I listed 4 excellent books for writers in this post. Then, I broached the question to a writers and editors group I’m part of on LinkedIn and have a few more recommended books you may want to check out.
Just like a professional baseball player goes to batting practice or a professional musician practices their violin 5 hours (or more) a day, if you want to be a professional author, you need to practice your craft. You do that by writing, of course, but you also need to study up on the techniques, tips, and tricks of the trade.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
I bought this book as part of a fiction writing class in college. It’s definitely not your average writing “how-to” book. Rather, Lamott offers writing advice in a witty, real-life kind of way that makes you feel like you can actually DO it. She breaks down writing and daily life while helping you find your passion and writing voice.
Bird by Bird almost reads like a writing workshop with an artsy, hippie teacher. My favorite parts were the writing prompts, which help you think about words and stories in a new way while getting you out of writer’s block.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Yes, this is the same Stephen King of acclaimed literary fame in the horror genre. On Writing is part memoir, part how-to, and in it you will find basic tools of the trade and advice from King as well as memories from his childhood and how his early beginnings shaped his writing career. I haven’t personally read this one, but it’s on my list, and I know a number of editor friends who recommend it to their authors.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
I’m sure you recognize E.B. White as the author of the classic book Charlotte’s Web. This classic style manual is not in its fourth edition and makes a great resource or refresher as needed.
The Breakout Novelist: Craft and Strategies for Career Fiction Writers by Donal Maass
This is one I haven’t read, but it was recommended a few times and looks like an excellent resource. It’s called the “All-Inclusive Guide for Novel Writers” and features advice for making your book stand out. Donald Maass is a literary agent working in New York City.
Have you read any of those? Do you have any writing books to add?
Don’t forget to check out my previous post on 4 recommended writing books!