Books: The Master List

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Alphabetized by author’s last name. If you know of a great book not listed here, please let me know!

New Books are highlighted in bold. (Last updated 7/26/22)


Peter E. Abresch – Easy Reading Writing
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi – The Emotion Thesaurus
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi – The Negative Trait Thesaurus
Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi – The Positive Trait Thesaurus
Martha Alderson & Jordan Rosenfeld – Writing Deep Scenes
Pilar Alessandra – The Coffee Break Screenwriter
Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers – The Bestseller Code
Derek Attridge – Poetic Rhythm
Jack M. Bickham – 38 Most Common Fiction Mistakes
Jack M. Bickham – Scene & Structure
Jack M. Bickham – Setting
Jack M. Bickham – Writing and Selling Your Novel
Jack M. Bickham – Writing Novels that Sell
Jack M. Bickham – Writing the Short Story
Matt Bird – The Secrets of Character
Matt Bird – The Secrets of Story
Rachel Ballon – Breathing Life Into Your Characters
James Scott Bell – Plot & Structure
James Scott Bell – Conflict and Suspense
Christopher Booker – The Seven Basic Plots
Larry Brooks – Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves
Larry Brooks – Story Engineering
Larry Brooks – Story Fix
Larry Brooks – Story Physics
Renni Browne, Dave King – Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
Mary Buckham – Writing Active Setting
Mary Buckham and Diana Love – Break Into Fiction
Janet Burroway – Writing Fiction
Siri Caldwell – Irresistible Blurbs
Walter S. Campbell – Writing: Advice and Devices
Orson Scott Card – Characters & Viewpoint
Deborah Chester – The Fantasy Fiction Formula
Deborah Chester – Fiction Formula Plotting
Deborah Chester – Fiction Formula Fix-It
Roy Peter Clark – Help for Writers
Roy Peter Clark – Murder Your Darlings
Roy Peter Clark – The Art of X-Ray Reading
Roy Peter Clark – The Glamour of Grammar
Roy Peter Clark – Writing Tools
Jane K. Cleland – Mastering Plot Twists
Jane K. Cleland – Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot
Brandilyn Collins – Getting Into Character
David Corbett – The Compass of Character
David Corbett – The Art of Character
Shawn Coyne – The Story Grid
Lisa Cron – Wired for Story
Lisa Cron – Story Genius
Lisa Cron – Story or Die


H. R. D’Costa – Inciting Incident
H. R. D’Costa – Midpoint Magic
H. R. D’Costa – Sizzling Story Outlines
H. R. D’Costa – Solid Story Compass
H. R. D’Costa – Sparkling First Drafts
H. R. D’Costa – Story Climax
H. R. D’Costa – Story Stakes
H. R. D’Costa – Trough of Hell
Laura Deutsch – Writing from the Senses
Ansen Dibell – Plot
Les Edgerton – Finding Your Voice
Les Edgerton – Hooked
Eric Edson – The Story Solution
Lajos Egri – The Art of Creative Writing
Alex Epstein – Crafty Screenwriting
Syd Field – Screenplay
E.M. Forster – Aspects of the Novel
William Foster-Harris – The Basic Formulas of Fiction
William Foster-Harris – The Basic Patterns of Plot
James N. Frey – How to Write a Damn Good Novel
James N. Frey – How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II: Advanced Techniques
John Gardner – The Art of Fiction
Roxane Gay – Unti on Writing
Elizabeth George – Mastering the Process
Jeff Gerke – Plot Versus Character
Jeff Gerke – The First 50 Pages
William Goldman – Adventures in the Screen Trade
Paul Joseph Gulino – Screenwriting: The Sequences Approach
Paul Joseph Gulino & Connie Shears – The Science of Screenwriting


James W. Hall – Hit Lit
Jack Hart – Storycraft
Jack Hart – Wordcraft
Michael Hauge – Writing Screenplays That Sell
Michael Hauge – Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds
Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler – The Hero’s 2 Journeys DVD
Jack Heffron – The Writer’s Idea Book
Mel Helitzer with Mark Shatz – Comedy Writing Secrets
Tony Hoagland – The Art of Voice
Stuart Horwitz – Blueprint Your Bestseller
Stuart Horwitz – Book Architecture
Stuart Horwitz – Finish Your Book in Three Drafts
David Howard, Edward Mabley – The Tools of Screenwriting
Kim Hudson – The Virgin’s Promise
Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy – Writing Fiction for Dummies 2009
Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy – Writing Fiction for Dummies 2021
Steven James – Story Trumps Structure
Steven James – Troubleshooting Your Novel
Bill Johnson – A Story is a Promise
Corrine Kenner – Tarot for Writers
Robert Kernan – Building Better Plots
Stephen King – On Writing
Brian Kiteley – The 3 A.M. Epiphany
Brian Kiteley – The 4 A.M. Breakthrough
Cheryl B. Klein – The Magic Words
Nancy Kress – Beginnings, Middles & Ends
Nancy Kress – Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint
Nancy Kress – Dynamic Characters
C.S. Lakin – Writing the Heart of Your Story
Noah Lukeman – The First Five Pages
Noah Lukeman – The Plot Thickens
Elizabeth Lyon – A Writer’s Guide to Fiction
Elizabeth Lyon – Manuscript Makeover
Elizabeth Lyon – The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit
Elizabeth Lyon – Writing Subtext


