Top 15 books for writers and screenwriters

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015, she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod, after which she created the author's course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" on its basis. More than 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by training, she is very quick to master new fields. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in films/series, about which she writes in the blog of her project.
Books for writers are an essential element of the literary world, helping writers at all stages of their creative journey. Whether you are an aspiring author or an experienced writer, books for writers can be a valuable source of information and inspiration.

In this article, we will list a few well-known books that will help you improve your craft and teach you how to write more compelling and engaging works.

"The Anatomy of Story" is a book by John Truby, screenwriter, director and writer, in which he presents his approach to creating strong and compelling stories.

In the book, Truby offers his theory that all stories have a certain structure and certain elements that make them effective. He views stories as a form of communication that is used to convey certain values, ideas and beliefs.

Truby analyzes different aspects of story structure such as character, conflict, action, theme, and style. He explains that each of these elements is important in creating a strong story and provides many examples from literature, movies, and other sources to illustrate his ideas.

"Anatomy of a Story" will be useful to anyone interested in creating stories, from writers and screenwriters to directors and producers. The book offers practical advice and tools for developing strong and compelling stories that will leave an impression on audiences.


"The Art of Fiction" is a book by John Gardner, an American writer and literary critic, in which he examines the basic principles of creating fiction.

In the book, Gardner presents his approach to the craft of writing, emphasizing the importance of aspects such as creating vivid characters, writing dialogue, constructing a plot, and choosing a point of view.

He discusses various literary techniques that will help writers improve their work and offers practical advice on how to work on a fiction text.

The book also provides numerous examples from classic and contemporary works of literature to help illustrate the ideas and concepts presented in the book.

"The Art of Fiction" is an essential resource for anyone interested in the art of writing who wants to improve their fiction-writing skills.

"On writing" is a book by Stephen King, an American writer and master of horror, in which he gives advice on writing fiction.

The book consists of two parts. In the first part, King talks about his life and career, describes his path to success, and gives advice to aspiring writers on choosing a topic and creating a plot.

In the second part of the book, King offers practical advice on creating characters, dialog, setting, and writing style. He also addresses the issues involved in editing and publishing a book, and gives advice on how to promote his work.

The book is written in simple and accessible language, and is full of practical tips to help readers improve their writing skills.

"The Elements of Style" is a book by William Strack and E.B. White, originally published in 1918 and reprinted many times in subsequent years. It is one of the most popular and influential guides to English grammar and style.

The book consists of fifty-one concise chapters that cover a wide range of topics related to writing in English, from the proper use of punctuation marks to sentence and paragraph construction.

"Elements of Style" is not only a practical guide to the rules of grammar and style, but also a guide to effective writing. The authors emphasize the need for clear and concise writing and the proper use of language to maximize clarity and accuracy of expression.


"How to Read and Why" is a book by Harold Bloom, an American literary critic and professor at Yale University. In this book, Bloom addresses issues related to reading and the literary canon.

The book consists of two parts. In the first part, Bloom explains why reading is important to our lives and how it can help us develop as individuals. He also addresses issues related to choosing books to read and gives advice on how to read different genres of literature including poetry, novels, and dramatic works.

In the second part of the book, Bloom presents his literary canon, a list of the best works of world literature that he believes should be read. The canon includes works from Homer to Fowles, and each work is discussed in terms of its literary value and contribution to world culture.

"Zen in the Art of Writing" is a book by Ray Bradbury, an American writer, published in 1990. In this book, Bradbury shares his thoughts and experiences about writing, and discusses the creative process and inspiration.

The book consists of several essays, each of which deals with a specific topic related to writing. Bradbury recounts his writing experiences, discusses the challenges writers face, and offers advice on how to overcome a creative crisis and learn how to express your thoughts and feelings on paper.

In "Zen in the Art of Writing," Bradbury encourages writers to find inspiration in everyday life and to not be afraid to experiment with different genres and styles. He also argues that it is important to write every day, even if it is just a few words or phrases.


"The Art of Creative Writing" is a book by Lajos Egri, a Hungarian-American playwright and creative writing teacher. It was published in 1965 and has since become one of the best known books on creative writing.

In the book, Egri proposes his method of teaching creative writing, which is based on the fact that any good text should have a clear conflict and characters who act in accordance with their beliefs and goals. He argues that an author must ask themselves questions about the characters, their conflicts, and their motivations in order to create a compelling and entertaining story.

Egri's book also contains many practical exercises to help develop writing skills and learn how to create strong characters and characters. He gives advice on choosing the best genre and style for your story and shows how to use elements of suspense and plot to create more interesting and dynamic texts.

"On writing well" is a book by William Zinser, a well-known American journalist and writing teacher. It was originally published in 1976 and has since become one of the most popular guides to writing.

In his book, Zinser gives advice on how to produce clear and crisp writing in any field, from journalism to scientific writing. He argues that a writer must know their audience and use simple, clear language to convey their thoughts as clearly and effectively as possible.

