On Tuesday I started listing all the writing books on my bookshelf and decided to take a break when I got to the thirtieth one.
Today I’m resuming where I left off.
- Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Michael Larson. I haven’t read this yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
- Missing Persons: A Writer’s Guide to Finding the Lost, the Abducted and the Escaped by Fay Faron. Oh, yeah…another book I’ve been meaning to read, because my 2015 NaNo manuscript is about a woman who finds a missing girl.
- New Roget’s Thesaurus. I don’t know why I have this; I usually use the thesaurus embedded in Microsoft Word.
- On Writing by Stephen King. One of my favorites. I posted a brief review of this book and several others here.
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser. A classic.
- One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty. I forgot I had this. One for the “To Be Read” pile.
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. This book convinced me I needed a blog and a Twitter account.
- Plot by Ansen Dibell. Another TBR.
- poemcrazy: freeing your life with words by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge.
- Reaching Back: A Workbook for Recording Your Life’s Most Meaningful Moments to Share with Future Generations by Alice Chapin. I bought this book intending to record all my parents’ memories, but I procrastinated too long. My parents and all their siblings have passed away. Maybe I’ll work through it with my husband and preserve our histories.
- Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. This book outlines a strategy for reading so that you analyze elements like character, dialogue, narration, and description, and discover what works and what doesn’t.
- Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham. Another TBR.
- Scene of the Crime: A Writer’s Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations by Anne Wingate, Ph.D. Another TBR.
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. I promise–this is the next writing book I read.
- Setting by Jack M. Bickham. TBR.
- Secrets of Successful Fiction by Robert Newton Peck. I bought this because I loved his Soup for President, but I haven’t read this one yet.
- Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks. The author signed this for me at the Maui Writers Conference in 2004. In addition to advice on the craft, lots of anecdotes from Brooks’ life.
- The St. Martin’s Handbook by Andrea Lunsford and Robert Connors. This might be my grammar book from college. It’s very similar to The Little, Brown Handbook. You probably don’t need them both, but I can’t part with either.
- Story by Robert McKee. Epic book. I’ve started it a couple of times, never got too far into it, but it’s definitely earned a spot in the TBR section.
- The Story of With by Allen Arnold. Not strictly a writing book, this book focuses on God as the initiator of creative work, encouraging the reader to create with God.
- Theme & Strategy by Ronald B. Tobias. The subtitle is How to Build a Strong, Narrative Structure to Help Your Fiction Stand Tall, Run Fast, and Soar to Success. I know I need to read this book.
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. I often see this book on lists of most favorite writing books. It’s not one of my favorites. I don’t completely agree with Pressfield’s philosophies. He’s all about art for art’s sake, and yes, that should be our first motivation, but it’s nice to get some affirmation. Pressman says, “The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.” Uh, and committed suicide. He goes on to say, “To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.” Does he cash his royalty checks?
- Who Said That? compiled by Renie Gee. This is a book of quotations, which I bought in case I ever run out of material for my Monday Morning Wisdom series on ARHtistic License. So far, I haven’t had to refer to it.
- Word by Word: An Inspirational Look at the Craft of Writing by John Tullius, Elizabeth Engstrom, and the presenters of the Maui Writers Conference. Self-explanatory.
- The Writer’s Book of Checklists by Scott Edelstein. This book includes an amazing amount of helpful information, concisely summarized in list form, on 123 topics such as 10 Tips on Ghostwriting, 24 Tips on Asking for More Money, and 25 Key Points of a Book Contract. Released in 1991, some of the information is dated, and there is no mention of social media or technology, but it’s still a worthwhile reference book.
- The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing edited by Frank A Dickson and Sandra Smythe.
- The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing, Volume II edited by Jean M. Fredette.
- Writer’s Guide to Places by Don Prues and Jack Heffron. Suppose your character is from Columbus, Ohio. What football team does he root for? Where did he hang out when he was in high school? What part of town do the rich people live in? This book is a great reference for details about locations in the United States and Canada.
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler. Mine is signed by the author, whom I met at a writer’s conference. Vogler studied The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and wrote a “hero’s quest” outline that served as an unofficial outline for Disney movies for years. I’ve studied it extensively and used it as a framework for my works-in-progress, but the current trend for fiction is to start in the middle of action rather than establish the “ordinary world” as Vogler recommends.
- The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work edited by Marie Arana. Contributions from authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, James Michener, Mary Higgins Clark, Scott Turow, Wendy Wasserstein, and Ray Bradbury.
- Writing Mysteries: A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America edited by Sue Grafton with Jan Burke and Barry Zeman. A collection of articles from the Who’s Who of mystery writers, such as Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Tony Hillerman, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, and more.
- Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love: An Insider’s Guide to Film and Television Scripts that Sell by Katherine Atwell Herbert. I went through a screenwriting phase about twenty years ago. I know I read this book then and liked it, but I don’t really remember much.
- Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Yep, time to reread this.
- Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico. The front cover says this is a course in enhancing creativity and writing confidence. The sub-title is Using Right-Brain Techniques to Release Your Expressive Powers.
- You Can Write a Memoir by Susan Carol Hauser. It’s been a while since I read this book, but I remember liking it. I’ve written a lot of notes in the margins.
- You Can Write Children’s Books by Tracey E. Dils. All the basic information is in here.
- Your Novel Proposal From Creation to Contract by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook. Until this book was released in 1999, all books about book proposals focused on nonfiction, with maybe a few paragraphs here and there about how fiction is different. This book was the first to break the code for fiction writers. My copy is heavily dog-eared.
Alright, that’s it–67 writing books total (including the thirty in my previous article) on my bookshelf. Maybe there’s a few here you’d like to read. Did I miss any of your favorites? Please share in the comments below.
Wow, what a great library. Which one can I borrow?
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You can borrow any you want, Betty.