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Best books for writers

Writing is a very personal hobby. Every writer has a way of approaching the craft, and each has their own way of putting words on paper. I’m always interested in how other writers think about their craft, and the difficulties and successes that they face. Luckily, a lot of writers love to write about writing. That means there are dozens of books out there about writing. I’ve read quite a few, and I have some that I keep coming back to. So below is my selection of the best books for writers.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 

Quite simply one of the most charming books on writing ever written. Anne Lamott, especially in the first half of the book, will charm you and make you feel better about your writing and your attitude to it. Highly recommended.

The Crafty Art of Playmaking by Alan Ayckbourn

If you are a playwright and haven’t heard of Alan Ayckbourn then you should really check him out. His plays are perfect examples of the craft, even though they won’t be to everyone’s taste, and this book should be an essential additional to any playwright’s library. Other writers can learn a lot from the book to, as some of the advice on structure and dramatic impact translates to any type of writing.

On Writing by Stephen King

How this man keeps turning out such prolific work should be an inspiration to us all. His book is a great insight into his craft, and will help you overcome some of the pitfalls you may already be facing.

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Laurence Block

Although this is a bit dated now (Block gives a lot of information about writing for magazines, which is probably low on your list of priorities) there are some fantastic titbits in here on how to keep writing when feeling down, and how to keep your productivity up. Block is a prolific writer, and has written dozens of books over his career. Really inspiring.