Book Recommendations for Writing

We editors have done much research on writing and have come up with this excellent list of craft related books for you. Don’t be intimidated! These books will inspire you to organize, plot, re-plot, dream, and get yourself in that chair to write. So without further ado…

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

Will Write for Shoes by Cathy Yardley

On Writing by Stephen King

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale

Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Writing the Other by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward

Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan

STORY by Robert McKee

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer

Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay by Syd Field

Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies by Leslie Wainger

The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner

Happy reading, happy writing from Patience and the SYTYCW Team! And if you have your favorite How to Write books for us to read, please leave those titles in the comments below.

19 replies on “Book Recommendations for Writing”

Because a writer can never ever have too many books on writing, I have to add two more:
Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain and
Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict by Cheryl St.John.

Best book on writing I ever read — How To Write Historical Fiction by Roberta Gellis. It’s only available in audio format now.

Because they are not on your list but they really helped me with learning about character etc:
Orson Scott Card Character & Viewpoint
Karl Iglesias Writing for Emotional Impact
Brandilynn Collins Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets Actors can teach novellists

23+I guess if the author herself, (who is not some small fish in romance publishing that couldn”t have roughed it through one website giving her a F), admitting she was off this time doesn”t change the minds of people who vehemently disagree with the review grade, then nothing probably will. And perhaps those same individuals might insist that SBTB and commenters here railroaded Kleypas into that declaration. SBTB doesn”t have to same level of influence and power in this situation as Kleypas and her publishing house does. I believe most big authors who received a low grade here are still thriving (e.g., Mary Balogh). Kleypas listened and followed through good for her. SBTB and many commenters here (some of whom are veterans of this type of discussions in romance) stepped up and as an Indian woman, I love how empathetic you all have been. And to those who feel the need to share their “relaxation tips YOU are welcome to sit and relax with your teas and what not and escape into that world. As a non-tea drinker and a mostly “can”t escape even if I want to reader, I”ll keep chugging my coffees and adding my voice these discussions

Great list of books. I have some of them but will have to see about the others. Thanks for your suggestions too, Michelle. I’ll have to look them up also.

I’ve read most of these. I also recommend the Writing Excuses podcast. It’s SFF oriented but most if it can be applied to any kind of writing.

Let me add “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy and “The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing” by the editors of Writer’s Digest. Both have lots of good advice that I’ve implemented.

I would add “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel” by Jessica Brody and “Romancing the Beat” by Gwen Hayes to this list.

For those of you interested in writing for Harlequin Intrigue or Harlequin Romantic Suspense, check out “The Writer’s Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction” by Benjamin Sobieck.

Not that weapons are the focus of thriller romances, but it can be a useful reference for proper vocabulary and function.

I recommend the writing thesauruses by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, especially The Emotion Thesaurus. All of them are helpful in writing.

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