Recommended Writing Craft Books

Common advice for writers is to read, read, and read more. Read voraciously. Read widely. You need to know your genre inside and out in order to write it well. I completely agree.

It’s one of the reasons I read like it’s my job. Because it is part of my job.

Both editors and writers should have an in-depth knowledge of the kinds of books they are working on. This helps us understand and meet reader expectations. We should be reading the classics to understand the genres’ history, the most popular recent books in the genres we write and edit, and books that have pushed at the boundaries of those genres.

We also need to develop and maintain a current understanding of the writing craft — the how and why of storytelling.

I’m constantly spending time with writing craft books. It helps me stay on top of how writers are currently thinking about storytelling. It also helps me find new ways of explaining complex aspects of storytelling to authors.

Below are some of the writing craft books I recommend for both writers and developmental editors (in alphabetical order by author).

A number of these books provide “universal” advice about story that is specific to certain types of stories, and not actually universal. I’ve included these books here anyway because I’ve found them helpful for understanding those specific types of stories. I recommend taking any “universal” advice with a grain of salt.

Recommended Books

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