Draw Inspiration from these Top 20 Creative Writing Books
Creative writing is a form of writing where you bring out your creativity by using imagination and innovation to tell stories in a way that leaves a visual and emotional impact on the reader. Poetry, song, novel, short stories, plays, essays, etc all come under creative writing. Many of you may have often wondered how to write a book, a poem, or an essay. Well, though creative writing appears daunting, sometimes all that requires is an idea and some words that make the art of writing both enticing and exciting. Also, there are many creative writing books available to guide and provide all the information you need. You can also polish up your innate writing skills by joining a creative writing course.
Top 20 Creative Writing Books to read in 2023
Creative writing books are a great way to learn about different writing forms and find your niche. Find below a list of the top 20 Creative Writing Books to read in 2022. These books not only solve your doubts but share solid advice and experiences from veterans and well-known writers in the field. The books are diverse in their arguments and genres and will guide you in more lateral ways to express well what you want to say.
1. Creating the Creative Writers
What to learn creative writing a must-have book is Creating the Creative Writers by Henry Harvin Education. The book is a result of sheer hard work of around 5,500 plus hours that were spent in formulating and teaching the Certified Creative Writing Specialist Course. The book is an extension of the popular course from Henry Harvin.
Encompassing the knowledge of Nuts and Bolts of Creative Writing, the book is a must on the shelf of a budding creative writer. The book garnered excellent reviews of 5- stars on Amazon.
Pick your paperback edition today with the latest and updated topic. Order now from Amazon
2. Linguistics: Why It Matters by Geoffrey K Pullum
Author: Geoff Pullum
Year of publication: 1st edition , 7 September 2018
No. Of Pages: 140 pages
Price- Rs 1178 (Paperback)
Language is primarily a medium through which we humans compose thoughts, construct arguments, explain our thinking and create works of literature. Through this book, author Geoff Pullum gives a stimulating introduction to the many ways in which the scientific study of language matters. The book on the whole feels like you are having a casual conversation with your knowledgeable companion. It is an important resource to people interested in the mechanics of words. The author, a great Linguist that he is, shares his fascination and love for the language and elegance of linguistic theory.
3. On Becoming a Novelist by John C Gardner
Author: John C Gardner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co
Reprint edition:10 February 2000
No. Of Pages: 172 pages
Price- Rs 1691 (Paperback)
This book is described as comfort food for any aspiring novelist. The author writes about the experiences and wisdom he accumulated during his distinguished twenty-year career as a novelist and as a creative writing teacher. He talks about automatic writing and the idea that an artist is made up of two people- a writer and a critic. The author gives valuable suggestions to writers and stresses the importance of appealing to the reader’s senses and creating a dream state for them. Furthermore, he goes on to describe the life of a working novelist, its advantages, and its limitations. This creative writing book is considered to be an indispensable handbook for would-be writers since it has everything in it from discussing the value of a writer’s workshop, and the role of the novelist’s agent and editor to railing against the seductive fruits of literary elitism.
4. The forest of the trees by Betsy Lerner
Author: Betsy Lerner
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Reprint edition: 5 October 2010
No. Of Pages: 304 pages
Price- Rs 990 (Paperback)
This creative writing book is mainly written from the editor’s point of view. Nonetheless, the author also gives input to the writer on being productive with the creative process and ideas. The book has two halves. The first half is one of the fascinating aspects of the book where the author provides six chapters, each providing a character sketch of a different type of author. In short, she describes six classic personality types and in the second half, the author lays out the process that goes from the completion of the manuscript, drawing up contracts, negotiating advances and royalties, submitting it to agents and editors, publishing process, and finally to the book’s appearance in the bookshop. All this is described from the insider’s point of view which makes the book all the more fascinating, interesting, and appealing.
5. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
Author: Dorothea Brande
Publisher: Tarcher Perigee
Reprint edition: 1 March 1981
No. Of Pages: 192 pages
Price- Rs 1165 (Paperback)
A reissue of the classic work first published in 1934, this book recaptures the excitement of Dorothea Brande’s creative writing classroom of the 1920s. This remains an evergreen creative writing book that has been read by almost anyone who teaches creative writing. The author gives practical and inspiring advice on how to find the right time of the day to write and be disciplined about it. Dorothea talks about discovering “the magic of the writer” to give a healthy, practical, stimulating, and exciting approach to writing. Over the years this is considered to be one of the most read creative writing books.
6. Everybody Writes- By Ann Handley
Author: Ann Handley
Publication: 4 November 2014
No. Of Pages: 320 pages
Price- Rs 1165 (Paperback)
In this creative wring book, top marketing veteran Ann Handley provides guidance and insights that go into the process of content creation, production, and publishing. Furthermore, the book also gives practical doable actions to get desired results. It is a go-to guide for anyone creating/publishing online content irrespective of whether you are a big brand, small brand, or solo.
The book has small concise sections and chapters with the added advantage of colorful titles and brief easily comprehensible paragraphs. Equipped with an abundance of graphics, the fun style of narration makes it an easy book to read.
7. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Author: William Knowlton Zinsser
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Reprint edition: 25 May 2020
No. Of Pages: 336 pages
Price- Rs 351 (Paperback)
Considered one of the best creative writing books, this book is praised for its sound advice, clarity, and the warmth of its style. It is considered to be the best guide for a non-fiction writer and lays emphasis on adapting the principles like simplicity, consistency, voice, editing, and enthusiasm to appeal to the reader and make a difference in their life. The book summarises principles of good writing, simple explanations, and what words to avoid. Furthermore, it explains subject-specific writing for business, science, art, humor, and sports
8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Reprint edition: 11 March 2010
No. Of Pages: 322 pages
Price- Rs 322 (Paperback)
This is one of the most widely read creative writing books on university campuses and is recommended by teachers of creative writing. The book has a tone of an autobiography where you read about the author’s struggle in life and the near-death experience he faced on his journey to becoming a best-selling author. The book shows the practical view of the writer’s craft to help competent writers to become good ones.
9. Writing down the bones by Natalie Goldberg
Author: Natalie Goldberg
Reprint edition: 2 February 2016
No. Of Pages: 224 pages
Price- Rs 1199 (Paperback)
This is one of the best creative writing books for artists and writers alike. The author offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer’s craft with a touch of humor, practicality, and lots of insights. However, all these essential tips are in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author’s witty approach. The book is a mirror of the author’s love for literature and it makes you start writing regularly.
10. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Author: Anne Lamott
Publication: 1 September 1995
No. Of Pages: 256 pages
Price- Rs 486(Paperback)
If you have ever wondered about what it takes to be a writer, or what it means to be a writer, then this creative writing book answers everything for you. This book is an essential one to all generations of writers irrespective of young or old and the author has been continuously feeding the thirst of creative minds for years through her hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. The book gets its title from the iconic advice given by Anne’s writer Dad to her brother, a 10-year-old boy then. This book is a superb example of the art of storytelling in a non-fiction book. The author does not go into the technicalities of writing, nonetheless, she discusses what it means it means to be a writer and the limitations and self-doubt that almost every writer faces which are also equally important.
11. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
Author: Christopher Vogler
Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions
Publication: 4th edition, 1 September 2020
No. Of Pages: 400 pages
Price- Rs 2095 (Paperback)
The author Christopher Vogler is a Hollywood screenwriter, author, and educator best known for his works with Disney. This book is considered to be an invaluable help for all amateur writers and is a must for any writer’s arsenal. The main attraction of the book lies in the fact that it imparts knowledge in a straightforward conversational tone that leaves no confusion for the readers. Each chapter in the book concludes with a set of questions and is the best critical writing book for writers looking to improve the structure of their stories. It is considered a go-to guide for screenwriters worldwide over the last 25 years and continues to do so.
12. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Authors: William Strunk Jr., E. B. White
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Reprint edition: August 24, 1999
No. Of Pages: 129 pages
Price- Rs 962(Paperback)
This little creative writing book emphasizes promoting a plain English style of writing. The book offers practical on improving writing skills and teaches you how to communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences. It teaches you the art of writing English prose in a succinct and effective way. The book’s unique tone, charm, and wit have taught the principles of English writing skills to millions of readers and continue to do so. Read this fourth edition of the book to make an impact on your writing.
13. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
Authors: Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
Publisher: JADD Publishing
Updated edition: 9 May 2012
No. Of Pages: 174 pages
Price- Rs 2220(Paperback)
This creative writing book is called “the gold standard for writers”, and teaches the writers how to craft emotion for the readers in a unique and compelling way. This is the perfect book to learn everything about character creation and its emotional responses. It has information on Body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for around 130 emotions. It inspires you to create stronger character expressions and has tips on how to engage readers throughout the book. Moreover, the book’s easy-to-navigate format makes it simple to follow and a quick flip through the book is guaranteed to offer the writer a variety of ideas and story generation cues.
14. Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
Author: James Scott Bell
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Reprint edition: Fifth edition, 22 September 2004
No. Of Pages: 242 pages
Price- Rs 1399(Paperback)
This particular creative writing book teaches you everything about plotting and ways to structure it in various genres of writing. It not only teaches you how to structure a plot to build a compelling story but also how to revise a plot that has gone off course. The book boasts plotting topics that include techniques for crafting a strong story, easy-to-follow plotting charts and diagrams, ideas for the original story and how to plot it, and tips and tricks for correcting common plot problems you are sure to face while writing a story. What’s more, it has exercises at the end of each chapter, to test all the knowledge you have gained about plotting from the book
15. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
Author: James Scott Bell
Publication: 22 August 2006
No. Of Pages: 288 pages
Price- Rs 1228(Paperback)
This book is full of passion, humor, and wisdom and inspires the readers to rekindle their interest in the literature with a fresh approach. This creative writing book, by New York Times bestseller acclaimed author, makes you take a guided tour of the various works of accomplished writers like Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, and Chekhov and learn everything about their tools and tricks that have proved to be successful for them. She dissects the outstanding qualities unique to each of these famous writers and introduces the various aspects of their writing that make them special and stand apart from others. But most importantly, the author cautions the reader to slow down and pay attention to words, which form the foundation of all major literary works.
16. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King.
Authors: Renni Browne, and Dave King.
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication: Subsequent edition, 13 April 2004
No. Of Pages: 288 pages
Price- Rs 1309(Paperback)
The authors are professional editors and through this creative writing book, they teach you how to give a finishing touch to your work and polish it with panache. There are many books available that tell you how to write but not much information is available on editing skills. This book fills that void by teaching you the techniques of editing that turn promising manuscripts to published novels. It has chapters on dialogue, exposition, interior monologue, point of view and other techniques an editor adopts to perfect the manuscript. Furthermore, each technique is illustrated with examples, drawn from other hundreds of books, Browne and King have edited.
17. Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, Jeremy Zerfoss, John Coulthart
Authors: Jeff VanderMeer, Jeremy Zerfoss, John Coulthart
Publisher: Abrams Image
Publication: October 15, 2013
No. Of Pages: 352 pages
Price- Rs 1990(Paperback)
This creative writing book is an all-time guide to writing visually rich imaginative fiction with a novel approach. The book is full of original drawings, maps, renderings, and exercises you can employ to create a beautiful and inspiring object. Embedded with an example-rich approach, the book not only provides practical information needed to improve as a writer but also energizes and motivated you to write. Moreover, the book includes sidebars and essays from some of the biggest authors like George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, and Neil Gaiman to name a few.
18. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
Author: Roy Peter Clark
Publisher: Little, Brown Spark
Publication: Special edition, 10 January 2008
No. Of Pages: 288 pages
Price- Rs 999(Paperback)
Roy Peter Clark is one of America’s leading writing teachers, and through this creative writing book, he offers a toolbox from which writers of all arenas can draw inspiration. According to the author, writing is a craft that you can learn through tools and not through rules, and to prove his point, he talks about 50 tools in this book, distilled from decades of experience, that will help any writer become more fluent and effective. These writing tools cover everything from the more basic to the more complex tools enriched with more than 200 examples from literature and journalism. This book is ideal for all aspiring writers out there irrespective of whether you are writing a novel or a technical report. In the past decade, this book has become the classic guidebook for novices and professionals alike and retains its name as one of the best books available on writing.
