Basic Writing Craft Library (and a few other resources)

This list started with one compiled by Geri Krotow and my debut author friends at Int’l Thriller Writers and I have added to it:  by Joel Burcat, Elena Hartwell Taylor, Ricky Treon, Sue Hinkin, L.A. Chandler, Heather Chavez, Richard Santos, Harvey Freedenberg

  1. The Elements of Style (by Strunk and White, the classic writing book as relevant today as it was when it first came out in 1959) [Krotow, Burcat]
  2. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (by Stephen King, part-memoir, part writing guide. One of the best, most accessible books on writing you can read. Not scary.) [Krotow, Burcat, Chandler]
  3. Bird by Bird (by Anne Lamott. No. 2 on the Writing Skills Reference list and No. 1 on a number of other lists on Amazon—journalism, speech, writing reference books. There is a reason for that. Very readable.) [Krotow, Burcat]
  4. Goal, Motivation and Conflict (by Debra Dixon) [Krotow]
  5. The Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron and Jeremy P. Tarcher) [Krotow]
  6. The Writer’s Journey, 2d ed. (by Christopher Vogler, Michael Weise) [Krotow]
  7. Writing the Fiction Synopsis (by Pam McCutcheon) [Krotow]
  8. The War of Art (by Steven Pressfield) [Krotow]
  9. Story (by Robert Mckee) [Krotow]
  10. American Heritage College Dictionary (you need a good dictionary. Really, any will do. I always liked this one) [Burcat]
  11. Readers Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder (handy dictionary and thesaurus in one volume) [Burcat]
  12. Writer’s Digest, Guide to Writer’s Market (current year, all writers look at this from time to time. Available in printed and on-line versions) [Burcat]
  13. Writer’s Digest, Guide to Literary Agents (current year, ditto) [Burcat]
  14. Writing the Blockbuster Novel (by Albert Zuckerman (the first book I read when I started getting serious about writing. It taught me a lot about commercial writing) [Burcat]
  15. Forensics for Dummies (by D.P. Lyle, MD. Doug Lyle is the real deal, a great thriller writer and medical doctor who wrote this book for writers and other special people) [Burcat]
  16. Secrets of Story (by Matt Bird, for writers of any level) [Taylor]
  17. The Authors Checklist (by Elizabeth Kracht, as a book that writers with their first draft of a first manuscript should read) [Taylor]
  18. Writing with Quiet Hand (by Paula Munier) [Treon]
  19. The Secrets of Story (by Matt Bird) [Treon]
  20. Zen in the Art of Writing (by Ray Bradbury) [Hinkin]
  21. The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface (by Donald Maass. A top literary agent who knows an awful lot about what makes a book great) [Chavez]
  22. Before and After the Book Deal, by Courtney Maum. It’s more business than craft but it’s great.) [Santos]
  23. Still Writing (by Dani Shapiro. Both practical and inspirational.) [Harvey Freedenberg] 

Internet Resources

There are many, many internet resources. Probably hundreds, including blogs, if not more. The list doesn’t attempt to touch the web-based journals which often are the writing goal for many writers. This is a tiny sample of ones that writers use on a regular basis.