Monday, November 3, 2014

Books on How to Write Novels

If you're a beginning writer, there are a number of books all written by competent authors, helping you find the best way to write a novel. For those of you who are well into your writing career, there are many books on the writing craft from Point of View to Conflict to Character Development.  I'm going to list a few ways that you can find writing books. Then, at the end, I'll give you a list of my favorites.

So, how do you find these books?

There are a number of ways and I'm going to give you information about them below:


Internet Search
You can do a Google Internet Search using Keywords such as the words I listed above:

Point of View, Writing, Book

When I put those keywords into Google, I received 280,000,000 responses. I think you would definitely be able to find something to work with from a Google keyword search.

Internet Bookstore Search
You can also go out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any other online bookstore and do a search for (similar to a keyword search) for the type of book you are looking for in their search box. Usually, they'll also have recommended books listed as well, which is very helpful if you're a beginner and not exactly sure what you're looking for or what you really want to add to your writing  book collection.

Brick & Mortar Bookstore Search
You're always welcome at your local bookstore. The customer service personnel know their store and usually are willing to help you find what books you are looking for or will order the book for you. The store will usually have a well-established writing / reference section that is stocked with the most current "how to" writing books. Take a stroll through your local bookstore and get to know your bookstore manager. Who knows. You may be talking to this exact person later about hosting a book signing event!

Ask Other Writers
Every writer has their favorite "go to" writing reference books. Most of them will share that information with you. If you ask nice. And, bring chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Just kidding, sorta. You can find writers online, at writers' groups, at conferences, and at book signings. Ask. Don't be shy. Writers love to talk about writing.

Writer's Blogs and Websites
I added this separately from "Ask Other Writers", because there may be information on a writer's blog or their website about their favorite craft of writing books. If not, they may have a "contact me" option on their website. Use it. Writers love to get questions, especially about writing and would love to answer yours.

Okay, we've reached the end, and I did promise you a list of my favorites. Many are dog-eared, extremely high-lighted, and the spines are cracking. Some, the covers are falling off, I've opened and closed them so many times. But, I love them dearly and will continue to use them forever.

Here they are, in no order of importance, just as I'm reading them off my shelf:


  • The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
  • Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
  • Don't Sabotage Your Submission by Chris Roerden
  • But ... You Know What I Mean by Robert Fulton, Jr.
  • Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing by Claire Kehrwald Cook
  • 30 Steps to Becoming a Writer by Scott Edelstein
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • The Deer on a Bicycle by Patrick McManus
  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
  • The Creative Writing Coursebook Edited by Julia Bell & Paul Magrs
  • The Art of Character by David Corbett
  • Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
  • Now Write! Edited by Sherry Ellis
  • Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donal Maass
  • Words'Worth A Fiction Writer's Guide to Serious Editing by Jane Riddell
  • The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
  • The Elements of Editing by Aurthur Plotnik
  • The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer 
  • Chapter by Chapter by Heather Sellers
  • Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
  • How Writers Work by Ralph Fletcher
  • Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
  • The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
  • How I Write by Janet Evanovich
  • The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak
  • Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
  • 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
  • The Essential Writer's Companion 
  • Dialogue by Gloria Kempton
  • The Least You Should Know About English by Teresa Ferster Glazier
  • The Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing
  • Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
  • Writing to Sell by Scott Meredith
  • You've Got a Book in You by Elizabeth Sims
  • A Writer's Notebook by Caroline Sharp
  • Secrets of Successful Fiction by Robert Newton Peck
  • Writing Fiction by Gotham Writers' Workshop
  • Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
  • The Writer's Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long

So, that's pretty much my list. How about you? What is your favorite writing "go to" book? Why don't you list it in the comments.