Jul 29, 2010

Web Writer's Library 'Must Haves'

Online freelance writers have a wealth of tools at their fingertips, but many also have hard-copy books that can be dog-eared and highlighted for easy reference. What does your print library look like?

Tools I have bookmarked online for frequent use are a dictionary, thesaurus and a few English and grammar sites, but I really don't have a print library of reference materials for the writer.  I've read The Yahoo! Style Guide online and plan on purchasing the more extensive print version (if I don't win one in the contest) and wondering what other sources of information would be worth a small investment to the web writer.  

Which books do you refer to most often?  Are there other updated online writing style guides that you find helpful?  What are the 'must haves' that should be in every online web writer's library?


  1. I find myself using online tools more and more often. Not wanting to jump up for a thesaurus or dictionary, I invested in MasterWriter, which I downloaded from the web.

    Most of the books I use in print are geared toward scriptwriting, which I'm working on right now. Story by Robert McKee and Screenwriter 434 by Lew Hunter.

    But in my physical reference library, I have The Little Brown Handbook, The Chicago Manual of Style, Webster's Style Manual, Roget's Thesaurus, American Slang, and a few other books I rarely access.

  2. Hello Marie Anne!

    Thanks for visiting That Old House; the little desk looks adorable in the picture and I hope to get a chance to snag it --- they are asking $15. How can I not?

    As for writing references -- since high school I have relied on Strunk & White's The Elements of Style for some of the simplest and clearest usage explanations anywhere. Another oldie -- "On Writing Well" by William Zinnser; excellent nonfiction advice.

    Online resources? Not a clue! But words were my career, as a broadcast and newspaper reporter and writer, and in cases of tricky grammar or usage I always pull out White's little volume; it's both cheap and priceless!

    I've subscribed to your writing blog. Maybe you will inspire me to get back to the keyboard.
    All best wishes,
    PS I'd send the desk to you in exchange for some crocheted dish cloths, if I could!

  3. As an aspiring writer (or maybe I am one already), glad I found your blog and can't wait to read more!!