I love books. I actually have a problem because I love books so much. My Kindle is getting full, and I need to purchase an eighth bookshelf for my upstairs office/library. It’s kind of awesome and kind of overwhelming and kind of bad all at the same time, but it is what is, I guess. So I thought I might share a few of my favorite titles from time to time, and because I just got back from an awesome writing conference, I figured some of my favorite writing books might be cool.
That being said, I have an entire shelf just dedicated to writing resources, so this list is by no means exhaustive. But they are a few titles that have helped me learn more about writing, so if you’re looking for suggestions in that area, you might think about checking some of these out!
The Irresistible Novel by Jeff Gerke
I just bought this great book at Realm Makers, and I’m really excited to dive into it. This book actually includes some research into the science behind engaging readers, and even goes as far as to include parts of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. It should be a really fascinating read about how to craft a story that captivates readers from beginning to end!
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
Thus far, this has been the BEST book on how to write excellent fiction. I can’t say enough about this book. It was recommended to me by a judge from a fiction contest I entered years and years ago. Without this book, Nameless probably wouldn’t have happened. Enough said.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
This book was actually recommended to me by the guy who wrote The Irresistible Novel (Jeff Gerke) years ago, and I’ve kept it on my shelf ever since. It’s a great, practical guide to grammar and how to polish your manuscript. It’s so difficult to edit your own work, and you should still hire an editor. But make your poor editor’s job a little easier by checking some of these things before you submit.
The Guide to Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy by Philip Athans
I can’t remember how I found this one, but WOW, it’s a great one. Lots of fun information on how to draw the best details out of a fantasy or science fiction world. There’s even a nice section on worldbuilding. (Note: Orson Scott Card also has a book about this called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and it’s also fantastic).
45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
This one I stumbled onto by accident, and it’s more of a book of guidelines than anything else. But it’s still a fun read. This book goes through the different types of character archetypes. In some instances, it didn’t really help me get to know my characters better, but in other instances, it shed a lot of light on people I thought I knew (and actually didn’t). It’s a good place to start if you need help with characters or if you’re stuck.
Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant
This is the latest book I’ve read, and I’ll warn you. If you don’t like profanity, this one isn’t for you. There’s quite a bit of it. But if you’re looking for information on how to start your own self-publishing business? Seriously, this is the book you need. Hands down, the most complete book I’ve ever read on the topic. It’s so full of information! And, in spite of the profanity, it’s actually really really funny.
Have you read any books on writing that you really enjoy? What’s the best book on character that you’ve ever read? What about on setting, dialog, or plot?