Recommended Reads for Writers
Titles in bold are my personal favourites, though I’ve read and enjoyed all of these.
Books about Craft
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: A favourite. This is a book about the craft of writing, rather than the industry, and is great inspiration from any struggling writer
On Writing by Stephen King: The industry advice in this is well out of date now, but the writing advice still holds true. A very inspiring book.
Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer: An absolutely massive book filled with essays and art about writing from absolutely every angle. Hugely inspiring.
Reading Like A Writer (A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them) by Francine Prose: Yeap, it does what it says on the tin.
Books about the Industry
Write To Be Published by Nicola Morgan: A from draft-to-publication guide with a focus on the UK industry.
Dear Agent by Nicola Morgan (Reviewed here!): All about writing a UK-format query letter.
Write a Great Synopsis by Nicola Morgan (Reviewed here!): Advice on writing a synopsis, which is necessary when querying agents.
From Pitch to Publication by Carole Blake: Another UK-focussed book by a leading UK literary agent. A bit dated now, but still a great read.
Books about Editing
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King: All about editing your own work. One of my favourite craft books since “On Writing”. A very good, clearly written guide to the technical side of writing. Highly recommended.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss: A quick and easy read that will answer any of your niggling doubts about grammar.
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
Books about Plotting
Take Off Your Pants! (Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing) by Libbie Hawker: This is one of my favourite quick reads for plotting ideas and structure advice.
2k to 10k (Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love) by Rachel Aaron: This is another one I come back to a lot. Based on Rachael’s blog post, this book expands on her methods in ways that really click with me. I still swear by her three core requirements: Knowledge, Time and Enthusiasm.
Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (Reviewed here!): An in-depth guide to plot structures and beat sheets.
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley: A guide to first drafts. I liked this at the time but it didn’t stick in my memory as much as the others.
Rock Your Revisions by Cathy Yardley: A guide to revising. Same as above, I liked this at the time but it didn’t stick in my memory as much as the others.
On My Radar
Books that seem very promising but, for one reason or another, I haven’t had the chance to read them yet…
Get Started in Writing Young Adult Fiction by Juliet Mushens: Advice on writing YA by a leading literary agent. Reading this right now.
The Forest for the Trees (An Editor’s Guide to Writing) by Betsy Lerner: Another book full of editing advice, by an outstanding editor.
Steering the Craft by Ursula K Le Guin: Craft advice, with a focus on techniques like POV, tense and pacing, from a legendary fantasy/sci-fi author.
Book in a Month by Victoria Schmidt: A great one for writers looking for tips on how to outline/plot a novel.
I’m always looking for new books about writing. Want to recommend a book that isn’t on the list? Give me a shout through the contact form!