Writing Book Recommendations: 40 Must-Have Reads for Success

Writing Book Recommendations

Dozens of Writing Book RecommendationsIn the vast world of literature, few pursuits are as rewarding and challenging as the craft of writing itself. Writing is an art, a craft, a calling, and a journey of discovery. Whether you’re a seasoned author or a budding wordsmith exploring the vast landscape of narrative, instructional, and reflective literature, the right guide can make all the difference. All writers need some writing book recommendations.

The beauty of writing is its limitless scope, a broad canvas on which we continuously evolve and grow. In this article, we have carefully curated a list of transformative books on writing. Each book listed here offers unique insights into the heart of storytelling, the architecture of plot, and the magic of well-crafted sentences. Whether you’re interested in fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or poetry, these books will elevate your understanding of language, imagination, and the written word.

General Writing Book Recommendations

  1. On Writing by Stephen King
  2. The War of Art

Character Development

  1. 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains
  2. The Psychology Workbook for Writers: Tools for Creating Realistic Characters and Conflict in Fiction
  3. Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure
  4. The Story Works Guide to Writing Character: How to create characters your readers will love–or love to hate
  5. How to Write Realistic Women: The Secret Formula Every Male Author Needs to Sell More Books and Make More Fans
  6. How to Write Realistic Men: The New Psychology of Creating Credible Male Characters
  7. Character Traits of Villains: The Guide to Psychopaths

Show Versus Tell

  1. Emotion Amplifiers
  2. The Emotion Thesaurus
  3. The Negative Trait Thesaurus
  4. The Positive Trait Thesaurus
  5. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus
  6. The Rural Setting Thesaurus
  7. The Urban Setting Thesaurus

Mystery and Crime

  1. Amateur Detectives: A Writer’s Guide to How Private Citizens Solve Criminal Cases
  2. Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons
  3. Body Trauma: A Writer’s Guide to Wounds and Injuries
  4. Cause of Death: A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder and Forensic Medicine
  5. Code Blue: A Writer’s Guide to Hospitals, Including the ER, OR and ICU
  6. Deadly Doses: A Writer’s Guide to Poisons
  7. HowDunit Forensics
  8. HowDunit – The Book of Poisons
  9. Just the Facts, Ma’am: A Writer’s Guide to Investigators and Investigation Techniques
  10. Missing Persons: A Writer’s Guide to Finding the Lost, the Abducted and the Escaped
  11. Murder One: A Writer’s Guide to Homicide
  12. Order in the Court: A Writer’s Guide to the Legal System
  13. Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers
  14. Private Eyes: A Writer’s Guide to Private Investigating
  15. Rip-off: A Writer’s Guide to Crimes of Deception
  16. Scene of the Crime: A Writer’s Guide to Crime Scene Investigation
  17. The Writer’s Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction


  1. Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Romance Novel Thesaurus
  2. Romance Writer’s Phrase Book: The Essential Source Book for Every Romantic Novelist
  3. Thinking Like A Romance Writer: The Sensual Writer’s Sourcebook of Words and Phrases

Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy

  1. The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Volume 3: The Author’s Grimoire
  2. The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Vol. 1: Alchemy with Words
  3. Fantasy Writers’ Phrase Book: Essential Reference for All Authors of Fantasy Adventure and Medieval Historical Fiction
  4. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
  5. Storyworld First: Creating a Unique Fantasy World for Your Novel
  6. Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction
  7. Writing About Magic
  8. Writing Dynamite Story Hooks: A Masterclass in Genre Fiction and Memoir
  9. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories
  10. Writing Heroes and Villains: A Masterclass in Genre Fiction
  11. The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference


Writing is an ongoing expedition of self-discovery, a dialogue between the heart and the mind, the pen and the paper. No two writers are the same, and therefore, no two writing journeys can be identical. The books we’ve explored in this article illuminate the path of this expedition, offering valuable tools, techniques, and reflections on the craft of writing.

They serve as both companions and guides, helping us delve deeper into our unique creative wells. As you explore these writing book recommendations, remember that each author’s wisdom and experience is a beacon. Yet, the true magic of writing lies within you, in your unique voice and vision. Immerse yourself in these books, absorb their wisdom, but always remember to return to your unique voice, your unique story.

After all, as the adage goes, the best way to learn to write is to write. So, read widely, learn eagerly, but don’t forget to put pen to paper, for that’s where your story truly comes alive.

Richard Lowe

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