Books for writers wrap-up

A while ago I asked for opinions about helpful books for writers and got some good responses. Commentators included Alan Bernheimer, Benjamin Chambers, Carol Peters, Christine Thomas, DMS, Edward Champion, Gonzalo B from Saddlebums, Gordon Hurd from After the MFA, Howard Junker, John Roderick Clark, K.G. Schneider, Lee, Nion McEvoy, Robert Peake, Robin Jacobson, Texts and Pretexts Collective, and Zac from LitList. Thanks to all who contributed. Following is the list of recommendations. See the original post for the recommenders’ comments (the post, BTW, is still open for comments).

Recommendations included

  • Atwood, Margaret, Negotiating with the Dead
  • Auerbach, Eric, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
  • Baxter, Charles, and Peter Turchi, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life
  • Baxter, Charles, The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot
  • Behn, Robin, and Chace Twitchell, The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach
  • Bell , Madison Smartt, Narrative Design
  • Benedict, Elizabeth, The Joy of Writing Sex
  • Bernays, Anne, and Pamela Painter, What if?:Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers
  • Best American Essays introductions
  • Blythe, Will, Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction
  • Bradbury, Ray, Zen and the Art of Writing
  • Bringhurst, Robert, Elements of Typographic Style
  • Brooks, Cleanth, and Robert Penn Warren, Understanding Fiction
  • Burroway, Janet, Writing Fiction
  • Calvino, Italo, Six Memos for the Next Millennium
  • Cameron, Julia, The Artist’s Way
  • Cameron, Julia, The Right to Write
  • Cameron, Julia, The Vein of Gold
    Carlson, Ron, Ron Carlson Writes a Story
  • Chandler , Raymond, Raymond Chandler Speaking
  • Checkoway, Julie, Creating Fiction: Instruction and Insights from Teachers of the Associated Writing Programs
  • Collier, Frances Spatz Leighton, How to Write and Sell Your First Novel
  • Conroy, Frank, The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
  • Curtis, Richard, How to Be Your Own Literary Agent: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book Published
  • Dillard, Annie, The Writing Life
  • Dyer, Geoff, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence
  • Edgerton, Les, Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go
  • Eliot, George, Daniel Deronda
  • Epel, Naomi, The Observation Deck: A Tool Kit for Writers
  • Forster, E, M, Aspects of the Novel
  • Franck, Frederick, The Zen of Seeing
  • Gardner, John, On Becoming a Novelist
  • Gardner, John, On Moral Fiction
  • Gardner, John, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
  • Gitomer, Jeffrey, The Little Gold Book of YES!
  • Goldberg, Natalie, Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer’s Craft
  • Goldberg, Natalie, The Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life
  • Goldberg, Natalie, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
  • Gordon, Karen, The Transitive Vampire
  • Gornick, Vivian, The End of the Novel of Love
  • Gornick, Vivian, The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative
  • Gross, Gerald C., Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do
  • Hagberg, Janet, Wrestling With Your Angels: A Spiritual Journey to Great Writing
  • Hale, Constance, Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose
  • Hall, Donald, Writing Well
  • Hansen, Ron, A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction
  • Heard, Georgia, Writing Toward Home: Tales and Lessons to Find Your Way
  • Hill, Brian, and Dee Power, The Making of a Best Seller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them
  • Hoagland, Tony, Real Sofistikashun
  • Hugo, Richard, The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
    King, Stephen, On Writing
  • Koch, Kenneth, Rose, Where Did you Get That Red: Teaching Great Poetry to Schoolchildren
  • Koch, Stephen, The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction
  • Kowit, Steve, In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop
  • L’Engle, Madeleine, Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life
    Lamott, Anne, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
  • Laux, Dorianne, and Kim Addonizio, The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry
  • Le Guin, Ursula K., Steering the Craft : Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew
  • Leebron, Fred, and Andrew Levy, Creating Fiction: A Writer’s Companion
    Lerner, Betsy, The Forest For the Trees
  • Levasseur, Jennifer, and Kevin Rabalais, Novel Voices: 17 Award-Winning Novelists on How to Write, Edit, and Get Published
  • Lodge, David, The Art of Fiction
  • Lott, Bret, Before We Begin: A Practical Memoir of the Writer’s Life
  • Lukeman, Noah T., The First Five Pages : a Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile
  • Maso, Carole, Break Every Rule
  • Matthiessen, Peter, Zen and the Writing Life
  • McClanahan, Rebecca, Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively
    McClanahan, Rebecca, Write Your Heart Out
  • McKee, Robert, Story
  • Metcalf, Linda Trichter, and Simon Tobin, Writing the Mind Alive: The Proprioceptive Method for Finding Your Authentic Voice
  • O’Conner, Flannery, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose
  • O’Connor, Frank, The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story
  • Oates, Joyce Carol, The Faith of a Writer
  • Oliver, Mary, A Poetry Handbook
  • Paris Review Interviews
  • Plimpton, George, The Writers Chapbook
  • Pound, Ezra, ABC of Reading
  • Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
  • Rico, Gabriele, Writing the Natural Way: Using Right-Brain Techniques to Release Your Expressive Powers
  • See, Carolyn, Making a Literary Life
  • Sellers, Heather, Chapter by Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams
  • Smith, James V, You Can Write a Novel
  • Stafford, William, Writing The Australian Crawl
  • Stegner, Wallace, On Teaching and Writing Fiction
  • Stein, Gertrude, Narration: Four Lectures
  • Stern, Jerome, Making Shapely Fiction
  • Strand, Clark, Seeds from a Birch Tree: Writing Haiku and the Spiritual Journey
  • Strand , Mark, and Eavan Boland, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms
  • Strunk, William Jr, and E. B. White, The Elements of Style
  • Truby, John, The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
    Tufte , Virginia , Artful Sentences: Syntax As Style
  • Turchi, Peter, and Andrea Barrett, The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work
  • Turchi, Peter, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer As Cartographer
  • Ueland, Brenda, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
    University of Chicago Press, The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers
  • Welty, Eudora, One Writer’s Beginnings
  • Wharton, Edith, The Writing of Fiction
  • Williams, Joseph P, Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace
  • Wolverton, Terry, Mischief, Caprice and Other Poetic Strategies
    Woolf , Virginia, A Room of One’s Own

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  1. Why did I bother commenting on your query if you don’t honor and include my recommendation, which was, i believe, Daniel Deronda?

  2. It’s there under “Eliot.” Isn’t that what you meant?

  3. I have to vigorously second the Ray Bradbury book; it’s one of my favorites, as is McClanahan’s “Word Painting”—I’m so glad to see those were included! Kiteley’s “3 am Epiphanies” is another, as well as Messer’s “Pencil Dancing.”

  4. I have to vigorously second the Ray Bradbury book; it’s one of my favorites, as is McClanahan’s “Word Painting”—I’m so glad to see those were included! Kiteley’s “3 am Epiphanies” is another, as well as Messer’s “Pencil Dancing.”