Ten Books on Writing Everyone Should Read

I’ve read tons of books on writing in my life.  Some of them were very good and I’ve marked the pages and reread them many times; others were forgettable.

Here’s what I consider the best list of books on writing that any writer should have in their toolbox:

1.   The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

2.   Bird by Bird:  Some Instruction on the Writing Life by Anne Lamott

3.   On Writing by Stephen King

4.   Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

5.   Ernest Hemingway on Writing Edited by Larry W. Phillips

6.   The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

7.   How to Create a Sentence by Stanley Fish

8.   How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles van Doren

9.   The Writer’s Journey:  Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

10.  Word Painting:  A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan

Each of these books has something unique to offer.  Whether you write science fiction or non-fiction, you will learn and improve by reading these books and practicing the techniques described in each.  Try them each, you can find them in most libraries, online used or from ebooks.  I hope you get as much from them as I have.

Happy Writing

Suzanne Bogue



Filed under Writing

9 responses to “Ten Books on Writing Everyone Should Read

  1. Pingback: Week Thirty-Four: The Writer’s Journey « Read, Write, Bliss

  2. Do you mind if I repress your list on my writing resources blog (creativewritingtoolkit.wordpress.com)? I’m trying to get some resources together in one place…no worries if not!

  3. What is crazy is that it is 5 – 10. I wanted to write so much more, but was stuck on a plane and the door shut! I have my list, too, and wanted to add to your list:

    1. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (8th Edition) (Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French): no offense to God, but this is my bible. I refer to it often, I honestly could not survive without it!
    2. The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers (John Gardner): A fantastic resource to use along side Writing Fiction (young is a relative term, more so for writers than anyone else!)
    3. An American Rhetoric – (William Whyte Watt): This is an amazing guide to “Good Writing and Correct English” – it is hard to find, even harder to find at a decent price – try Better World Books, I scooped a copy up there for less than $20!
    4. Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction: Though I also included this in the section for revision, I also think it is a fantastic read before you dive into your novel. The guy is simply straight forward with his advice, and his proven track record makes it worth following. I am serious, this book is awesome!

    Great list, thank you!!!

  4. Fantastic list! I now have 6 new books to add to the collection!