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The Writer’s Library

“Which books on the craft of writing do you recommend?”

I’m asked this question a lot. Given the number of books available, it’s a fair question. When you’re shopping for a book on the craft, it’s important to keep the following in mind:

1. Know that different books offer different things.

  • Some offer advice for nonfiction writers.
  • Some are geared more for fiction writers.
  • Some focus on the nitty-gritty of grammar.
  • Some explain how to write a book proposal.
  • Some discuss the life of a writer.
  • Some aim to cheer you on and encourage you.

2. Know what kind of writing help you need.

  • What stage of the writing process are you in?
  • Are you beginning to draft your story?
  • Are you in the middle of a novel?
  • Have you completed a first draft?
  • Do you need help with revising or editing?
  • Are you finished with a manuscript?
  • Do you need help pitching your project to an agent or publisher?

These questions can help you clarify what type of writing help you need.

To be a writer is to engage in a lifelong pursuit of learning as much about the craft as you can, but it’s also imperative that we don’t wait to write until we’ve crossed some imaginary starting line. No one should feel as though they have to wait until after they’ve read a certain number of books on the craft before starting to write.

If you’re interested in writing, start writing today.

Also? The best books about the craft aren’t really about the craft; rather, they’re superb examples of the craft. That’s why reading widely is so imperative for committed writers. This includes novels, even for us nonfiction writers! We must regularly enter into the world of good words to be inspired and filled and ready to write our own.

For those who want to learn more about writing, here is my list of favorite books on the craft.

If you’re brand new to this world of writing, a list of a dozen or more books might be overwhelming. If that’s you, start here: Write Better by Andrew T. LePeau. This book is a great place to start, especially since it’s one of the few books on the craft that is also written from a Christian perspective. And if I may be so bold, I’ve also written an eBook on the craft, specifically for those interested in writing online. It’s called On Becoming a Writer. Check it out.

Reading about writing is almost as fun as writing, and I’m always on the lookout for new books about the craft. I’ll continue to update my list of favorites as I find more.

What are your favorite books on the craft of writing?



If you have any questions about the craft of writing or the life of a writer, send me your questions here. I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.




Denise J. Hughes

Denise J. Hughes

Denise writes about “the quiet life.” It’s a vision for living counter-culturally in a loud and restless world. Denise lives in North Carolina with her husband and three kids.


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