On this page, I hope to give you books and websites that are helpful for writers. To start, I will just have books – all of them from my own private library – so you know I’ve read them and used them. I hope you find the information useful. I’ll try to break them down into sections on inspiration, craft, genres, reference, etc. Give me time to update them all. I’ve got over a hundred books in this section of my library alone. 🙂
“The Best Writing on Writing” edited by Jack Heffron; published by Story Press, 1995, volume 2. This is a collection of essays on writing by some of the top names in the business. It touches on all genres – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc.
“How I Write: secrets of a bestselling author” by Janet Evanovich; St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006 – written in a question/answer format, Janet gives her views on what she does. It is easy to read and gives good info.
“Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life” edited by Barnaby Conrad; Writer’s Digest Books, 2002 – a collection of essays with the added benefit of Charles Schulz’ cartoons about my favorite beagle writer.
“Books: From Writer to Reader” by Howard Greenfield, Crown Publishers, 1976 – an oldie, but an interesting treatise on the illustrates the journey from rough manuscript to published book.
“The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction” by Barnaby Conrad, Writer’s Digest Books, 1990 – another collection of essays with tips from authors like Ray Bradbury, Danielle Steel, Judith Krantz, Elmore Leonard, and more.
“The Quotable Book Lover” edited by Ben Jacobs & Helena Hjalmarsson, Lyons Press, 1999 – Quotations for every aspect of writing. Just fun to read.
“On Being a Writer” edited by Bill Strickland, Writer’s Digest Books, 1989 – and yet another collections of essays and tips by stellar writers from multiple genres
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, Putnam Books, 1992 – along with the workbook, this is a time-tested and well-loved book on finding your creative self
“Dreams Into Action” by Milton Katselas, Dove Books, 1996 – Tips and exercises on how to fulfill your dreams, no matter what they are.
“Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, Quality Book Club, 1991 – Like Julia Cameron’s book, this is for freeing your writer self from your everyday self.
“The Novelist’s Notebook” by Laurie Henry, Story Press, 1999 – A book of exercises and tips to help you get started, and finish, your novel.
“Discovering the Writer Within” by Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane, Writer’s Digest Books, 1989 – exercises to help you free the creative you
“The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Novel Writing”, 1991 – a collection of advice and instruction on how to write a novel, from first idea to finished manuscript
“The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth” by James Frey, St. Martin’s Press, 2000 – Frey applies his writing techniques to Joseph Campbell’s mythic structure
“How to Write a Damn Good Novel II” by James Frey, St. Martin’s Press, 1994 – a how to guide on using characters, suspense, etc. to write your book
“Keys to Great Writing” by Stephen Wilbers, Writer’s Digest Books, 2000 – tips and exercises on the mechanics of writing, structure, grammar, word choice, etc.
“Right from God” by Tom Bird, Sojourn Books, 2001 – How to write your novel in less than three months while on a spiritual journey
“The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers” by Christopher Vogler, Michael Wiese Productions, 1998 – based on Joseph Campbell’s work, provides tips on how to write using mythic structure
“Techniques of the Selling Writer” by Dwight V. Swain, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1965 – though out of print and old, this is still one of the best books around on writing in general.
“Make Your Words Work” by Gary Provost, Writer’s Digest Books, 1990 – covers both fiction and non-fiction; a good general how-to book
“Your Novel Proposal” by Blythe Camenson & Marshall Cook, Writer’s Digest Books, 1999 – a how to guide for writing query letters, synopses, and proposals, something nearly every writer hates.
“The Writer’s Book of Checklists” by Scott Edelstein, Writer’s Digest Books, 1991 – a quick reference guide full of nothing but checklists including tips on writing children’s fiction, editing your novel, tools, etc.
“What If?” by Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter, Harper Collins, 1990 – writing exercises for fiction writers for when you’re stuck
“Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer” by James Smith, Jr., Writer’s Digest Books, 2000 – tips, puzzles, exercises, etc. to help you jump start your brain
“The Craft and Business of Writing” by the editors of Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Digest Books, 2008 – an in depth guide to all aspects of the business side of writing
“The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing” by Rise Axelrod & Charles Cooper, St. Martin’s Press, 1994 – a textbook for writing, mostly geared toward theses and essays, but an excellent book on the basics of writing
“The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing” by Evan Marshall, Writer’s Digest Books, 1998 – written by one of the power agents, Evan breaks down novel writing into 16 steps.
“How to Write & Sell Your First Novel” by Oscar Collier, Writer’s Digest Books, 1986 – do’s and don’ts of writing and selling your first book