Resources: Favorite Books on Writing

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.

The Artist's Way by Julia CameronSome 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 KingOn Writing by Stephen King

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico


The Craft of Writing

Invisible Ink:
A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate
by Brian McDonald
You may want to check out my Blog: Writing Tips: Seven Steps to Story

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:
Bird by Bird by Anne LamottA 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.


What are some of your favorite books on writing? Please share them with us!


  1. Debby

    Love your list of books. We share many of the same ones in our libraries. I’m excited to see a couple more I can add to mine. Thanks for your post and enthusiasm for writing. I’m inspired!

    • indy

      Thanks for commenting Debby! Sounds like we have similar tastes. ;0) Feel free to share any books you love that aren’t on my list.

  2. Betty Brink

    I’m currently reading “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks. I’ve only written non-fiction so far, but I have an idea for a historical fiction based on my family’s actual history in Cincinnati in the early 1800s. “Story Engineering” was recommended by my editor and there’s so much to absorb that I’m taking it piece by piece to really help me build the outline and framework for my first work of fiction.

    • indy

      Hi Betty – I checked out the book and it looks like something I would enjoy. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with all of us. I’m always looking for new ways to improve my craft. Thanks!


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