19. The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner
Author: Ben Lerner
Publisher: FSG Originals
Publication: 7 June 2016
No. Of Pages: 96 pages
Price- Rs 953(Paperback)
It is generally believed that poetry is one such form of art that is often denounced. In this inventive and lucid essay, Ben Lerner defends poetry by addressing this issue. He dissects poetry’s greatest haters to its greatest practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Through this book, Lerner is able to trace not just the root cause and motivation that causes disdain towards poetry, but also its function as a critical fuel to push it forward. The book achieves its goal because after reading it, you end up longing for the satisfaction of the thing, that you were conditioned to loathe.
20. Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer
Author: Benjamin Dreyer
Publisher: Random House
Publication: 29 January 2019
No. Of Pages: 320 pages
Price- Rs 897 (Paperback)
As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has been a legendary publisher for more than two decades, and through this creative writing book, he distills everything he has learned from the various books he has copyedited. This book offers knowledge on punctuation, rules, mistakes in grammar, the use of intensifiers, and many more. Furthermore, it serves as a guide for writers wanting to hone their skills, editors who shape others’ work, and for anyone who simply loves the language.
21. Find Your Voice
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Year of publication: 2020
No. Of Pages: 192
Price- Rs 782
The book is written by bestselling author Angie Thomas, who shares her thoughts, advice, and best techniques essential to writing a creative journal. The book is packed with information, tips, and exercises on idea/ character development, story setting, getting feedback, and more. In addition, the author covers all aspects of writing a book from how to deal with writer’s block to how a final draft should look. Equipped with illustrated inspirational quotes from the author’s other acclaimed novels, it sparks your imagination and helps bring your own stories to life reinforcing the opinion that it is one of the best creative writing books for newbies to learn the craft of writing.
Why join Henry Harvin’s Creative Writing Course
According to The Statesman, Henry Harvin’s Creative Writing Course Ranks#1 in India. The course helps you test your potential in four genres of creative writing that consists Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Drama. It improves your writing techniques by teaching you the usage of idioms, metaphors, similes, dialogue, etc. Furthermore, it has additional benefits. It is a 9-in-1 course that includes access to E-learning, training, projects, internship, certificate, placements, boot camps, and hackathons. You get to experience practical learning through a series of authentic writing assignments, learn the principles of creative writing, and master various writing techniques. Moreover, you will get to share your work on many digital platforms and channels
Other related courses offered by Henry Harvin
To summarise, creative writing has been a means to explore the human experience. Writers not only preserve the world for future generations by observing it in stories and poetry but also create a better world by imagining it in their works. The importance of creative writing lies in the ability to describe the world through an honest, unadulterated, and unfiltered lens. Any individual engaged in creative writing, no matter what genre or style, helps share new ideas, and explore new experiences and thus plays a major role in the betterment of society.
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Hardcover, paperback, kindle, MP3 CD, etc are different formats through which you can have access to books
Anyone who wants to improve their writing craft can take a creative writing course. It can be any form of writing- a desire to write a bestseller, a column for a magazine or just write a childhood memory for your grandchildren to read. .
A creative writing course polishes your innate writing skills, guides you, and sometimes provides a platform to display your work.
From correcting your grammar, giving you ideas, techniques, and skills to improve your writing, to inspiring you to start writing, you name it and these books have it all
We are grateful for your generosity in sharing this useful list of writing resources. When picking a creative writing course, among other things, you should think about these books.
Dear Harish, thank you so much for your valuable feedback. We wish you all the best in all your endeavors!
I was able to organize the books I will read to improve my creative writing skills thanks to this blog.
Thank you, Daksh. We the team members at Henry Harvin appreciate your gesture and wish you all the very best for your career and life.