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Inside the Writer’s Toolbox

Many people have thought about writing the next great Canadian novel. They may even wake up at 2:00 am with a fabulous idea, reach for a pen and write it down on a nearby piece of paper. The ability to turn these ideas into literature comes with the knowledge of the elements and principles of writing. These fundamental aspects of writing act as the tools in a writer’s toolbox. But where can someone learn the elements and principles of writing? The resources below are a great place to start!

The War of Art: In a direct and perhaps abrasive approach, The War of Art teaches the discipline of sitting down to write. Author Steven Pressfield introduces the importance of formulating the habit of writing and maneuvering around self-made roadblocks on the path to becoming a writer.

Imaginative Writing: Written by Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing familiarizes readers with the four genres of creative writing, with an emphasis on skill development, story structure, and character design. Sprinkled throughout the text are various writing exercises used to challenge readers and get them practicing the craft of writing.

Write Moves: Serving as both an anthology and writer’s guide, Nancy Pagh’s Write Moves gives readers the necessary foundation to learn the craft of writing. Through lessons on character, image, drafting, and much more, Write Moves doesn’t just show readers how to write but gets them thinking about why they write.

Reading Like a Writer: During her writing career, Francine Prose has published numerous fiction titles and leverages that experience in Reading Like A Writer. Aimed at both book lovers and aspiring writers, this book teaches critical reading skills and how to appreciate the mechanics of a story. It shows what engaging writing looks like and how great literature is crafted.

Eat, Shoots & Leaves: One of the quickest elements to pull readers out of the fictive dream and distract from a story is punctuation. In her book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss provides foundational knowledge of punctuation in a lighthearted and approachable manner.

Combined, these books provide the resources needed to turn an idea into a well-written piece if literature.