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Find textbooks in your genre or dip into these
general writing guides


The Elements of Style, Strunk/White/Kalman, Penguin Group, New York, 2005

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Lynne Truss, Profile Books, London, 2003

How To Write a Sentence: and How to Read One, Stanley Fish, HarperCollins, New York, 2011

The Penguin Working Words: An Australian Guide to Modern English Usage, Editor Barrie Hughes, Penguin, Melbourne, 1995


Reading like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, Francine Prose, HarperCollins, New York, 2006

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott, Anchor Books, Doubleday, New York, 1994 

How Fiction Works, James Wood, Vintage, Random House, London, 2009

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, Natalie Goldberg, Shambhala Publications, Boston, 1986

Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, Natalie Goldberg, Bantam Books, New York, 1990

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, Martha Alderson, Adams Media, Massachusetts, 2011

Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction, Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall, St Martin’s Press, New York, 1994

Self-editing for Fiction Writers: How To Edit Yourself Into Print, by Renni Browne & Dave King, HarperCollins, New York, 2004

Description & Setting: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Believable World of People, Places and Events, Ron Rozelle, Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, 2005

How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How
to Overcome Them
, Sol Stein, St Martins Press, New York, 1999

Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go, Les Edgerton, Writer’s Digest Books, Ohio, 2007

The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel For Success, Jeff Gerke, Writer’s Digest Books, Ohio, 2011

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws,
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, Jadd Publishing, 2013

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression,
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com, 2012


Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know From Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal, Regina Brooks, Source Books, Chicago, 2009

Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, Deborah Halverson,
Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, 2011

Writing Irresistable Kidlit: The ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers, Mary Kole, Writers’ Digest Books, New York, 2012


Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story, Steven Harper, Writers’ Digest Books, Cincinnati, 2011

The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels: Volume 1, Edited by Kim Richards, Dragon Moon Press, US, 2011


Crime and Thriller Writing: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion, Michelle Spring and
Laurie R King, Bloomsbury, London, 2013

How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript, James N. Frey, St Martin’s Press, New York, 2004


The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2002.

To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, Phillip Lopate, Free Press,
Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013

Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, Beth Kephart, Gotham Books, Penguin, New York, 2013

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, Random House, New York, 2013

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction William Zinsser, HarperCollins, New York, 2006

Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction,  Lee Gutkind and Hattie Fletcher Buck, W.W. Norton, New York, 2008

Writing Creative Nonfiction, editors Carolyn Forché and Philip Gerard, Writer's Digest Books, Cincinnati, 2001