I'm pretty sure most writers who've been writing for a while have some old favorites on their bookshelves, books they turn to time and again, either for comfort or for information. I've had a lot of favorites over the years, but the following are the ones that I reach for the most often:
The Writer's Digest Character-Naming Source Book by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Gary Gygax's Extraordinary Book of Names by Malcolm Bowers (Volume IV of the Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds series)
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
Plot by Anson Dibell
Revision by Kit Reed
Man, Oh Man by Josh Lanyon
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries by David W. Page, M.D.
Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons by Serita Deborah Stevens with Anne Klarner
Malicious Intent: A Writer's Guide to How Murderers, Robbers, Rapists, and Other Criminals Think by Sean Mactire
Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall
Comfort and Support
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
For Writers Only by Sophy Burnham
Walking on Alligators by Susan Shaughnessy
Note: yeah, I know, I should do that magic clicky-linky thing for y'all, and in a perfect world, I would be all like, Oh, yeah, magic clicky-linky things, no problem! But as it is, I can't even always figure out how to get to the blog from the dashboard thingy, so instead, we have me being all nervous and shivery, like If I try to make the magic clicky-linky things, I'll probably break the blog and that would be a Bad Thing because I might never be able to fix it. And then I will spend the entire day moaning and wailing and wringing my hands... Which would be another Bad Thing, because there is always so much to do.
Besides, right now? Right now, my two favorite guys that I'm writing about (whichever two guys I'm writing about at the moment, they are my two favorites—I'm nothing if not loyal) are perched in the too-slender top branches of a very tall tree. They have no paddle, no flashlight, and no clean underwear. And they are surrounded by alligators, and a big storm is blowing in and there is a man-eating chihuahua circling the tree in a hang-glider...
Yeah. It's like that.