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A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 28 Mar 2009, 00:07
by Unna
I started this thread so that we could share books we, personally, have found useful to the writing process. Please add yours!

My current favourites are the following:

The three books by Noah Lukeman:
The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, (978-0684857435).
The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life, (978-0312309282).
A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation, (978-0393329803).

Noah Lukeman is an impossibly picky literary agent in New York City. He knows what good writing is and how to tell a story well, and he can help you do so. He's also a good writer himself - his books are enjoyable and even funny to read.

Another book with useful information delivered by way of a humourous via negativa is:
How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide, (978-0061357954).

Re: A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 02 Apr 2009, 20:06
by HinduDruid
Here are my faves:

Jeff Davis' The Journey from the Center of the Page -- This book is amazing. It incorporates yoga with writing to avoid blocks and to connect with the Muse. He also tells you to ritualize your writing time to create a sacred space for the Muse. This includes setting a two-fold intention that gets to the heart of why you are writing and what you want to do that session. I heard him speak once and he is just fantastic, hope to do a real seminar with him someday.

Stephen King's On Writing -- I am not a huge fan of his books, but his work on the process is perhaps THE best

Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones -- she is Buddhist and does a great job of giving writers exercises to help you through blocks. This is a fantastic, wonderful book, bu I just wouldn't recommend taking her seminars. I took one and it was horrible.

Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird -- so easy to read, great advice

Two books I have but have not yet read -- both look great, just not enough time in the day for everything :D
Francine Proses' Reading Like a Writer
Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey: Mythic structure for Writers

Re: A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 02 Apr 2009, 20:33
by Dathi
I have no claim of legitimacy to be posting here. I love the idea of writing, scribble a bit, dream a lot and tell great stories. But the diligence to stick at it eludes me.
Still, like many "wannabe" writers, I read, collect and enjoy books on writing.

Joseph Campbell: "Hero's Journey". "On Myth" etc are all great. There is plenty to enjoy at the Joseph Campbell Foundation:

I see Christopher Vogler mentioned above. "The Writer's Journey". Also good, although his examples are not as timeless as JC's stuff. Dates the book a bit. Still, it's fun and would appeal to the "Tarot Heads" as he uses a fair bit of tarot-like illustrations. Much of this book is reproduced here: ... _Quest.pdf
The book's main web presence is here:

Christopher Booker: "The Seven Basic Plots, Why we tell stories" is a mighty tome (728 pages) and does what it says on the cover.

A couple of others...

Ronald Wolfe: Writing Comedy. (rev 2003) Hale

Richard Joseph: Bestsellers. Top Writer's Tell How. (1998) Summersdale


Re: A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 21 Feb 2010, 18:02
by Rhiannon56
Some of my favorite books on writing include:

Les Edgerton's Finding Your Voice and Hooked.

Alice Orr's No More Rejections

Stephen King's On Writing

Terry Brooks' Sometimes the Magic Works.

I have a bunch more but these are some of my favorites. :yay:

Re: A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 09 Mar 2010, 02:34
by LadyCelt
I second HinduDruid's and Rhiannon56's mention of Stephen King's On Writing. :)

Re: A Writer's Bookshelf: Favourite Books on Writing

Posted: 10 Apr 2010, 04:57
by kendricktamis
My favorite is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I think a book you would enjoy is Darkhenge by Catherine Fisher. It's definitely a lesser known novel, about a boy whose sister is locked up in a different world.