My Favorite Writing Books

I love writing books.   I have shelves and shelves of them.  They make me feel writerly even when I’m not writing.    When I first began to write, I wouldn’t read fiction while I was writing a story because I was worried about my voice and plot becoming influenced be whatever I was reading.  But I didn’t have that same worry with writing craft books.  (Now, I’m confident in my voice and my own story lines and no longer have that concern.)

Even though I have dozens of technique books, I refer back to only a handful of them.  These are the ones I recommend:

  • Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

[amazon asin=0806111917&]This book is a difficult read for most beginning writers. Take it in little bites, one section at a time and don’t expect to digest it all at once. If I could only have one writing book on my bookshelf, this is the one I’d want.

  • Character and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

[amazon asin=0898799279&]While the character development in this book is okay, the real value is in the point of view chapters. In my opinion, knowing how to effectively use point of view(POV) is what separates the amateurs from the professionals. I’ve judged a lot of pre-published writer contests and POV is what makes or breaks the score.

  • Scene and Structure

[amazon asin=0898799066&]Jack Bickham is an accomplished student of Dwight Swain (author of Techniques for the Selling Writer). He has simplified many of Mr. Swain’s concepts in this book. I use it as a companion book to Techniques, but many other writers find it much easier to follow and use it in place of Techniques for the Selling Writer.

All these book covers link to Amazon if you want to indulge in your excitement and order them right away.