What’s in Your Toolbox? – A Writer’s Bookshelf

Recently, I did a major overhaul on my writing space. The overhaul allowed me to create some much-needed space on my shelves for books on the craft as well as added space on my physical desktop for the research I’ve been doing on my next idea.

This process got me thinking about a writer’s toolbox.
We each have one, but what we carry inside can be vastly different from our fellow writers.
A few of the items I believe all writers have inside their immediate (the one we carry everywhere) toolbox are: our ideas (or Muse – if they can actually fit inside that small, tight confined space), experiences, vocabulary, music that drives the words onto the page, a pen and a notebook (or index cards or post-it notes).
But what about the other items – the ones we can’t take with us everywhere we go? The first obvious one that comes to mind is our computer, since those can be a little too bulky to carry around everywhere. But I’m mainly thinking about the many books on/about the craft that accumulate on our shelves. Looking at my stack of writing books made me wonder what’s on everyone’s shelves and whether or not all of us have a few of the same books.
Given the fact that the writing community is forever open and honest, and everyone enjoys sharing ideas and resources with each other, I wanted to take this opportunity to find out what you have on your shelves at home.
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. *smile*

  • Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus
  • The BIG Book of Words You Should Know (this is an interesting book as it separates words into those you should absolutely know, words most people don’t know, words you should know but probably don’t, and words you shouldn’t know)
  • Write That Book Already! By Sam Barry & Kathi Kamen Goldmark
  • *Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published from the Editors of Writer’s Digest
  • *Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
  • *Write Great Fiction: Dialogue by Gloria Kempton
  • *Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell
  • *Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
  • *Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
  • Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliot, Ph. D.
  • The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide (particular section entitled: ‘For Writers’) by J.R. Ward
  • Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper
  • *On Writing by Steven King
  • *The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White
  • *The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell

*Book not pictured as it is on my Nook/computer:

  • Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth by James Scott Bell
  • Love Writing by Virna DePaul & Tawny Weber

**I highly recommend these for writers.

These are the books that are on my actual shelves – it does not include those that have managed to find themselves in a box where one day, I will end up searching high and low for them – and driving myself crazy until I find them.
Now it’s your turn!
Name some of the writing books you have on your shelf at home. Which ones are your favorites? Is there a book in particular that you don’t see on my shelf that you feel we as writers absolutely must have?

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Copyright 2018 by Melinda S. Collins