The 10 Best Books for Writers

by mariaschneider on April 8, 2009(

Writers certainly have strong opinions when it comes to writing books. For the past two months, we’ve been collecting recommendations on the Editor Unleashed forum. Here are the books that were mentioned over and over again—the classics, you might say.

images-4On Writing
by Stephen King

“It tells the trials and pitfalls of being a writer and then tells what you need to do in order to write well, short and to the point.”

images-5Plot & Structure
by James Scott Bell

“Bell takes a realistic approach to constructing a solid plot.”
-Warren Darcy

images-7A Dash of Style
by Noah Lukeman

“This book has so much punctuation wisdom packed into a small space. I love semi-colons the way some people like handbags; thanks to this little gem of a book, I don’t inflict my love on my readers.”

11016-between-linesBetween the Lines
by Jessica Morrell

“Probably the most useful writing book I’ve come across.It’s not really for the beginning writer, but it’s filled with great information for those who already have a good grasp of the basics.”
-Cameron Chapman


Writing the Breakout Novel

by Donald Maass

“I really enjoyed this book and I had the workbook version and found it to be full of great examples and exercises.”
-Tiffany Schmidt


The Forest for the Trees

by Betsy Lerner

“A beautiful piece of work, and takes the writer from writing to publication.”

Zen in the Art of Writing

by Ray Bradbury

“A slight book in size, but packed with far more than size alone might suggest (dimensionally transcendental?)”

The Elements of Style

by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White

“I particularly like the parts about keeping it simple.”

Characters & Viewpoint

by Orson Scott Card

“The subtitle says it all: “How to invent, construct, and animate vivid, credible characters and choose the best eyes through which to view the events of your short story or novel.” It may be more for genre writers, but it definitely helped me flesh out my characters.”

images-11Bird by Bird
by Anne Lamott

“This is one of the most motivational and realistic books you’ll come across about the craft and business of writing. Every writer should read this book early in his career.”