What I’m Reading: Some of the Best Books on Writing

Kristin Lamb mentions and highly recommends the book “Plot and Structure” by James Scott Bell in her last post – I highly and emphatically second that, this book should be in every writer’s library! Mr. Bell also has a second book as a follow-up to “Plot and Structure” entitled “Super Structure” which is a current read for me; it’s very well crafted and an easy read for either the beginning writer looking for the basics to help them get started or the seasoned professional writer seeking further wisdom in an effort to hone their craft!

Here’s a few other of my fave books on writing that I am currently reading (reviews to follow):

HOW TO DEVELOP STORY TENSION: 13 Techniques plus the Five Minute Magic Trick Guaranteed to Keep Your Readers Turning Pages by Amy Deardon  I have yet to find a better book that focuses solely on issue of creating the tension necessary in a story to capture and keep the reader turning pages. This book is a winner!

WRITING ACTIVE HOOKS BOOK 1: Action, Emotion, Surprise and More by Mary Buckham  There are several books in this series and I can’t say enough about Mary’s ability to translate the necessary craft of hooking the reader with pure emotion – I have all of these books in my Kindle.

HOW TO WRITE DAZZLING DIALOGUE: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript by James Scott Bell Nothing trips up a great story like dull and boring dialogue! I have rewritten many a conversation in my work after reading this book.

THE EMOTION THESAURUS: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi  There are several of these books that are thesaurus’s specifically for writers! Priceless!

OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland  When your not sure where to start, you start here. A wonderful, simple way to take ANY idea and outline your way to a great story!

WRITE YOUR NOVEL FROM THE MIDDLE: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between  Sometimes your idea starts in the middle of the story, not always from the beginning! I am loving this book because it takes something so incredibly common – an idea that is not the start of a story – and builds your novel from the middle, from that one “middle” idea and expands out!

HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL USING THE SNOWFLAKE METHOD: Advanced Fiction Writing Book 1 by Randy Ingermanson  I love Randy’s “Snowflake Method”, where he gives you 10 steps to expand on your ideas and spark your creativity! He also has a wonderful website I have been reading for years – tons of great stuff!

HOW TO MAKE A LIVING AS A WRITER by James Scott Bell  I’m rounding this list off with a book I consider a must have for any writer that wants to make money from their books and considers their writing a “business”. JSB gives writers the no-nonsense advice needed from years of his own experience, going way beyond what the title promises, this book is full of day-to-day, monthly and annual step-by-steps to help make your writing more profitable, easier to manage and still be able to indulge in the creative process!

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