Books on writing
Over the years, I have read a lot of books on writing. I know you can’t learn writing from a book. The only way to learn how to write well is to write, write, write… and get some feedback from editors, beta readers, reviewers, and readers. Still, books on writing can be helpful too.
Here’s a list of my favorite books on writing.
COVERING ALL ASPECTS OF WRITING:
- Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King (this doesn’t just cover editing. If you get just one book on writing, get this one)
- Don’t Sabotage Your Submission by Chris Roerden (densely written, full of information, but probably not for the beginner)
- Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress (this also covers point of view).
- Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
- Story by Robert McKee (probably not for a beginner but rather for more advanced writers)
- Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain (great information on plot, but not for beginners)
- Description by Monica Wood
POINT OF VIEW:
- The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley (the author is an editor who also has a great blog)
- Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling Lesbian Fiction by Fran Walker with Andi Marquette, Nann Dunne, Sacchi Green, and L-J Baker (gives a pretty good overview of fiction elements in general and lesbian fiction in particular)
GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, and STYLE:
- Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner (it’s well written and funny)
- Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman (less fun to read, but very informative)
- Write in Style by Bobbie Christmas
DICTIONARY, THESAURUS, STYLE GUIDE:
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition)
- The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale
- The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition)
If you know a great book on writing that is missing on my list, send me an e-mail and let me know.