How do you define yourself as a writer? There's no hard and fast rule to follow. Undoubtedly there are many other difficult disciplines like medicine and law, but that only happens after a person has passed certain exams and graduates. There aren't always exams to take or facts to remember. So where do we go to learn how to write?
Basic rules on publishing, grammar and punctuation or fiction writing, these are the nuts and bolts of writing and what it means to be a writer. Some may be amusing, a bitter pill to swallow but always truthful, these books can be looked upon as a curriculum for writing.
It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned veteran, artist striving to be heard, these are some of the finest books you'll ever read on writing with understanding and experience that will support you throughout your writing journey.
If you haven't already got a copy, it definitely needs a mention, author William Strunk's go-to book if you're looking for some writing clarity.
2. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers By Betsy Lerner
If you're not an established author, Betsy Lerner will take you through her extensive experiences as an editor. The Forrest for the Trees inspires writers by showing them how to get over their fear of the unknown. A guide that is more about facing self-doubt and inner sloth that resides in every person's own mind.
3. Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing By Larry Brooks
A technical eye is given to the writing process by author Larry Books. He argues that an improperly planned story won't be as effective as you would like it to be. To fix this he shows you six core elements of storytelling: theme, character, concept, story structure, voice and scene construction.
4. How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling By James N. Frey
James N. Frey gives advice to both seasoned and new writer's on overcoming writer's block and the fear of the blank page and using your own critical eye. A must-have book when you need to stand back from your own work and get back-to-basics.
5. Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words By Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge
Susan G. Wooldridge, a writing workshop leader shows you how to tap into your experience of writing. Sharing her prompts and ideas that any budding poet will find beneficial.
6. The Writing Life By Annie Dillard
Pulitzer Prize Winner Anne Dillard gives you her unique view on what it means to be a writer, in a simple way that's relatable to both experienced and amateur writer's alike.
7. On Writing By Charles Bukowski
On Writing digs deeply into the brilliant mind of it's author Charles Bukowski. Take a walk through of his correspondence with friends, publishers, editors and other writer's.
8. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century By Steven Pinkner
Steven Pinker Harvard College Professor of Psychology employs his vast knowledge of cognitive science to the practise of writing in his book The Sense of Style. Pinkner gives his critical eye to the writing practises of the 21st century. He shows examples of writing gone wrong so that readers can understand how to avoid these mistakes. He takes readers on an exploration that exposes how the science of the mind can shed light on the practise of writing.
9. On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft By Stephen King
Even the most successful writer's have a bad day. Stephen King will make you feel better about where you are. Sharing anecdotes about how he started some of his most iconic stories ever written. Dedicating a whole chapter to grammar and offering his advice on form.
10. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within By Natalie Goldberg
Natalie Goldberg expresses her trademark enthusiasm for writing practise along with her appreciation of the process that has come with time and experience.
11. The Pursuit of Perfection and How it Harms Writers By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
For any writer that struggles with doubt, write or finish a project this book is for you. From bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses the destructive ways peer workshops and the quest for perfection derail many writers.
12. Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should By David Gaughran
One of the most complete books on self-publishing, David Gaughran campaigner for indie rights gives a completely transparent guide with no hidden agenda, to self-publishing.
13. Writing Tools By Roy Peter Clark
Roy Peter Clark most useful series of writing guides was turned into a how-to book of writing tools covering the basics such as "Watch those adverbs" to the complex chapter about "Turn your notebook into a camera". Providing more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts.
14. How to Market a Book By Joanna Penn
Joanna Penn, bestselling author shows every writer how to market their book and make a long-term income from it. For both traditionally published authors and self-published authors who want to jump start a career.
15. First You Write By Joni Rodgers
Joni Rodgers employs a more poetic style of prose in simple sentences to demonstrate her point that each sentence should do its fair share of work. This book rewrites the rules about writing.
16. The Associated Press Stylebook By Associated Press
The holy grail for all writer's no matter where you land on the spectrum. Master the rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, abbreviation and capitalisation, word and numeral usage.
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