In Episode 10, So This Is Christmas Part 1, we chatted about our favourite books on writing. Here they are, in no particular order. Turns out there are exactly 10. We could add to it but ten is a nice round number so here we go …
Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
All about writing practice, letting go of fear and freewriting. Natalie is a buddhist and has some great writing exercises here for beginning writers and for experiences writers wanting to get back to basics. One of the first books I bought on writing and still well loved.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The book that, along with the one above, got me started me writing. This is a must for any ‘artist’ (and aren’t we all?) and deals with all those issues that come up when we decide to spend time on our creative pursuits – fear, guilt, family, time, work … and more. Julia’s two must-do’s are ‘morning pages’ (three hand written pages as soon as you wake up) and a weekly ‘artist’s date’. Both are designed to fill the creative well and tap into the ideas and emotions lurking in our subconscious.This is one I come back to again and again. There’s also a website with an online course and a range of other books full of the author’s wisdom on creativity and writing.
The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass
In fact, anything by Donald Maass! A Literary Agent who has turned his hand to books on writing, Maass passes on his knowledge of how to connect with readers on an emotional level in his latest how-to. I wouldn’t recommend this one to beginning authors as the concepts are quite tricky but if you’d like to tap into some of Maass’ wisdom try Writing The Breakout Novel, Fire In The Fiction or 21st Century Fiction. I’m a huge Maass fan and turn to his books each time I’m writing one of my own.
Revision and Editing by James Scott Bell
Easy to use, full of great tips on editing and all the craft elements of writing. JSB has a whole range of books which are all wonderful! Write Your Novel From The Middle is another one i=of his I found really helpful.
How To Be A Writer: Who Smashes Deadlines, Crushes Editors And Lives In A Solid Gold Hovercraft
by John Birmingham
Written in his usual wry, punchy style this one is a practical guide on how to get your book written and published. Chapter headings include Find Your Voice, Kick Self Doubt In The Dick, Write 10,000 Words A Day and Pimp Your Book. The week I bought this book i read it from cover to cover and wrote 14,000 words in 6 days. Maybe I should read it again!
On Writing by Stephen King
An oldie but a goodie and a must-have for any writer’s shelf. King details how he became a writer and shares his wisdom on becoming one. His ‘writer’s toolbox’ gives writers a fantastic run-down on what you need in your metaphorical toolbox. This is one you will come back to again and again. Pam loves it too!
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The best book on writing by anyone in recent years .Liz tackles all the big questions around fear and doubt, weaves in stories about her own experiences as a writer and generally inspires. Her theory on how stories are out there in the universe waiting to be told is truly magical. Another double choice!
Story Genius by Lisa Crohn
The subtitle “How to use brain science to go beyond outlining and write a riveting novel (before you waste 3 years writing 327 pages that go nowhere)” really says it all. Cron uses brain science to navigate to abyss between panting and plotting and leads you through the steps from idea to finished novel.
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
These authors have struck gold with their range of thesaurus’ for writers which can all be found at https://onestopforwriters.com along with a heap of other writing resources. The Emotion Thesaurus is a huge help in the quest to show not tell and along with the others, (including the brand new A Writer’s Guide To Psychological Trauma) will help you create characters and writing readers want to devour.
Hope you find something to add to your bookshelf.
We’d love to hear about your favourite books on writing. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page