>I originally planned to list all my writing books in this post, but after looking at my shelf, I realized that was ridiculous. So I’m hitting the highlights instead.
The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz
The Synonym Finder by J.J. Rodale
Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich
The Art and Craft of the Short Story by Rick DeMarinis
The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron
The Writer’s Idea Workshop by Jack Heffron
The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts
The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
Various literary magazines and issues of Writer’s Digest and Writer Magazine.
What’s on your shelf?
>Who doesn’t love a good book about writing? Especially one that motivates you, encourages you, and teaches you. I have a few such books on my shelf that I turn to when I need a jolt or help on a particular aspect of writing. Check them out for yourself, and scour the shelves of your local library or bookstore for other gems!
1. The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron
One of my favorite book finds of all time. This is my go-to book for ideas and encouragement. The hundreds of prompts make you delve into yourself, dredging up experiences and emotions that add depth to your writing. I always feel ready to write after reading a chapter of this book and I repeat some of his advice to myself when I need a boost.
2. The Writer’s Idea Workshop: How to Make Your Good Ideas Great by Jack Heffron
A follow-up to The Writer’s Idea Book. The prompts and ideas in this book help flesh out ideas you already have or pieces you’ve started. It can help you identify why an idea isn’t working and what to do about it. I go to this book when I start the rewriting process. I’ve found that the ideas are not only helpful but often liberating. If you feel down about an idea when you start reading, you won’t when you finish!
3. Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich
A play-by-play of the parts of a story. He uses lots of examples from renowned authors, and has fun and challenging exercises at the end of each chapter. I’ve improved my character development and descriptions with the help of this book. And I successfully fought my fear of dialogue with his suggestions. A must-read in my opinion.
4. The Art & Craft of the Short Story by Rick Demarinis
A writing life-changer for me. Reading this book and then following the exercises took me to new places in my writing and helped me reach the next level. It’s a motivating read that will help you to see your fiction in a different light.
5. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
Excellent resource that answers fiction-specific editing quandries. One of my favorite chapters shows you how to properly setup dialogue and how to write it like a pro. It includes checklists and exercises to hone your skills.
What are your favorite books about writing? Share your top five by posting a comment.