Audio Books that Will Improve Your Writing

October 6, 2011

Writing is something that absolutely anyone can do.  Although it requires a good foundation in language, including vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and reading comprehension, it’s a skill and an art-form that every person can pick up.  You might not think that you have the potential to be a good writer, but each of us has an individual voice and something to say; it’s just a matter of finding ways to interest others in your story.  So if you’re looking to improve your own writing, here are just a few audio books that can help you reach your imagination destination.

  1. Old Friend from Far Away: How to Write a Memoir by Natalie Goldberg.  Most writers have heard the expression “write what you know”, which is why many kick off their careers with pieces that are at least partially autobiographical.  Goldberg bases this audio book on her well-known workshops on creating a memoir and discusses how to attain authenticity and grab an audience as you spin your tale, as well as offering exercises to sharpen your memory and make your writing more colorful.  For those just starting out, this is a great audio book to pick up and listen to.
  2. How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Ina Yalof and Janet Evanovich.  The authors featured in this audio book bring different things to the table, and it’s all for the good of the listener.  Yalof covers the basics of assembling a story, but that’s just the meat and potatoes.  The dessert comes from Evanovich, who discusses not only dialogue and point of view, but also offers commentary from her own experience writing the popular Stephanie Plum bounty-hunter series.  You might not write like Evanovich at the end, but you’ll definitely get some good advice on finding your own voice.
  3. The Writer’s Toolbox: How to Write Fiction and Non-fiction That Will Sell by Patrika Vaughn.  This tutorial isn’t cheap, but for $60 you’ll get five CDs compiled from seminars and workshops given across the globe, along with Vaughn’s accumulated knowledge and insight gained from twenty-five years as an author, writer (yes, there’s a difference between the two), editor, and publisher.  If you want to learn how to structure a book and then fill in the blanks with compelling prose, then this is the audio book for you.
  4. The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way: How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence, and Sell Your Point of View to Others by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Not all writing is geared at the leisure reader.  Those in business know that writing skills are essential to success, especially if you want to move up the ladder.  Gitomer will help you reach your goals by learning to speak and write effectively.  And keep in mind that writing is a business as well, so even if you’re interested in writing the greatest novel of your generation, you’ll still need to sell it.
  5. Keeping Your Brain Alive: Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness by Lawrence Katz and Manning Ruben.  Have you had moments where a word is right on the tip of your tongue, but then it slips away?  Or perhaps you’ve been writing down a memorable moment from youth and you simply couldn’t remember the details.  While this audio book won’t necessarily teach you how to write, it will help you to improve your memory so that when you do write, you have no problem recalling events or finding the right words to express yourself.

Although word programs can offer you a spelling and grammar checker, they can’t teach you spelling and grammar rules (or how to write effectively, for that matter).  It’s something you need more in-depth instruction to learn, and you really have to practice.  So pick up one or all of these great audio books to get started on your path to a lifetime of creative expression through writing.

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