A while back ago, I posted some basic resources a writer should use such as the dictionary, thesaurus, and a good baby naming book. This post is more on the books that will help hone your craft of writing and anyone who does write or wants to write should at least read two of the books that are posted below. They’re all an invaluable resource and you end up learning something new each time you read one of the books.
So if you’re a writer or you wish to be a writer, check out these books:
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
Modern Writer’s Workshop by Stephen Koch
Steering the Craft by Ursula LeGuin
Extraordinary Short Story Writing by Steven Otofinski
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
My particular favorite is Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It’s written in a way that won’t bore you to death with the various elements of writing and makes learning about grammar fun. Almost School House Rock kind of fun, but without the songs. My dad bought some time ago a book on writing that he thought was serious and would motivate me. It turned out to be a humor book. I took it to school to read and people gave me some bizarre looks because I couldn’t stop laughing. It did sort of teach me about writing at least. More like the extremes of what not to do. If you’re interested in a good laugh, check out Fondling Your Muse by John Warner. And when you read it you should read all of it: even the blurbs — okay you can exclude the copyright page.
Of course, the most important resource for any writer are those wondrous books in the bookstore. Reading is essential. You learn a great deal from reading other writing. So if you want to write: read books that are in your genre to get a feel of what the genre really is about.