Book Recommendations,
Writer to Writer

You’re busy, I’m busy. It’s hard enough finding the time to read for pleasure, let alone any other kind. And if we do choose to drag ourselves away from our writing, it’s critical that the book be worth it, right? Well, since we DO want to continue learning, growing, and improving, here are some of the books on my own reference shelf – my own personal “Best of the Best” on the writing craft – and why I love them.

On Writing - Stephen King

ON WRITING: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Why I love it: Written in the inimitable voice of the master himself, this book is bound to be your go-to resource for all things writing for years to come. Insights into the man, his life, and his craft all combine to make this as much a page-turner as anything he’s ever written.

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

BIRD BY BIRD: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Why I love it: 
This book is on my permanent book shelf. I can not imagine a time when I wouldn’t be tempted to take it down and re-read some chapter or two – or all of it! – again. Anne Lamott is a kindred soul to this writer, and I thank her for her generosity, her humanity, and her humor. Writing is not often easy, but it is woven into my being, and it is good to know there are guiding spirits like Anne Lamott to take my hand and say, not unkindly, “Suck it up cupcake. You can do this. Moreover, you must.” (I may be paraphrasing here. Just sayin’)

Writing With Quiet Hands

WRITING WITH QUIET HANDS: How to Shape Your Writing to Resonate with Readers by Paula Munier
Why I love it:
 This book is very much in the vein of On Writing by Stephen King in that it blends the author’s personal experiences and anecdotes with solid writing advice. Where the two books differ — and where this one is superior, in my opinion — is that Paula provides some really game-changing exercises for improving your writing. Incredibly helpful, this book has truly earned its place on my reference shelf.

Police Procedure and Investigation - Lee Lofland

Why I love it: 
This book will be on my writing desk for years to come. While not a complete replacement for first-hand, in-the-field research (laws, rules, and regs still vary from place to place), this is a must-have reference for mystery/crime writers. This is a very comprehensive but well-organized 360+ page work containing “standard” information that would apply virtually anywhere, compiled by an author who is a veteran police officer and detective, and written in easy-to-understand language.

Want to know how a cop becomes a detective? …how much of the average C.S.I. episode is based on reality? …the fine points of fingerprinting and DNA testing? …what a body looks like after an autopsy? …what it’s really like inside a prison? These questions don’t even scratch the surface of what’s inside this treasure trove of information.

From arrest and search procedures to courts and the legal process, this book will help you write a book that crackles with the authenticity of accurate police procedure and investigation knowledge. Four appendices provide a glossary of terms, a listing and explanation of Police 10 Codes (now I know more than just “10-4”!), drug quantity tables, and a federal sentencing table.

I can only imagine the hours I will save over the years by having this book on my reference shelf.

250 Things You Should Know About Writing

Why I love it: Hilarious and instructive. Quick tips and insights for writers who are serious about their work but don’t take themselves too seriously. Chuck is NOT for the faint of heart, dear Prudence. But, then again, neither is the writing life. Just read this book.

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

Why I love it: Full review to come. I told you I was busy 😉

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King
Why I love it:
 Full review to come. I told you I was busy 😉

Writing Down the Bones - Natalie Goldberg

WRITING DOWN THE BONES: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Why I love it:
 Full review to come. I told you I was busy 😉

The First 50 Pages - Jeff Gerke

THE FIRST 50 PAGES: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up for Success by Jeff Gerke
Why I love it: Full review to come. I told you I was busy 😉

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