>5 Books Every Fiction Writer Should Have

>Who doesn’t love a good book about writing? Especially one that motivates you, encourages you, and teaches you. I have a few such books on my shelf that I turn to when I need a jolt or help on a particular aspect of writing. Check them out for yourself, and scour the shelves of your local library or bookstore for other gems!

1. The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron
One of my favorite book finds of all time. This is my go-to book for ideas and encouragement. The hundreds of prompts make you delve into yourself, dredging up experiences and emotions that add depth to your writing. I always feel ready to write after reading a chapter of this book and I repeat some of his advice to myself when I need a boost.

2. The Writer’s Idea Workshop: How to Make Your Good Ideas Great by Jack Heffron
A follow-up to The Writer’s Idea Book. The prompts and ideas in this book help flesh out ideas you already have or pieces you’ve started. It can help you identify why an idea isn’t working and what to do about it. I go to this book when I start the rewriting process. I’ve found that the ideas are not only helpful but often liberating. If you feel down about an idea when you start reading, you won’t when you finish!

3. Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich
A play-by-play of the parts of a story. He uses lots of examples from renowned authors, and has fun and challenging exercises at the end of each chapter. I’ve improved my character development and descriptions with the help of this book. And I successfully fought my fear of dialogue with his suggestions. A must-read in my opinion.

4. The Art & Craft of the Short Story by Rick Demarinis
A writing life-changer for me. Reading this book and then following the exercises took me to new places in my writing and helped me reach the next level. It’s a motivating read that will help you to see your fiction in a different light.

5. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
Excellent resource that answers fiction-specific editing quandries. One of my favorite chapters shows you how to properly setup dialogue and how to write it like a pro. It includes checklists and exercises to hone your skills.

What are your favorite books about writing? Share your top five by posting a comment.

2 thoughts on “>5 Books Every Fiction Writer Should Have

  1. jmmac13

    >I personally have really liked “First Draft in 30 Days” by Karen S. Wiesner. It walks you through gathering and organizing all the information you need for your book and also steps you through the necessary parts for making an okay story even better. By the time you have put it all together (using her well organized step-by-step system) you have much of what you need for your first draft. You may not do it all in 30 days the first few times using the system, but it does give you a way to view the project in smaller bites so that it’s not so overwhelming. As a newer writer, I found it very helpful.She also has a follow up book for taking your novel from Frist Draft to Final Draft.Thanks for the list of other books! I’ve picked up a few of them from time to time, but haven’t purchased them. It’s so hard to know what’s good and what isn’t so I’m glad you made the recommendations!

    Reply
  2. amy

    >Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll definitely check that book out. I’ve actually been wanting to look into novel writing books particularly so that gives me a great place to start. :)Thanks!Amy

    Reply

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