A list of recommended books, compiled by Jodie Renner, editor, author, & speaker
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Click on the titles below to check out the books on Amazon.
IF YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED:
Writing Fiction for Dummies, by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy. Not for dummies at all! An excellent resource.
The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel, by Hallie Ephron
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey
A Writer’s Guide to Fiction, A concise, practical guide for novelists and short story writers, by Elizabeth Lyon
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
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel, by Tom Monteleone
Outlining Your Novel - Map Your Way to Success, by K.M. Weiland
Plot & Structure, by James Scott Bell
REVISING AND EDITING YOUR NOVEL OR SHORT STORY:
Revision and Self-Editing - Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel, by James Scott Bell. Just excellent!
Manuscript Makeover – Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore, by Elizabeth Lyon
Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us – A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing Is Being Rejected, by Jessica Page Morrell
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – How to edit yourself into print, by Renni Browne and Dave King
38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) by Jack M. Bickham
Between the Lines, by Jessica Page Morrell
Rock Your Revisions: A Simple System for Revising Your Novel, by Cathy Yardley
CLASSIC ADVICE FROM THE “GURUS”:
Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass
Writing 21st Century Fiction - High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling, by Donald Mass
Stein on Writing, by Sol Stein
On Writing, by Stephen King
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
The Successful Novelist, by David Morrell
The Fire in Fiction – Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great, by Donald Maass
WRITING COMPELLING THRILLERS & MYSTERIES:
How to Write a Damn Good Thriller, by James N. Frey
Conflict & Suspense, by James Scott Bell
Writing a Killer Thriller - An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, by Jodie Renner
How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, by James N. Frey
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, by Hallie Ephron
CHARACTERS, CHARACTER REACTIONS, DIALOGUE:
Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint, by Nancy Kress
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman and Becca
Puglisi. An excellent resource for finding just the right character response for the situation!
WRITING ROMANCE NOVELS:
On Writing Romance – how to craft a novel that sells, by Leigh Michaels. Also contains lots of great tips for writing any kind of fiction.
The Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel, by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes
The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Romance, by Marg McAlister
The Romance Writer's Handbook, by Rebecca Vinyard
WRITING YOUNG ADULT (YA) & MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION:
Writing Great Books for Young Adults – Everything you need to know from crafting the idea to landing a publishing deal, by Regina Brooks. Excellent reading for any fiction writer.
Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, by Deborah Halverson
Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers, by Mary Kole
Wild Ink: Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing for the Young Adult Market, by Victoria Hanley
Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, by Cheryl B. Klein
Writing for Children and Young Adults, by Dr. Marion Crook
Shimmering Images – A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, by Lisa Dale Norton
Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, 2nd Edition , by Judith Barrington
Fiction writers - do you know of any great resources for writing compelling fiction that I should add to this list? Please share your ideas in the comments below and I'll add them! Thanks!