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Best Books on Writing

Recommendations from 38 articles, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and 84 others.
96 books on the list
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On Writing
A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King - Jun 02, 2020 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King. Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly ...
Bird by Bird
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott - Aug 31, 1995 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
"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)
Goodreads Rating
'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)
Goodreads Rating
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)
Goodreads Rating
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....
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
How to Edit Yourself Into Print
Renni Browne - Apr 13, 2004 (first published in 1993)
Goodreads Rating
"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...
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!...
Plot & Structure
Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
James Scott Bell - Oct 06, 2004
Goodreads Rating
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...
Recommended by
Donald Miller
Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting
Robert McKee - Nov 25, 1997
Goodreads Rating
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...
Recommended by
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...
Zen in the Art of Writing
Ray Bradbury - Jan 01, 1996 (first published in 1973)
Goodreads Rating
In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing.The first thing a writer should be is – excitedAuthor of the iconic FAHRENHEIT 451, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN and THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, Ray Bradbury is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.Part memoir, part master...
Recommended by
Susan J. Fowler
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
The Art of Fiction by John Gardner
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
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
A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips
Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg
The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick
Aspects of the Novel by E M Forster
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
CA$HVERTISING by Drew Eric Whitman
2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron
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
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
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
How to Write Best Selling Fiction by Dean R. Koontz
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
Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi
Making Comics by Scott Mccloud
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
The Chicago Manual of Style by The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
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
Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger
Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes
Word by Word by Kory Stamper
How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
Garner's Modern English Usage by Bryan Garner
Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
Art Matters by Neil Gaiman
Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz