Creative Writing Course Books with Writing Exercises
Bell, Julia and Paul Magrs (Eds) The Creative Writing Coursebook
Brande, Dorothea On Becoming a Writer – 1934. A classic on automatic writing.
Cowan, Andrew The Art of Writing Fiction
Cox, Ailsa Writing Short Stories
Reflections on Writing and Other Good Books
Atwood, Margaret On Writers and Writing
Boylan, Clare (ed.), The Agony and the Ego: The Art and Strategy of Fiction Writing Explored.
Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel Fascinating lecture series delivered at Cambridge in 1927. Round and flat characters are discussed here.
Gardner, John On Becoming a Novelist. Wonderful reading. The novel as ‘vivid and continuous dream’.
King, Stephen On Writing. Highly readable. Plot is seen as a fossil that needs to be excavated.
Lodge, David The Art of Fiction. Brilliant collection of literary newspaper columns to dip into.
Mullan, John How Novels Work. Very useful reading.
O’Connor, Flannery Mystery and Manners
Orwell, George Why I Write
Prose, Francine Reading Like a Writer
Smith, Ali Artful
Wood, James How Fiction Works. Insightful stuff.
Woolf, Virginia A Writer’s Diary
Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2017 (Bloomsbury) Comes out yearly. List of agents and publishers as well as lots of advice from different authors on genre writing, getting started, getting published, etc.
Punctuation and Grammar Guides
Oxford Everyday Grammar
Rediscover Grammar and Making Sense of Grammar, David Crystal
The Penguin Guide to Punctuation. It matters!
Emma Darwin’s This Itch of Writing tool kit. Excellent explanations of the nuts and bolts of the craft with plenty of examples. For instance, the article on showing and telling will really help you get to grips with this. There’s a great reading list.
Christopher Fielden’s Short Story Competition List. Regularly updated and seems comprehensive.
Writing Exercises. Random plot and character prompt generator to help break writing blocks. If you like being given random first lines and situations, this will be fun.
Are there are a limited number of plots? Many writers and critics have thought so. Changing Minds gives a list of the different theories with brief summaries.