Writing and Writer's Resources
by James K. Sayre
"Wreaking havoc" vs. "wrecking havoc" : Wreaking/wrecking
Copyright - the legal basis for protecting creative works of writers, artists, musicans and others. See Copyright essay at: : Copyright
The modern Bible for writers: The Elements of Style.
As a freshman in English class in college many years ago, one of the books on the required reading list was The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This classic little gem has been in print in one edition or another for over eighty years now. It was first published in 1918 by William Strunk, Jr., (1869 - 1946), a professor of English at Cornell University. Many years later E. B. White said that when he was in college, that he remembered that it was called the "little book." E. B. White later became an author and helped produce a revised version of The Elements of Style in the late 1950s. It has had a recent revision, about five years ago.
The original 1918 version of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. is available on the web site: www.bartleby.com (Bartleby.com). It comes to about thirty-six pages total if one prints it out chapter by chapter (this would be fair use for your private enlightenment).
The more modern versions of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White are probably available in many public libraries. Used paperback copies may be purchased from online book dealers through www.abebooks.com (ABEbooks.com) on the Internet for as little as one dollar (plus shipping).
Motivation for writing
Junior high school and high school book reports and essays on history and economics may initially dull one's enthusiasism for writing. But never fear, better times lie ahead. In the big adult world, there is endless injustice, environmental degradation, natural history and human foibles to write about along with being paid to create the endless commercials that are constantly being pushed at us through many different medias. Probably the best motivation for becoming a tolerably good writer is to have something that you really want to say. Some burning passion about love, injustice, existence or the various species of Three-toed Sloths (Bradypus species).
With the recent dawn and growth of the now-ubiquitious Internet, for a minimal monthly charge, anyone even vaguely literate can create their very own web site and rant and rave to their heart's content.
If you can talk, you can write
I used to assert that if you could talk, you could write, and so I was not too surprised to find a book in the local library with pretty much that same title and theme. See Joel Saltzman's If you can Talk, you can Write book, published in 1993.
Writers' Resources on the internet:
General information: General writing information with many useful links: www.acwpress.com (ACW Press.com).
Technical writing: For technical writers, the Society for Technical Communication has their web site at www.stc.org/. (Society for Technical Communication).
Self-publishing: The dean of self-publishers, Dan Poynter, has been publishing his Manual for Self-Publishing for many years. See his Para Publishing web site: General writing information with many useful links: ( Para Publishing).This book should be available in many public libraries.
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Web page last updated on 12 July 2005.