Writers Boon Blog


  • 7 Books To Get You Through Writer’s Block
    Part 2

    Carol Vorvain


    Writers Block

    Carol Vorvain (@writersboon) is an Australian international lawyer, mediator, author and founder of Writers Boon. Her books, When Dreams are CallingWhy not? - The island where happiness starts with a question and  A Fool in Istanbul - The adventures of a self-denying workaholic have been featured in a number of travel magazines including the International Traveller magazine and can be found in libraries, bookstores and on Amazon.

    In Part 1 of this article, we talked about writer's block and recommended four amazing books to help you overcome it. 

    Today, we continue with three more wonderful books that had raving reviews. 

    5. Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee

    Draft No. 4The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher.

    Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer’s craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape nonfiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In another, he discusses how to use flashback to place a bear encounter in a travel narrative, while observing that “readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones.” The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising―and revising, and revising.

    Draft No. 4 is enriched by multiple diagrams and by personal anecdotes and charming reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and recalls his early years at Time magazine. Throughout, Draft No. 4 is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.


    6. The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by  Brian Kiteley 

    The 3 A.M. EpiphanyDiscover Just How Good Your Writing Can Be. 

    If you write, you know what it's like. Insight and creativity - the desire to push the boundaries of your writing - strike when you least expect it. And you're often in no position to act: in the shower, driving the kids to the middle of the night.

    The 3 A.M. Epiphany offers more than 200 intriguing writing exercises designed to help you think, write, and revise like never before - without having to wait for creative inspiration. Brian Kiteley, noted author and director of the University of Denver's creative writing program, has crafted and refined these exercises through 15 years of teaching experience.

    You'll learn how to:

    Transform staid and stale writing patterns into exciting experiments in fiction

    Shed the anxieties that keep you from reaching your full potential as a writer

    Craft unique ideas by combining personal experience with unrestricted imagination

    Examine and overcome all of your fiction writing concerns, from getting started to writer's block

    Open the book, select an exercise, and give it a try. It's just what you need to craft refreshing new fiction, discover bold new insights, and explore what it means to be a writer.

    It's never too early to start--not even 3 A.M.


    7. Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story  by Ursula Le Guin

    Steering the CraftA revised and updated guide to the essentials of a writer’s craft, presented by a brilliant practitioner of the art.

    Completely revised and rewritten to address the challenges and opportunities of the modern era, this handbook is a short, deceptively simple guide to the craft of writing. Le Guin lays out ten chapters that address the most fundamental components of narrative, from the sound of language to sentence construction to point of view. Each chapter combines illustrative examples from the global canon with Le Guin’s own witty commentary and an exercise that the writer can do solo or in a group. She also offers a comprehensive guide to working in writing groups, both actual and online.

    Masterly and concise, Steering the Craft deserves a place on every writer's shelf.


    For more inspiring books, visit Writers Boon books sections. We have one for every topic of interest: grammar, publishing, marketing, book selling.