Every writer loves to read what other authors have to say on the craft of writing, especially if they have years of experience and an impressive history of publication behind them. The following writing guides and memoirs are some of the best books that will make you a better writer.
1. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
Roy Peter Clark’s guide to writing covers all the basics: grammar, style, and basic storytelling techniques like foreshadowing and cliff-hangers. It’s an essential guide to fixing any practical inconsistencies in your writing.
2. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury’s book on writing is probably the most exuberant, passionate, and inspiring ode to the craft of writing that you will ever read. It’s also a memoir in parts, detailing some of Bradbury’s life-changing moments.
3. On Writing by Stephen King
Stephen King’s memoir reveals some essential truths about writing and being a writer. His no-nonsense instructions show you how to improve your craft, starting right from the basics.
Along the way, you’ll learn more about King’s own life, fraught as it was with failures and success.
4. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way is intent on getting you to stop dreaming about the perfect book you’d like to write and get started on simply writing.
The book aims to help you gain artistic confidence by removing limiting beliefs such as fear, guilt, jealousy, self-sabotage and other inhibiting forces that are limiting your productivity and creativity
5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird is an essential guide for any writer. With her trademark honesty and blunt wit, Lamott shows readers the basics of storytelling and how to handle the writing life.
6. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote a young fan ten letters on the art and craft of writing and on life itself. His wisdom has been collected in this moving book for everyone to read and learn from.
7. Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway famously refused to talk about writing. Luckily for us, his wise words on writing have been preserved in his letters and novels.
This book puts together all his wisdom on writing and the writing life, making it an essential read for any writer.
8. Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
James Scott Bell outlines the basics of plot and plot structure in his book. It teaches you several techniques on outlining and planning character arcs.
9. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room of One’s Own is both a writer’s manifesto and a memoir of sorts. Virginia Woolf, one of the most acclaimed novelists of all time, outlines her needs and wants for having a satisfactory writing life.
10. The Modern Writer’s Workshop: a Guide to the Craft of Fiction by Stephen Koch
Stephen Koch’s excellent guide to writing combines his own advice with the words of literary greats to create a dynamic, inspiring guide to writing.