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The 15 Best Craft Books for Fiction Writers

Below are the craft books I keep at my desk at all times. I've found each of them extremely helpful when I need a reference book for a particular element of fiction writing. These are not all of the books I use--just the ones I find the most comprehensive in terms of helping me overall during the writing process.

I recommend purchasing them or borrowing them or taking them out at the local library, but get your hands on them and read them from front to back. Refer to them when you need help with your own fiction. The authors below are fantastic writers and educators, and have been helping writing students for decades (the ones still alive, anyway--the ones that have passed have left behind a fantastic legacy).

Is Life Like This: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months- John Dufresne

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott

Fiction Writer's Workshop: The Key Elements of a Writing Workshop - Josip Novakovich

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

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft - Janet Burroway

Save the Cat Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You'll Ever Need - Jessica Brody

Aspects of the Novel - E.M. Forster

For Writers Only: Inspiring thoughts on the exquisite pain and heady joy of the writing life, from its great practitioners - Sophy Burnham

Revising Fiction: A Handbook for Writers: A Handbook for Writers: 185 Practical Techniques for Improving Your Story or Novel - David Madden

The Complete Book of Novel Writing: Everything You Need to Create and Sell Your Work - Writer's Digest Books

On the Art of Writing - Arthur Quiller-Couch

Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and Other Greats - Adam Sexton

The Elements of Style -Strunk & White

The Truth That Tells a Lie - John Dufresne



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