Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writer Wednesday - Books on Editing

Last Wednesday's post was about my favorite writing books. This week I'm going to list some of my favorite books on editing. I've worked as a journalist, an editor, scientific editor, and scientific writer. I've collected a lot of writing books over the years and still visit them pretty often.

The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors - This book is fabulous. It has whether a word should be hyphenated, two words, one word, the spelling, correct usage, etc. It's pretty small and easy to carry around. I use this book constantly.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King - Another fairly small paperback book. This book helps with the craft of writing as well as editing. Your writing will improve and become much stronger if you do the exercises in this book.

The Chicago Manual of Style - I have the 15th edition of this book, but I also have an online subscription. I love this manual. It's a bit heavy, so not a book you'll want to tote around all the time. I use this one mainly at home.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White - This is a really useful, tiny, hardcover book. It's 105 pages of grammatical goodness. This book is a must have for every writer.

What are some of your favorite books on editing?


  1. Courtney, you're going to make me dig my craft books out, aren't you? To be honest, I haven't taken them out in a while. They are in my room in a crate at the foot of my bed though. Does that count?

  2. Lol, too funny :) I haven't read mine in a while, so I'm going through them all as I edit and revise. This week I've been reading Hooked by Les Edgerton. Love this book!

  3. I still have my father's copy of The Elements of Style - he was a writer too. It's a must. Also, I like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Those are really the only two I use. A fun grammar book (yeah, I know - what an oxymoron) is Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

    Nancy :)

  4. Yes, Elements of Style is a must-read manual. For inspiration, I use Steven King's On Writing.

  5. Courtney what a wonderful blog. Editing can be such a pain for Indie writers. These books you've suggested are really good and helpful. Thank you for passing them along. Have an awesome weekend. 8-) <3