It is imperative to keep honing, developing, and growing one’s writing craft. Some unpublished writers out there might think, “Oh, I’ll make it to the ‘published author’ circle and then I’ll have arrived. Clearly my writing stands on its own. I’ve no need to spend hours pouring over workshop homework or seminar notes.” Wrong. While you may not have the $$ to attend a professional writers’ conference or workshop, I guarantee that you can probably find free or minimally priced books that can help you to grow your writing craft.

I have tons of books from many genres on my to-read list this year, but many of my books are on writing craft. I’ve published two books now and more than ever, I’m aware of the fact that I want to keep growing, learning, and challenging myself to become a better writer. Here are some of the books on my writing craft to-read list this year:


1. On Writing by Stephen King

2. How to be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play by Barbara Baig

3. The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner’s Manual by Victoria Mixon

4. Getting the Words Right by Theodore Cheney

5. The Art and Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner’s Manual by Victoria Mixon

6. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

Since there are six books on this list, I might try to read one every other month. I’d like to take time to digest the information within and put it to good use, so I don’t want to read more than one at a time. I picked Stephen King’s book, because I’ve heard so many great things about it. Reviews are important to me, so if other writers are telling me to read it, I’ll probably read it. The second book, How to be a Writer, I picked up for free when it was on sale. It also has great reviews. Victoria Mixon is a terrific blogger and editor. I’ve been keeping up with her articles for a long time and have had her books on my to-read list for over a year. Outlining Your Novel would be a great one for me, because I’m a pantser. One of my goals this year is to plan more for my novels. I don’t want to take the “pantser out of me”, but more planning on my part, pre-drafting, would not be such a bad thing, I think.

What writing craft books are on your To-Read list in 2013? Share yours!

2013 To-Read List: Books on the Craft of Writing
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  • I really loved Stephen King’s book On Writing (read it twice). It is written in Stephen King fashion too. You ever think about reading books by Donald Maass or have you done so already.

    • Awesome! I’ve thought about picking up some Donald Maass books, but I don’t currently have any on my list for this year. I do make sure to read his articles on Writer Unboxed, though. P.S.–If you’ve never hung around Writer Unboxed…you TOTALLY should. 🙂

      • I’m hurt L.M., I’ve been a few comments underneath yours sometimes. Of course I hang out at Writer Unboxed. I’ve responded to the last 4 or 5 post. *sniffle* I guess I’m invisible to the published author. *sniffle* You just have to read a Donald Maass book. You gotta- because the guy is awesome!!

        • Ahhhh! How did I miss them? Hangs head in shame… Yeah, I’ll definitely have to check out a Maass book. They look amazing.

  • CC

    I learned a lot of valuable things from On Writing, that’s a good first choice! Planning ahead is something I need to do more with my writing, I might have to pick up Outlining Your Novel.

    • Yeah, I plan on picking up “Outlining Your Novel” at some point in the year, too. I’m excited about reading “On Writing”! I’ve heard so many great things about it. Thanks for stopping by, CC!

  • i would LOVE to read one or more of these books. which one should i start with?! i don’t know if i can do all six! lol.

    • You should DEFINITELY start with “The Emperor’s Edge”. You can get it for free on Kindle, Nook, etc. So, so good!


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