I started collecting writing books in middle school. Yes, I was that much of a geek! :) I'd do things around the house to make money that I would save to buy books from the Writer's Digest Book Club. At one time I had a huge stack of writing books, but I've whittled them down over the years to the ones I like best.
Here are the writing books I recommend:
- Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass - I have both on my shelf, but the workbook is the one I refer to again and again. The book is great for an in depth look at Mr. Maass's advice and techniques, but I love the workbook for all the exercises in it. I'm actually carrying the workbook around in my bag with my laptop and manuscript right now as I work on revisions. It's my favorite resource for really getting into the meat of a story!
- I'm putting these three together:
Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Characters, Emotions & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood - great books on getting into your characters.
- The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi - great reference on conveying emotions, especially helpful if you get stuck in a smile/shrug/frown loop
- Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell - good reference for building a foundation in your stories
What about you? What are your favorite books on writing?