All writers have books in their libraries that they reference over and over. Here are 10 favorites from my shelves.
1. The Chicago Style Manual – because it’s the style book my editor uses.
2. The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual – because it’s easier to find stuff in than the Chicago Style Manual
3. Roget’s thesaurus – because the computer’s thesaurus is very limited.
4. 20,000 Names for Babies – for naming my characters.
5. The Merriam Webster Dictionary – because not every word I want to use is in the computer’s dictionary.
6. Personology-The Precision approach to Charting Your Life, Career, and Relationships by GoldSchneider- a horoscope book that provides personality clues based on birth dates. I find it helpful to give my characters a birthdate, and then chart what their personalities might be.
7. A rhyming dictionary for writing poetry – I have several of these.
8. Poetry form dictionaries – when I want to get creative and try a new poetic form.
9. The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English – from my college years, for looking up punctuation (it’s also easier to maneuver than the Chicago Style Manual.
10. The Romance Writer’s Phrase book by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton – to help spark more interesting phrasing than “He looked at her.”
What are your go-to books?