6. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
For years, writing teachers have assigned The Elements of Style to their students. Brushing up on the basics from time to time is critical for continually developing your skills, and this book contains simple truths that every writer needs to know.
From information on grammar and style to tips for sorting out the writing clutter, this classic is an essential add-on to any writer’s bookshelf.
7. How to Write Bestselling Fiction by Dean Koontz
While many books on this list are aimed at nonfiction writers, this one is especially for those who dream up their own stories to tell. If anyone is qualified to tell people how to write bestselling fiction, it’s prolific author Dean Koontz, who’s sold more 450 million copies of his books — 14 of which have topped the New York Times hardcover bestseller list.
This book was written in 1981 and is out of print, but has valuable insight for writers who manage to snag a copy (check the library!).
8. The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work edited
This book contains columns from a decade of The Washington Post’s “Writing Life” column, with contributors as diverse as Jimmy Carter, Joyce Carol Oates, and Carl Sagan. Essays are paired along with biographical information about each author, helping readers learn more about these skilled contributors and their ideas on writing.
9. The Artist’s Way
From time to time, every writer suffers from burnout or writer’s block. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way focuses on the craft of writing and training yourself to be even more creative. She offers valuable techniques like starting each morning with a free-writing exercise, and exploring one subject per week that you find fascinating.