Being a writer is all about self-reliance.
You dream, research, write and edit while mostly in a state of being alone. That’s why our writing community can be so valuable. But another aspect of importance is our personal library of books about writing.
Some books offer instruction on the art of writing or how to better our craft, some give us details on creating the structure, scene and character development. Some writing books offer us encouragement to follow our passions, and still others give us the inspiration to continue our arduous journey and stay the course.
You will have a different library of books than I do, although I bet we will have at least a few books in common. You must each seek to find what best helps you continue learning and refining your craft. But if we share our favorite books with each other, we may find hidden gems we wouldn’t otherwise have known existed.
So I decided to share with you some of my favorite books on the topic of writing. This isn’t my entire library, but these are the ones I find myself keeping close at hand, for reference, or for inspiration. Maybe you’ll find something here that helps you continue on your path of writing.
PLEASE NOTE: Although I’ve provided links below to make it easy for you to read more about the books and see reviews, I will always encourage you, as a writer, to purchase books from your local bookstores whenever possible.
They in turn will be more likely to support you, the author!
The Art of Writing
On Writing by Stephen King
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico
The Craft of Writing
Writing the Breakout Novel workbook by Donald Maass
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
The Elements of Fiction Writing: Plot by Ansen Dibell
The Elements of Fiction Writing: Scene & Structure by Jack Bickman
The Elements of Fiction Writing: Setting by Jack Bickman
The Elements of Fiction Writing: Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
The New Webster’s Grammar Guide
Webster’s New World Roget’s Thesaurus
NOTE: The books in the Elements of Fiction Writing series were published as hardback books in the 1980-1990’s. Bookstores may be able to order them for you. If not, you can do a search for them online and find old copies or sometimes new imprints in paperback and eBooks.
As a beginner I found them informative and helpful for getting started as a writer.
Encouragement for the Writer
A Writer’s Book of Days:
A Spirited Companion & Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Inspiration for the Writer
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
There are many, many more wonderful books out there. These are the few I keep next to me as I write, and find myself turning to in times of confusion or frustration. I’d love to learn of new ones to read and savor.