Here is a list of books that I and clients have found to be very useful in developing writing skills as well as providing a strong foundation for writing creative nonfiction.
Elizabeth J. Andrew, Writing the Sacred Journey ISBN: 978-1558964709
This book is reader friendly. Andrew provides a complete and thorough guide to writing a Spiritual Memoir. She not only offers the reader the common suggestions such as writing habits and using descriptive details, showing and telling, but she also explains what the spiritual memoir is and what the writer of one should be aware of. Her personal spiritual memoir is on the Memoir page.
Ralph Keyes, The Courage to Write ISBN: 978-0805074673
Depending on how much you want to have the courage to write will determine how good this book will be for you. Keyes did his research. He accumulated personal quotes from many successful writers from Faulkner to King on their writing habits, facing of their fears, as well as how they set up their writing environment for their best work. I highly recommend this book.
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones ISBN: 978-087773-375-1
This book is a long-time favorite of most writers. Goldberg does a great job of inspiring writers and would-be writers to take the leap in writing skillfully and creatively. This is one of my favorite resource books because of Goldberg’s philosophy of writing. She states, “Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.” We share this philosophy.
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way ISBN: 1-58542-146-4
This is another favorite of mine. In fact, when I first started writing seriously, this was the book that kept me going when I wanted to stop. She was the first to introduce the “artist’s date.” I found it to be intriguing. The book is the seminal book on the subject of creativity.
Sue William Silverman – Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir.
Silverman not only provides you with her tools, but also exercises you can do to loosen up the writer within. Topics covered are crafting memoir into art, writing in style, marketing your memoir, and samples of other author’s work.
Les Edgerton – Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing
Some of the topics covered are why unpublished writers have an inferiority complex, the elements of personality or “voice”, strategies for getting and keeping your voice on the page, and more. I found the book to be very informative as well as a thorough and comprehensible “voice” explanation.
Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola, Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction ISBN: 0-07-144494-7
As a student in grad school, this textbook really helped me to get in touch with my stories and also gave me the courage to move through the writing process as well as my difficult stories I wanted to tell. Well written and an easy read.
Robin Hemley, Turning Life Into Fiction ISBN: 1-55597-444-9
This book is an excellent manual for creative writing and/or fiction. Topics include focusing on real life, using real people for characters, writing true anecdotes, real places, real people, and more. On the back cover, it states that Hemley, self-proclaimed thief and liar addresses the legal and ethical concerns of borrowing experiences from the lives and strangers and loved ones.
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft ISBN: 0-684-85352-3
Coming from the renowned horror writer, King provides his readers with a short memoir of how he became a writer as well as a “tool box,” which he recommends that all writers have. The first part of the book portrays his sense of humor and honesty, while the second part offers suggestions and advice for enhancing writing skills.