Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Top 10 Books for Writers

These are the books I think you simply must have if you plan on writing, particularly in the Christian market. These books are all useful no matter what kind of writing you do, fiction or nonfiction, and any audience you might write for.

  1. A dictionary- Preferably a good hardbound one your aunt got you for 8th grade graduation, the kind where she wrote affirming things about you & your love of words on the inside cover.
  2. A thesaurus- Preferably a good hardbound one your brother got you because he's supportive, even if he doesn't write nice things on the inside cover.
  3. The Elements of Style, Strunk & White- You need this book. It's the grammar book. Just go get it.
  4. The Christian Writer's Market Guide, compiled by Sally Stuart- You can write all you want, but if you wanna know who's gonna buy your stuff, you need this book.
  5. Bibles- It's good to have lots of these. I like comparing translations and study notes in different versions, as well as the extra features like maps & concordances. Take a look at e-sword.net.
  6. Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller- Not strictly a book on writing, but if you are going to write for the Christian market, you are going need to read the opening paragraph of the chapter "Money: Thoughts on Paying Rent." You're probably going to want to read it several times.
  7. You Can Market Your Book, Carmen Leal- Let's face it, we want to not only write books, we want to sell them. Carmen has lots of great ideas for how to do that.
  8. Writing From the Inside Out, Dennis Palumbo- This book covers so many of the internal and external obstacles for writing. Don't read it unless you are ready to part with the reasons you can't write.
  9. Walking On Water, Madeline L'Engle- I love this book. Pure creative, spiritual inspiration. This book really fills that creative well back up.
  10. An Introduction to Christian Writing, Ethel Herr- Just what it says. This book is a nice introduction to the basic protocols for the process of writing. There's some great tools to help you get organized in this book.

1 comment:

Crystal Warren Miller said...

Wow, this is a GREAT list! Definitely books to have.

If anyone wants to do fiction writing, also add Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King. Editors absolutely live by this.

What I've found is that writers love books, so you're always getting yet another book for your "writing!"(Even books you already have...in case one wears out) Isn't that right, oh, library-book buyer??(smile)