Thursday, June 10, 2010

Favorite Writing Books

Some writers appear to be completely addicted to craft books. There's nothing wrong with that, but I often find myself reading the same advice over and over. A craft book has to really say something special to me, has to really motivate, for me to buy it and keep it on the shelf next to my desk. Here's the books that have accomplished that over the 9 years that I've been pursuing the novelist's life:

This was actually assigned reading senior year in my AP English class. I think I was the only "writer" in the class (though many were far better than me!) but all of us really enjoyed the book. It helps that Anne Lamott is just plain hilarious.

My parents gave this to me for Christmas in 2001. I loooooove this book. It's about time for me to reread it.

Reading these and doing the exercises really took my writing to another level. As did taking an all-day seminar from him last September. Fabulous stuff.

Okay, it's been years since I read this book, but it's on my shelf so I thought I'd mention it anyway. I think this was the first writing book he came out with, and when I ordered it back in 2007, it seems like I had to order it used off Amazon or something. I would probably get more out of it now that I actually am a novelist by trade, but apparently I liked it enough to put it on my shelf.

This is my favorite part of the writing process, and I think this book breaks it down in a very manageable way.

A Christmas gift from my brother-in-law (who had some help from my wish list.) This is my new favorite writing book. I've quoted it on here a bunch, and I'll quote it on here a lot more. I loved everything about this book, down to the layout and chapter sizes.

So those are my favorite craft books. There are tons and tons out there, most of which I haven't read. These are definitely worth your time and money.


  1. I am so bad at craft books. I've never read one all the way through, though I DO have my marker in BIRD BY BIRD (since someone gave it to me for my birthday, LOL). That's on my list of things to improve upon when I have more than two hours a day to do everything I need to do. =)

  2. If you read just one, I think Bird by Bird is the one to read. Someone who really loves you and cares about your career must have given that to you...

  3. Hmm, could have been. Someone who not only cares about my career but who knows a book goes well with mango tea and salted popcorn. ;-)