Donald Maass – The Breakout Novelist
Edward Mabley – Dramatic Construction
Dara Marks – Inside Story
William Martin – Joyce and the Science of Rhythm
Rebecca McClanahan – Word Painting
Brian McDonald – The Golden Theme
Brian McDonald – Invisible Ink
Robert McKee – Character
Robert McKee – Story
Robert Mckee – Dialogue
Robert McKee – Storynomics
Jim Mercurio – The Craft of Scene Writing
Billy Mernit – Writing the Romantic Comedy
Dinty W. Moore – The Story Cure
Jessica Page Morrell – Between the Lines
Jessica Page Morrell – Bullies, Bastards & Bitches
Jessica Page Morrell – Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us
Jessica Page Morrell – The Writer’s I Ching
Matt Morrison – Key Concepts in Creative Writing
Paula Munier – Plot Perfect
Paula Munier – The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings
Paula Munier – Writing with Quiet Hands
The New York Writer’s Workshop – The Portable MFA in Creative Writing
William Noble – Conflict, Action & Suspense
Frances O’Roark Dowell – How to Build a Story…Or, the Big What If
Raymond Obstfeld – Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes
Darcy Pattison – Novel Metamorphosis
Karen Pearlman – Cutting Rhythms
Kira-Anne Pelican – The Science of Writing Characters
Gabriela Pereira – DIY MFA
Gary Provost – 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
Gary Provost – Beyond Style
Gary Provost – Make Your Words Work
Gary Provost – Make Every Word Count


Alicia Rasley – The Power of Point of View
Gabriele Lusser Rico – Writing the Natural Way
Chris Roerden – Don’t Murder Your Mystery
Jordan Rosenfeld – A Writer’s Guide to Persistence
Jordan Rosenfeld – How to Write a Page Turner
Jordan Rosenfeld – Make a Scene
Jordan Rosenfeld – Writing the Intimate Character
Peter Rubie and Gary Provost – How to Tell a Story
Peter Rubie – The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction
Peter Rubie – The Elements of Storytelling
Victoria Lynn Schmidt – 45 Master Characters
Sandra Scofield – The Last Draft
Sandra Scofield – The Scene Book
Jule Selbo – Film Genre for the Screenwriter
Jule Selbo – Screenplay
Brad Schreiber – What Are You Laughing At?
Adam Skelter – The Lost Art of Story
Adam Skelter – Story By Numbers
Blake Snyder – Save the Cat!
Blake Snyder – Save the Cat! Strikes Back
Blake Snyder – Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies
Tom Spanbauer – [no craft books]
Herbert Spencer – First Principles
Cheryl St. John – Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict
F.K. Stanzel – A Theory of Narrative
Sol Stein – 
Stein on Writing
Dwight Swain – Creating Characters: How to Build Story People
Dwight Swain – Master Writing Teacher CDs
Dwight Swain – Techniques of the Selling Writer
Dwight & Joy R. Swain – Film Scriptwriting
James Thomas – Script Analysis
Kristin Thompson – Storytelling in the New Hollywood
Ronald B. Tobias – 20 Master Plots
Ronald B. Tobias – Theme and Strategy
John Truby – The Anatomy of Story


Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge – The Hero’s 2 Journeys CDs
Christopher Vogler and David McKenna – Memo from the Story Dept.
Christopher Vogler – The Writer’s Journey
W.W. Watt – An American Rhetoric
Chuck Wendig – Damn Fine Story
Carolyn Wheat – How to Write Killer Fiction 
Laura Whitcomb – Novel Shortcuts
Karen S. Wiesner – Bring Your Fiction to Life
Karen S. Wiesner – First Draft in 30 Days
Eric Witchey – [no craft books, but he does have some craft magazine articles]
Stanley D. Williams – The Moral Premise
Geraldine Woods – 25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way
William Zinsser – On Writing Well
Albert Zuckerman – Writing the Blockbuster Novel

4 thoughts on “Books: The Master List

  1. Here are a couple of books that are among my favorites, and I haven’t seen them mentioned on this site. I am still digesting them because they are so chock-full of great practical information.

    “The Story Template,” by Amy Deardon.
    “Blueprint Your Bestseller,” by Stuart Horwitz.

    Thanks for your great list!


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