"On writing well" also contains many examples of good and bad writing to help readers develop their taste and learn to distinguish a quality text from a weak one. Zinser discusses topics such as strategies for planning text, using different literary devices, dialog design, and more.

The book is written in easy and accessible language and can be useful for both beginners and experienced writers who want to improve their skills.


"Bird by Bird" is a book by writer Anne Lamott, published in 1994. It is a kind of memoir-guide for aspiring writers and describes the process of writing a book by the author on the example of creating her novel "Frame by Frame".

The book consists of 12 chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the writing process, from choosing a topic and creating characters to editing and publishing a book. Lamott details her writing experiences and provides tips to help other writers improve their skills.

"Bird by Bird" is not only a guide for aspiring writers, but also an inspirational book about the importance of following your dreams and overcoming challenges on the way to realizing them. The book has become a bestseller and has received many positive reviews for its honesty, frankness and usefulness for anyone who wants to become a writer or improve their skills in this field.

"Your Writing Coach" is a book by German screenwriter and director Jürgen Wolf, published in 2015. It is a guide for beginners and experienced writers who want to improve their skills in writing different literary genres and screenplays.

The book consists of three main parts: theoretical, practical and inspirational. In the first part, the author offers his perspective on writing and describes the basic principles of creating literary works and scripts. In the second part, he gives practical advice on writing in various genres, from short stories to new media. In the third part, the author gives advice on motivation and inspiration in writing.

"The Literary Marathon" by Chris Batey is a practical guide for those who want to start writing but don't know how to begin the process, or for those who have already started but have hit a creative dead end. The book offers a unique approach to the writing process, including a series of exercises that will help readers develop their writing skills, learn about their strengths and weaknesses, learn how to deal with obstacles, and stay motivated.

The book consists of 26 chapters, each devoted to a specific topic, from choosing an idea to editing and publishing a piece of writing. Each chapter contains theoretical material, examples and exercises that will help the reader apply the knowledge gained in practice. Additional exercises and questions for self-checking are also offered at the end of each chapter.

The main advantage of Literary Marathon is its practical approach to the writing process. The book offers real-life exercises to help readers develop their skills and motivation, and can be useful for both novice and experienced writers. It also contains many examples of famous works of literature that will help the reader better understand the principles of writing.

"Pity the Reader: On Writing with Style" is a book by author Kurt Vonnegut in which he gives his unique perspective on the writing process and gives advice to aspiring authors.

The book consists of several parts in which the author talks about different aspects of writing. In particular, he talks about how to use simple language to connect with the reader, how to create interesting characters, how to develop a plot, how to work with dialogues, etc.

One of the main themes addressed in the book is the idea that a writer should always think about his readers. The author states that a writer's goal is not to show how smart or literate he is, but to write in a way that his readers can understand and appreciate his work.

"Pity the Reader: How to Write Well" is an easy-to-read and interesting book that will help aspiring writers to better understand the writing process and develop their skills. It can also be useful for experienced writers who want to refresh their knowledge and improve their style.


Blake Snyder "Save the cat!" - The book is a guide for screenwriters and contains many useful tips on how to create good scripts for movies, TV series and other works. The main message of the book is that every script should contain a "SEAL moment," i.e., a moment that evokes a strong emotional response in viewers or readers and helps keep their attention on the work.

The book pays special attention to such important elements of a screenplay as the logline (a brief description of the screenplay idea), the "Blake Snyder table" (the 15-act structure of a screenplay), and the "life pattern" (characterization of the main character).

Dorothea Brand's book Becoming a writer was released in 2006 and has become a popular guide for aspiring writers. In this book, Dorothea Brand gives tips and advice to help you start writing and develop your creativity. Here are some of them:

  1. Read a lot and in a variety of ways. Reading helps develop literary taste and enriches the imagination.
  2. Write every day. You don't have to write entire novels or short stories, but it's important to keep your hand in training and write something every day.
  3. Don't be afraid to experiment. Use different genres, topics, and perspectives to develop your style and technique.
  4. Review your work critically. Evaluate your work neither too gently nor too harshly, but always with a clear understanding of what can be improved.
  5. Find your voice. Develop your personal style and writing voice that will be unique and prominent to your works.


Yuri Wolf "Your Creative Writing Masterclass" - the author has collected interesting and informative conversations with famous contemporary writers and poets, which were held as part of the program "Literary Master Class" on the TV channel "Culture".

The book contains conversations between Yuri Wolf and such writers as Evgeny Vodolazkin, Viktor Pelevin, Sergei Shargunov, Dmitry Bykov, Vladimir Sorokin and others. During these conversations, the authors discuss their literary methods and techniques, talk about their creative process, and share their thoughts and ideas.

The book Literary Workshop is a useful resource for anyone interested in literary creation, as well as for those who want to learn more about contemporary literature and its authors. It will help readers gain new knowledge and inspiration for their own writing.