A writer this week told me ‘I write because I am not happy when I am not writing.’ They were magical words and just what I needed to hear as I struggle with self-sabotaging thoughts of why do I bother? Or Will anybody ever want to read this? Confidence, even though I’ve published four books and am working on my fifth, is not my strength. However, reading books on writing always boosts my self-esteem. There’s something about writing books that makes me feel more self-assured, secure, as though I am on the right track. Reading books on writing keeps me buoyant, inspired – stronger in my faith in myself.
As Ray Bradbury said, YOU FAIL ONLY IF YOU STOP WRITING.
Here is a list of some favourite books on writing.
Although Field’s expertise is for screenplays and film, his book is a great, succinct resource on creating stories that resonate with readers (or viewers, as his case may be).
A powerful memoir by a powerful writer, with insight into the writing life and King’s own wisdom learned from years of experience as one of the most prolific writers of our time.
One of my favourite books for offering insight and encouragement to all writers. It’s my go-to book when I need to remember that all books are written word by word.
An insight look into the rewrite process, with a fresh look at character arc. Alan Watt suggests we look at our stories in terms of dilemmas, rather than problems.
A refreshing look at the power of storytelling and how to utilise it in our novels.
A must-read for all writers on the basics of crafting powerful prose that communicates clearly to our readers.
Another book on screenplay writing that can be applied to all genres of fiction writing. Truby’s The Anatomy of Story offers a detailed, step-by-step approach to creating organic stories.
Don’t be intimidated by the title; Maass’ book is anything but a recommendation to abandon our passions and pursue market interests. As a leading agent, he gives the scoop on how to give our stories breakout-level potential.
Although this book is billed as “the classic guide to writing nonfiction,” it’s an utterly astounding reference for all writers. Whether we’re writing nonfiction or fiction, we must learn to write clearly so that our readers can get the full experience of our stories.
Still Writing is a joyously heartfelt look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. Witty and practical, this book is both a memoir and a meditation on the artistic process. Offering wisdom, advice on craft, and inspiration, Still Writing is the perfect companion to the writer and artist.