Cross posting to Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads.com again
I'm fond of this book. Now fond isn't a word I often use about writing books, but "Writing for Pleasure and Profit" by Michael Legat is one I will. The reason being that many years ago when I was in my early twenties my mother bought it for me for Christmas. Even if it wasn't a good book it would hold sentimental value for me for that reason.
But it is a good book. For years this book went everywhere I might have occassion to write with me. It covers everything from planning to writing to grammar on the one hand and everything from non-fiction to short stories to novels and screenplays on the other. It's a good general primer, and one of those books that should probably be on every writer's bookshelf. The fact it was first published in 1986 but is still in print in 2009 is testament to its strength, however it also dates it a bit at times. For example in the section on preparing a typescript he talks about using a fresh typewriter ribbon, not a problem that comes up much in the 21st Century. Still that's a minor matter and the rest of his advice is as sage today as it was in the 1980s.