Friday Book Share ~ Fav Writing Books

Hey SE Readers. It’s Friday and time for another book share. I usually share a work of fiction (after all this site is about writing fiction), but today I’m going to do something a little different. I’m going to share a few of my favorite (and most helpful) books on writing.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi – I purchased this book when it first released several years ago and found it extremely helpful. Recently the authors published a new version that lists 130 different emotions.

Each entry defines that particular emotion, notes, physical signs and behaviors, internal sensations, mental responses, acute or long-term responses to said emotion, associated power verbs, and more.

Angela and Becca have also published The Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Negative Trait Thesaurus, Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Rural Setting Thesaurus, The Urban Setting Thesaurus, and Emotion Amplifiers.

I’ve found each of these books useful. The authors also have a website, One Stop for Writers, (not an affiliate link) where you can access all the thesaurus series plus more. It’s subscription only, but has some handy tools, especially for beginning writers.

Busy Writers Guides by Marcy Kennedy. Marcy’s books are short and easy to read. (That’s why they’re called busy writers guides). I’ve also found them to be helpful. Among the titles are,  Showing and Telling in Fiction, Description, Strong Female Characters, Dialogue, Point of View in Fiction, Internal Dialogue, and Deep Point of View.

Marcy gives examples throughout these guides – some from her own published works of fiction.

A few months ago, when needing a reference on writing a blurb for one of my novels, I came across Writing Book Blurbs and Synopses by Rayne Hall. As with the others mentioned here, this book was just what I needed. Rayne has a series of writer’s craft books including Writing Vivid Emotions, Writing Vivid Settings, Writing Love Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes and more.

Last, but not least, James Scott Bell has a number of books on writing including, Plot and Structure, Write Your Novel From the Middle, and How to Write Short Stories. What I like about his books is that he uses real-life examples – often from movies.

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your “go to” books on writing? Please share in the comments.

31 thoughts on “Friday Book Share ~ Fav Writing Books

  1. I have a large collection of craft books, but I’ve been buying more marketing than writing books lately. That said, I think I always buy James Scott Bell books, and I love the Thesaurus collection by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. This is a great list, Joan.

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  2. I rarely read craft books these days although I used to read a ton of them. Recently however, I just finished the book “When You’re the Only Cop in Town…a writer’s guide to small town law enforcement.” It’s an older book but I found it helpful for the small town setting I have planned for my next novel. I do like reference books and have several by Angela and Becca. Nicholas Rossis also has a good one called Emotional Beats that I’ve found helpful.

    And then I have a bunch of old Writer’s Digest books….Life in the 1800s, Life in Colonial America, Life in the American West, Life in the 1600s, and so on. They’re very old but the info is still good! 🙂

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    • Sounds like you have some treasures on your bookshelf. I also have Nicholas’s Emotional Beats. I’ve bought a book of poisons and one about real life arsonists for research purposes. (Geez what would some people think).

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  3. Like you, I love the Emotion Thesaurus and other books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I have one of James Scott Bell’s books, and another three arriving today, lol, as I loved ‘The Last Fifty Pages’ so much. I also take classes by Holly Lisle on writing–hers are all online, and you can find details of some via my website:, in the side-bar. I’m about to start reading Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s about time. It’s been on my shelf for ages. I also have The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker after reading Staci’s great series of posts on SE a little while ago. I haven’t come across some of the others you mention and will have to check them out. Thanks for sharing, Joan. 🙂

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