Diana Rico Right now I am groovin’ on Lisa Cron’s “Wired for Story.” It’s my third read-through and it is helping me make critical story breakthroughs on my first novel.
Donna Snyder On Becoming a Writer was one of the first I read and I recall at the time I thought it was great.
Liz Wallace Art and Fear
Janet Brennan Oh yes, I forgot about that one. The successful. Novelist ” by David. David Morrell. Highly recommended.
Paula Ambika Bromberg Of course that’s easy—all of Natalie Goldberg’s books..They rocked my soul….if that counts as helping me write…they inspire and delight…what’s yours?
Claudia Long Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
Richard Peabody Sol Stein’s book on writing fiction. Taught Gardner, Goldberg, and Lamott for eons. Lance Olsen’s book and John Dufresne’s are also great for fiction.
Jennie Cooley Stephen Kings book on writing. keep going back to it.
Alfred Stanley The Elements of Style
Joyce Kornblatt ONE CONTINUOUS MISTAKE, Gail Sher
Linda Wiener Art and Fear is my vote too
John Roche I often use Writing Down the Bones or Susan Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy in classes. But the book that worked for me was Ezra Pound’s ABC of Reading.
Cinny Green one of my favorites is The Passionate Accurate Story by Carl Bly.
Marmika Paskiewicz Writing Down the Bones definitely was/is it for me – gave me the freedom to leap into it with all my fingers sticky without worrying “Am I really a writer?” or “Is it good enough?”
Marmika Paskiewicz I really want a writing guide with “snow” in the title…
Lauren Marie Reichelt The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It helped me to develop a concise and clear literary style.
Kate McCahill Dicey’s Song changed my writing life.
Terry Lucas I agree with all of the above. And I know you asked for “the best book,” but all of the following have been “the best” at different times for me: Best Words, Best Order by Stephen Dobyns; The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, Ordinar…See More
Charles Trumbull The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser. One of the most sensible books on writing IMHO.
Doug Bootes Unbroken Line: Writing in the Lineage of Poetry. Seriously, I use this book more often than any to help expand and solidify my poetry.
Aline Tayar Kate Grenville and Sue Wolff’s Ten Australian Stories – interviews with famous Australian writers who talk about how they came to write one of their novels – from Jessica Anderson to Patrick White and Peter Carey. There are samples of early drafts as well as the final version of a piece of text. How an idea is born and how it gestates – this is the one book on writing that I’ve read and re-read.
Kelly Davio Scene and Structure. It’s dry, but incredibly useful. It’s a technical manual rather than a rah-rah-you-can-do-it book, and that works for me.