All this editing has me referencing my writing books ten times a day. I love that they’re available, but hate that they’re so right. Pompous a-holes.
I’ve got a hefty stack of writing books – and tons more that I want to read – but here are my favs so far:
On Writing, by Stephen King – This is part autobiography, part writing advice. I skipped most of the autobiography part, and dove into the writing tips. What I love about this one is the concrete advice. SK provides actual examples of how to write better sentences. VERY useful.
Bird-by-Bird, by Anne Lamott: LOVED, LOVED this book. Use this champion to get motivated, and keep from getting overwhelmed.
The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White: Another book with ready-to-use tools. This one is a bit more detailed (flashback to grammar class in HS/College), and should be read multiple times.
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser: This classic concentrates on nonfiction writing, but many of the tips can be applied to fiction. It’s a bit more generic, but still outstanding. I’m actually re-reading this one right now.
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript, by Cynthia Laufenber: I loved this book. It spells out how to format your manuscript so it looks professional when you submit. I remember when I first formatted my manuscript to specs; suddenly, everything felt real.
Writer’s Market 2011: Everything you need to know about submitting and selling your manuscript. Has great contact info for agents and publishers. It’s a must-have for any writer hoping to sell their work.
Hope this list helps build your reference library.
PS- Keep Writing! 🙂