Creative Writing: Books To Inspire

Ever dream of writing a story, graphic novel, biography or memoir? As literary prize-winner E.L. Doctorow said, "Writing is an exploraton. You start from nothing and learn as you go." It's time to begin exploring those inner and outer worlds that only you can describe. Writing, as many authors agree, is like living twice. Start your second life now.


Compiled by:
Doris Lynch
The Art of Comic Book Writing: the Definitive Guide to Outlining, Scripting, and Pitching Sequential Art Stories

Mark Kneece
Adult Nonfiction 741.51 Kne

Everything you need to know to create a great comic book or graphic novel, including: scripting, setting, characterization, visualization, storytelling, and movement. Plus this book’s visually striking format incorporates comic book techniques, and makes for a fun, informative read.


The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction

James Alexander Thom
Adult Nonfiction 808.381 Tho

Local novelist, Thom, shares his deep knowledge of how to write books based on real history.  How do you make your characters’ speech, clothing, and activities sound believable when they lived so long ago? This guide covers everything from research to verisimilitude. It will inspire you to try your hand at this fascinating genre.


The Art of Memoir

Mary Karr
Adult Nonfiction 809.93592 Kar

From the doyenne of memoir writing, Mary Karr brings her usual wit, empathy, and great knowledge of how to write an interesting book that will keep you turning the pages. For memoir, voice is vital, she says, as is a true knowledge of oneself. The extensive list of recommended memoirs alone makes this book worthwhile.


Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry

Jane Hirshfield
Adult Nonfiction 808.1 Hir

This guide is as lyrical as its subject. Although it does not offer prompts or exercises, it involves the reader deeply in the poetic process. Highly imaginative, it approaches creative writing as a mystery full of wonder where indirection and shadows often lead the way.


On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Nonfiction

William Zinsser
Adult Nonfiction 808.042 Zin

This informative nuts and bolts guide to writing nails down the practical essentials: usage, unity, the lead and endings. It also covers a range of nonfiction genres: science and technology, humor, memoir, travel, the arts, etc. Get started in nonfiction by following this pro’s cogent advice.


Poetry: a Survivor’s Guide

Mark Yakich
Adult Nonfiction 808.1 Yak

An irreverent but useful guide to a serious craft. Whether you’re reading, writing, or listening to poems, this book will make the experience more joyful and understandable.


Sell Your Book like Wildfire: The Writer’s Guide to Marketing and Publicity

Rob Eagar
Adult Nonfiction 808.02 Eag

After the grueling battle to finish writing your book, the next round begins, midwifing it into the world. In this age of self-publishing and lean and mean book publishers, the author has to take command of his or her own marketing. This book will show you how.


This Year You Write Your Novel

Walter Mosley
Adult Nonfiction 808.3 Mos

Have you dreamed of writing that first novel for far too long? This inspiring book will get you on track for a first draft in three months. It covers the essentials: establishing a writer’s practice, voice, characters, emotions, dialogue, revising, and knowing when to stop rewriting. Take the three month challenge proposed by the author of this helpful guide.


Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Natalie Goldberg
Adult Nonfiction 808.02 Gol

In short one to four page vignettes, writing guru Goldberg shares her insights into the writing process. She does this by making writing practice playful, sometimes communal, and always free-flowing. If you suffer from writer’s block, the thirtieth year anniversary edition of the classic will start you writing going again.


Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-Of-This-World Novels and Short Stories

Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake
Adult Nonfiction 808.3876 Car

This comprehensive guide provides the details and techniques you need to create and people other worlds, and to add amazing fantastical elements to your own.  Learn about magical rituals, interstellar travel, elves, orcs and giants so you can create a book of your own. Taught by several sci-fi and fantasy masters.