Best Books on Writing

by Hope G. Hanson
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Writing is an art and, like with painting or acting, it comes naturally to some people more so than others. But, no matter how much of an inherent talent you do or don’t have for writing, one of the most helpful resources for improving your writing is by reading about writing. Here, I’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of what I’ve found to be the most helpful books on writing.

1. Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

What I love about this book is that it’s written by Sol Stein, who was (as the title of this work indicates) an amazing editor as well as being a bestselling author. The advice and tips contained in Stein on Writing are unparalleled, and I can confidently say reading this book went a long way towards improving my overall approach to and style of writing.

Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

2. Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

K.M. Weiland’s wide range of books and workbooks, as well as her blog dedicated to sharing her writing advice, have been immensely helpful to me over the past few years. She fully understands the craft of writing, and her books on the subject are structured and written in a way that’s easy to follow and understand. Structuring Your Novel is probably my favorite, so it’s the one I’ll be putting on this list, but the others have been just as beneficial.

Find and get a copy through Weiland’s site here!

3. On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing has been praised by pretty much everyone who’s ever read it, and for good reason. Stephen King is one of the best-known authors of our time, and the part-memoir, part-textbook nature of this work makes it not only extremely informative, but also a very entertaining read.

Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

4. How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark & Sandra Newman

The nature of this work is self-evident from the title, and it’s an approach that works remarkably well. The combination of genuinely good advice on what to avoid when writing a novel and the extremely entertaining way in which it’s written make this, beyond a doubt, one of the best advice books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

5. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

This volume is short, but it contains a wealth of immensely helpful information. It’s been recommended and hailed as a must-read time and again, and it’s more than deserving of it all. It’s more technical and less entertaining than some of the other books on this list, but the sheer bulk of information it provides will leave you forever grateful.

Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

6. Art Matters by Neil Gaiman (and illustrated by Chris Riddell)

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the previous work, Art Matters doesn’t necessarily provide specific steps or tips on how to improve writing; rather, it’s inspiring and insightful, preaching the merits of reading, writing, and creativity in general.

Find and get a copy through Gaiman’s site here!

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