The Art of War for Writers - James Scott Bell Writers never stop learning their craft. There's always a way to be better, to make a story tighter, a fresh way to grab a reader by the nuts and jerk them around until the very last punctuation mark. No matter how long I've been writing, no matter how many days I have that make me think I'm "good," there's always something else out there that can help me improve. Even if it's only a short sentence buried in 200 pages, that single sentence is gold, another weapon to add to my arsenal. Maybe it's something basic, a fact I already know, but it's presented with a new spin, comes at me from a fresh angle and smacks me in the face.

That's how you learn. That's how you grow. And The Art of War for Writers is an excellent tool, a swift kick in the ass that made me sit up, take notice, and take notes. (Seriously, get out a notebook, because you'll be jotting down notes until your fingers cramp.) I've read a lot of books on writing over the years (check out my writing shelf if you want proof), but with each one I find at least one suggestion that gives my writing extra punch. James Scott Bell has written a guide that gives more than one piece of excellent advice, and this little book is worth far more than its purchase price.

The Art of War for Writers covers everything from tips on writing, how to handle the submission process, and, most importantly, how to get your ass in the chair and actually write, which is the foundation that too many "writers" forget about. Writing first, because nothing else happens without those words on the page.

Every writer needs this on their shelf. Don't just read it; buy it. I don't say that often, books are expensive after all and most people find the need to eat more pressing, but if you're a writer who recognizes the need to keep learning, buy this book. It's a must-have for the writing shelf.