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Writing Books I Love
BIRD BY BIRD, by Anne Lamott - This book addresses the heart of a writer, and reminds me to stay kind and honest and interesting. Opening it is always like running to a writer friend who understands.

THE WRITER'S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler - Vogler translates Joseph Campbell's brilliant work on myth into a guide for today's story-teller. I read through it at least once for every book I write - it's superb on structure, and on how to make a story resonate deeply.

ON WRITING, by Stephen King - This is the down-and-dirty toolbox, the most practical, no-nonsense book on all aspects of writing I've found. Somehow, it's also pretty inspiring. A quote from it - THE STORY'S THE BOSS! - has hung above my writing desk for ten years now, and the advice just keeps getting wiser.

ELEMENTS OF WRITING FICTION - SCENE AND STRUCTURE, by Jack Bickham - Nothing fancy, just sound, practical advice about how to build a story with words.

THE ART OF FICTION, by John Gardener - The New York Times called this book "A necessary handbook, a stern judge, an encouraging friend," and I agree. Gardner is smart, thoughtful, and a good communicator.

THE ANNOTATED CHARLOTTE'S WEB, by Peter Neumeyer - It's like watching over E.B. White's shoulder as he's writing his classic book. On every page, scholars explain every choice he made and why - and you can learn everything you need to know about writing thoughtfully for children by studying this resource. Out of print now, but you can pick up used copies.

HOOKED, by Les Edgerton - As the title implies, it's all about how to write fiction that hooks readers - a pretty important skill.

THE WAR OF ART, by Steven Pressfield - Tough love to get you writing, instead of worrying about writing or dreaming about writing or avoiding writing. A great guide to help you break through blocks in all areas of creative life - I pick it up often.
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