Stephen King: On Writing. A must read for all. The first part tells of King’s life which is fascinating, the second is an informal “how-to” about the craft. Great, no-nonsense approach to his writing, full of wisdom.
Janet Evanovitch: How I Write. If you are not sure if you are ready to write, that it is something reserved to “others, get inspired with this book. Evanovitch is funny, gives sound advice and is very encouraging.
John Gardner: On Becoming a Novelist
James N. Frey: How to Write a Dawn Good Novel. Another must read for any fiction writer. Gives you all the tips to make your novel exciting.
Dean R. Koontz: Writing Popular Fiction. One of my favorite book on the craft. I reread it three times. Great advice, including how to come up with titles. An entertaining read from this very prolific author.
Noah Lukeman: The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life A quick informative manual from this NY agent. Good to read before starting your novel.
Noah Lukeman: The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. As a NY agent, Lukeman knows what he is talking about and shares his wisdom. A quick read and very informative.
Stephen King: On Writing. A must read for all. The first part tells of King’s life which is fascinating, the second is an informal “how-to” about the craft. Great, no-nonsense approach to his writing, full of wisdom
Rebecca Vinyard: The Romance Writer’s Handbook. Everything is covered in this very good handbook including a solid section on POV, which is I find thin in other manuals. The bonus has great testimonials by published authors on various topic including critiquing and rejections.
Leigh Michaels: On Writing Romance. One could do worse than start with this short book. Simple and easy to read, includes all the basics and will get you started on undersanding the basic of romance writing.
Julie Beard: Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Your Romance Published. Surprisingly good, a thick book covered with information including details on writing the different sub-genres
Rita Clay Estrada and Rita Gallagher: You Can Write a Romance. Another must read, at least for the history of romance. Written by two RWA founders, this is a compilation of essays from the greatest romance writers of my youth. Worth it, even if it is just for the great account of Barbara Cartland reclining in her daybed while dictating to her assistant.
Valerie Parv: The Art of Writing Romance. Simple little book by an Australian romance writer. Good place to start, especially for the beginning writer interested in category romance.
LEARN THE CRAFT:
John Gardner: The Art of Fiction. A classic, what can I say. Only pure good advice in a take-no-prisoner approach. Worth reading many times and absorb slowly. Contains a great explanation on POV psychic distance.
Donald Maass Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Think your novel is missing tension and is a bit slow going, fill up the questionnaire in this workbook and you will be full of idea. Taught me the concept of plot layers and subplot. I prefer the workbook version to the manual, I use this all the time.
James Scott: Plot and structure. To me the best book in the Write Great Fiction series. The hero’s journey concept simply explained along with other essential advice on plotting.
Blake Snyder: Save the Cat. A book for screenwriter about plotting. Snyder explains is own 15 beat approach to a story to make it compelling, never boring. Practical advice easily applied to fiction writing.
Alicia Rasley: The Power of Point of View. If you still don’t understand POV or would like to try writing with a different one than you usually do, this is the book for you. Covers all the basics and much more on the topic.
Jack M. Bickham: Scene and Structure
Jack M. Bickham: Setting
Nancy Kress: Beginnings, Middles & Ends
EDIT YOUR WORK
William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White: The Element of Style
Theodore A. Rees Cheney: Getting the Words Right. My favorite book on editing. Everything is there. After you’ve written your manuscript, get ready to work.
Renni Browne and David King: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Easy to read, contains all the editing information you need. I love this book. I suggest keeping a copy handy while you edit that manuscript and maybe read it often as a reminder. I read it three times.
James Scott Bell: Revision and Self-Editing.
Elizabeth Lyon: the Sell your Novel Toolkit