Best Books on Writing

I have been on the lookout for good books to guide me in the writing process as of late. As a member of Informed Ideas for Writers, a LinkedIn group, I started a discussion asking for recommendations from other writers. There has been a wonderful response from the group (thanks, fellow IIFWs!), so I thought I would compile their responses into one very helpful list and post it here to share. It also helps me to break it down and have an easy reference point to return to, as this is not a light summer reading list, but an inspiring list to tackle over the writing years ahead!

I have hyperlinked the book titles to GOOD READS when possible so that you may read further reviews and gather more information on these great finds.

I’ll try to keep the list update it as more suggestions roll in…

HERE WAS MY POSTED QUESTION:
What is your favorite book on writing?

I’m wondering what are writers’ favorite books about writing? I’m particularly interested in books that discuss writing from life. I know that there are all kinds of blogs, magazines, etc. too, but nothing like a good ol’ concise book that you can keep pulling out, highlight, etc.

RESPONSES FROM IIFW GROUP MEMBERS:

TOP 2 SUGGESTED BOOKS ON WRITING:

Currently a tie between these top two picks

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

On Writing by Stephen King

What did writers have to say about Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD? I compiled a few of their comments:

“It’s simple, practical and the focus is on progress rather than shoulds.”

“I, too, like Bird by Bird. The only thing better was hearing Ann L. discuss writing in person.”

Bird by Bird definitely” and “it’s the best!”

What did writers have to say about King’s ON WRITING? I compiled a few of their comments:

“Part biography, part How to. Some really informative techniques. I found it a refreshing change.” –Ian R.

“I recommend On Writing by Stephen King to all beginning authors. He gives great advice, not just on writing but on the business of writing.”

“Stephen King’s On Writing is excellent. Since it’s been 10 years since I read it, I probably ought to pick up a copy and re-read it.”

Story by Robert McKee was recommended by a couple of different writers as well.

Other suggested books, in random order:

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Writing with Precision by Jefferson D. Bates

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Finding What You Didn’t Lose by John Fox

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Act Natural: How to Speak to Any Audience by Ken Howard

The Weekend Novelist a Writer’s Digest book (I couldn’t find this book)

Reference Books:

Fowler’s Modern English Usage (I linked to the NEW Edition)

Screenwriting books:

2000+ stage Hero’s Journey And Transformation Through A New World / State by Kal Bashir
Screenplay by Syd Field
Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters
Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Save The Cat by Blake Snyder
Anatomy of a Story by John Truby

For Fiction Writing:

Writing Basics for Beginners by Jeanne Marie Leach

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