer and Nancy Flowers. Volumes A, B, C and D. "Encourages you to look at words as members of families in the way astronomers see stars as parts of constellations. Here you will become acquainted with constellations of words descended from Greek and Latin, visible in families that cluster around such subjects as the human being, kinds of mental activity, and aspects of daily life." from the preface.
  • On Writing Well, The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser. 1976
  • Modern English Usage by Fowler, 1926. The best reference on grammar and diction, with definitions and examples that are models of clarity. Preferably buy the first version, not the second or third, revised (and corrupted) versions.(out-of-print, see sources.)
  • Woe is I, The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O'Conner.
  • Rex Barks, Diagramming Sentances Made Easy by Phyllis Davenport. Diagramming shows the role that each word plays in a sentence, showing which usages are correct and why to express a precise meaning. . (out-of-print, see sources.)
  • The Art of Fiction by Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann (Editor), Leonard Peikoff (Introduction). These transcriptions of lectures by writer Ayn Rand explain the key elements of the technique of fiction writing.

Links

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo