Writer Resources

The following list is based upon the “A Writer’s Library: Books Every Writer Should Read” panel from ConQuest 48 and includes my suggestions along with the lists of Rachael Mayo, Brooke Johnson, Lynnette M. Burrows, and Paula Helm Murray. I’ve sorted the list a bit and have linked many of the recommendations to Amazon or other locations where they can be found. Enjoy!

Books (General)

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Story by Robert McKee

On Writing by Stephen King

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers John Gardner

“The Philosophy of Composition” by Edgar Allan Poe

Poetics by Aristotle

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

Save the Cat: The Only Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell

Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell

Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham

Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell 

Story Genius by Lisa Cron

Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Rico, Ph.D.

Thanks, but This Isn’t for Us by Jessica Page Morrell

Writing the Breakout Novel” Winning Advice from a Top Agent and His Best-Selling Client by Donald Maass

The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make your Novel Great by Donald Maass

Story Engineering”: Mastering the 6 Core Compentencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks

How to Write Best-Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz

100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

Memo from the Story Department: Secrets of Structure and Character by Christopher Vogler and David McKenna

Wonderbook, The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer

Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias

Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great by William M. Akers

Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

Now Write!: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises edited by Laurie Lamson

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

Words on Words by John Bremner

Making Book by Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Write, Publish, Repeat 

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel by Diana Wynn Jones

Writing to Sell by Scott Meredith

Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle 


Genre Specific (Horror)

On Writing Horror edited by Mort Castle

The Writer’s Workshop of Horror edited by Michael Knost

Secret Windows by Stephen King

Danse Macabre by Stephen King


Genre Specific (Science Fiction)

Those Who Can edited by Robin Wilson

Paragons edited by Robin Wilson

Genre Specific (Mystery)

Murder and Mayhem by D.P. Lyle



Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style 

The Chicago Manual of Style

The Bedford Handbook



Writing Excuses

The Creative Penn

The Story Grid Podcast






Evil Overlord Lists

Periodic Table of Storytelling

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)