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Best Books on Writing

Recommendations from 37 articles, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and 51 others.
99 books on the list
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Bird by Bird
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott - Aug 31, 1995 (first published in 1994)
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"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized...
The Elements of Style
William Strunk Jr. - Aug 01, 1999 (first published in 1918)
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'The Elements of Style' (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university composition classes. This edition of 'The Elements of Style' details eight elementa...
On Writing Well
The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
William Zinsser - May 09, 2006 (first published in 1976)
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On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, b...
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield - Jun 16, 2015 (first published in 2002)
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Internationally bestselling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire, and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it....
This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!...
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
How to Edit Yourself Into Print
Renni Browne - Apr 13, 2004 (first published in 1993)
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"A superb tutorial for anyone wanting to learn from pros how to polish fiction writing with panache."-- Library JournalHundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stor...
Plot & Structure
Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
James Scott Bell - Oct 06, 2004
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Craft an Engaging PlotHow does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course?With "Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure," you'll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers cl...
Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
Robert McKee - Nov 25, 1997
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Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development exe...
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Rolf Potts
Writing Down the Bones
Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala Library)
Natalie Goldberg - Mar 29, 2010 (first published in 1986)
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For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice--"it is backed by two thousand years of studying the...
Writing the Breakout Novel
Insider Advice for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level
Donald Maass - Dec 31, 2001
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Take your fiction to the next level!Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that ri...
The Art of Fiction
Notes on Craft for Young Writers
John Gardner - Jun 03, 1991 (first published in 1984)
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This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers— and will continue to do so for many years to come.   John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses ...
The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt
Stein On Writing by Sol Stein
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg
Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips
The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick
Scratch by Manjula Martin
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield
2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron
CA$HVERTISING by Drew Eric Whitman
Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass
Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
4 A.M. Breakthrough by Brian Kiteley
The Practice of Poetry by Robin Behn
Screenplay by Syd Field
Why I Write by George Orwell
Hooked by Les Edgerton
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean R. Koontz
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Daily Rituals by Mason Currey
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
The Writing Life by Marie Arana
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi
On Writing by Stephen King
Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
Making Comics by Scott McCloud
The Chicago Manual of Style by The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
The Paris Review Interviews, I by The Paris Review The Paris Review
What the Living Do by Marie Howe
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne
Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes
Garner's Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner
Word by Word by Kory Stamper
How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger
Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi
The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Art Matters by Neil Gaiman
Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth