My bookshelf has several well-worn books that I sometimes refer to while I am writing. Although I've been writing for many years, consulting with my one of my research or writing books often serves to remind me of certain things I need to do to jump-start my thinking or figure out a puzzling scene. I no longer need to consult some of the books as much as I used to since I've absorbed a great deal of the lessons and information over the years. But it's always nice to know my trustworthy books are on my shelf should I need them.
I have books that help me define a character arc, sort out weapons, determine proper police procedure, and yes, even accurately describe historical underwear. Other books remind me how to pick up the pace of a sagging middle, how to create a good hook, and how to refuel my fickle Muse.
For all you writers out there--what books do you return to time and again for advice, research and clarity? It just so happens I've got a bit more space on my bookshelf to add a few more!
Here's a list of a few of my favorites:
The Writer’s Journey by Chistopher Vogler
On Writing by Stephen King
The New Hacker's Dictionary by Eric S. Raymond
How To Write a Damn Good Novel, I and II, by James N. Frey
How to Write & Sell Your First Novel by Oscar Collier and Frances Spatz Leighton
Police Procedural: A Writer’s Guide to the Police and How They Work by Russell Bintliff
Cause of Death: A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder and Forensic Medicine by Keith Wilson
Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons by Michael Newton
The History of Underclothes by C. Willet and Phillis Cunnington
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
How to Write, Recite, and Delight in All Kinds of Poetry by Joy Hulme and Donna Guthrie