Books on Writing

When I first started writing romance and fantasy, I was a novice in almost every way. I needed help, to say the least. I wished for a nice clean list of what I could read to learn to be a better writer. I read blogs and magazines, scoured bookshelves, and asked my few writerly acquaintances for recommendations. This is the result of my gleanings, my list of favorite writing books, the ones that came to me at exactly the moment I needed them and therefore had an enormous impact. They’re all great books, but if my list doesn’t float your boat, or if, when you read them, they don’t sing for you, look into other titles on similar subjects or by these authors.

Without further ado, and in no particular order (because that was my journey, and this one is yours), here you go. Enjoy.

  • Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon (Actually, don’t skip this one for any reason; it’s essential for every fiction writer.)
  • The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D Cowden, Caro LeFever, Sue Viders
  • How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them–A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.
  • Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton
  • The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  • On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That Sells by Leigh Michaels
  • How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card (any edition)
  • A Writer’s Space: Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write by Eric Maisel
  • The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon
  • The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters by Wendy Burt-thomas (Yes, this one really did help with storytelling. As in, can you whittle your story down to its essence in only three or four sentences? If not, what do you still need to know about your story to do that?)
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King

P.S. These aren’t links because I don’t know where you like to buy your books, and I don’t feel like listing every possible planetary buy link here. Plus, hey, go to your local library!