What I like in such books is not just practical advice, but someone who gives me encouragement.
For this, I recommend Walter Mosley’sThis Year You Write Your Novel. It’s a mere 103 pages, readable in a few hours, but it contains reassuring and common sense advice that any writer could benefit from, even though it’s aimed at debut authors.
Incidentally, Strunk & White’s Elements of Style is widely recommended, but bear in mind that it was first published 100 years ago and revised in 1959, making its advice formal and dated. It still holds good advice, especially about concision.
It is available as a free download in several places, but Project Gutenberg offers the widest choice of file types:
After reading several well-respected advice books on the writing process by Stephen King and Lawrence Block recently, I looked around for something more modern. Their wisdom is palpable, but things have moved on a lot since with the 1980s with technology.
I saw several favourable reviews of How to be Writer in the E-Age, by Catherine Ryan Hyde and Anne R Allen, so bought the Kindle version for a mere £2.82. They are both very experienced authors, who’ve encountered the sort of problems that beset us Colonists. The interplay between them is amusing, as they write alternate chapters, feeding off what the other has just said and bouncing ideas around.
They really know their stuff, offering up-to-date advice that I found valuable. I wish that I’d discovered this book a year ago, as the way that they cut through the bullshit to give practical tips on things like the social media is very helpful.