We’re firm believers in reading to write. The more you read, the better your writing gets. Our bookcase is brimming with interesting indie magazines, creative prompts and those ‘must-haves’ that every writer should own.
Looking to update your reading list? Here’s some inspiration from Team Crocstar:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
“This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit.”
Whether you’re writing fiction, poetry, website copy or your weekly shopping list, you need to give Stephen King’s memoir a read.
He describes his experiences as a writer and offers tips for fellow aspiring writers. What we love most about King’s book is his modesty and straightforwardness.
Recently the best-selling author offered some pearls of wisdom (or general annoyances) on Twitter:
Aspiring fiction writer? Cool! Here are 2 phrases you must NEVER use: "for a long moment" and "for some reason." Find another way!— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 22, 2017
Example 1: "He looked at her for a long moment." No. Just "He looked at her."— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 22, 2017
Example 2: "For some reason he had to go back to that house." Now, really--how lazy is that?— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 22, 2017
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Punctuation is important. Sometimes it’s the difference between life and death. Kind of:
“Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like animal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
Perfect for reference and a cheeky dose of humour, where would we be without this 2004 Book of the Year?
With a zero tolerance approach to punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves is ideal for individuals who are perhaps a little overzealous with their commas or too sparse with their full stops.
Guardian style guide by David Marsh
“goody bag, goody-goody, oh goody! but goodies… ”
Described as “Eats Shoots & Leaves with a lot of extra guidance thrown in”, the Guardian style guide is our go-to editing guide.
If we’re not reading the book, we’re taking a look at the online version.
Yahoo tone of voice by Chris Barr
“Do you have an online style? You need one. People judge your writing, and if you’d rather not be a n00b, here’s a great place to start.”
The Yahoo! style guide contains lots of practical exercises that are designed to help you tackle the challenges of communicating online. It includes:
how to shape your text
creating better blogs and newsletter
developing your site’s voice
writing clear user-interface text
Do Story by Bobette Buster
“Whether you have product to sell, a company purpose to share, or an audience to entertain, people are far more likely to engage and connect if you deliver a well-crafted story with an emotional core.”
Storytelling guru and screenwriter Bobette Buster wrote Do Story for those of you looking to source, structure and shape better stories.
It’s a quick read (perfect for your morning train commute) that offers loads of impact – packed full of helpful hints, tips and quotes:
“It’s the little things.” - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction.
Vs. A Journal of Choices by Knock Knock
Gloves vs mitten
Cat vs dog
Ship vs train
How do we keep the creativity flowing in the office at 4:37pm on a Wednesday? After a stroll to the kettle, we’ll pick up Knock Knock’s Journal of Choices.
Simply choose between one thing or the other, without thinking about it too much. It’s that simple. The fun bit is explaining your thought process. We’ve found it’s a quick and easy way to generate creative vibes in times of need.
How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
“What do you want your business to be known for? What makes you stand out from the rest of your competitors?”
Often clients come to us looking for help with creating a distinctive brand identity. This usually involves lots of workspace, scribbling ideas on Post-it Notes and taking a little inspiration from this book.
Whether it’s choosing a logo or deciding on the most appropriate colour palette, Fiona’s collection of helpful hints leave us brimming with ideas.
Social Photography by Daniela Bowker
“Don’t feel you have to save your loyalty for just one social network… the more you join the greater your potential reach will be.”
When we created our Team Crocstar Instagram account we wanted to be sure to take fab photos, use the best hashtags (Abi is our hashtag expert now) and generate engagement from real people. Daniela covers everything from sharing your photos on multiple platforms to cropping and colouration.
Want to see how we put our skills to the test every day? Take a look at the Instagram account of our client, GB Labels.
What are you reading?
Have you flicked through any of our favourite reads? What did you think?