There are many books on writing to choose from, and these are some of our favorites:
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story (K.M. Weiland) This is a blueprint of the 3-act structure and all the important milestones to hit like the inciting incident, catalyst, the character’s black moment and more. A must have for building rich, meaningful story lines and I can’t say enough about it’s usefulness.
Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between (James Scott Bell) offers an innovative new approach to story structure, perfect for pantsers and plotters alike. Hone in on your hero’s difficult mirror moment and create a powerful character arc!
Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success (K.M. Weiland) A great book for pantsers wanting to adopt a bit more novel structure, or writers looking to create a map for their story to follow! If you need some guidance as you outline, this is the book for you.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (Renni Brown & Dave King) This is an essential editing book for all writers. Sharpen your editing skills so that each book you write sings. Our copies are well-used!
Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Monica Wood) This was our gateway book to learning how to write description that creates an impact. We would not be the writers we are today without this book!
On Writing – A Memoir Of The Craft (Spethen King) A classic read by a master storyteller. This book is perfect for writers looking to turn a hobby into a career, and the advice within is smart and direct.
Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense (James Scott Bell) This will help you pull readers into the character’s world and keep them on the edge of their seat. Tension is something that all great writers must master, and this bestselling thriller writer can help you do it.
Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage (C.S. Lakin) For our books to be their best, we have to learn the basics. This is a must have for getting your grammar up to snuff. Polish your writing and put out great product with this helpful guide.
Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling (Donald Maass) If you are looking for something that can help you add greater depth to your characters and writing, this is it. Highly recommended, especially for advanced writers looking to up their game. This is a good follow up book of Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, another great choice for mastering tension.
Save the Cat (Blake Snyder) offers advanced story structure help through the filter of film. Screenwriters must condense a wide angle story into a feature, meaning they know exactly how to distill the best moments of any novel or play. We can learn a ton from screenwriting, and this book should be required reading for anyone who wants to really understand the power of storytelling.
Writing Screenplays That Sell, New Twentieth Anniversary Edition: The Complete Guide to Turning Story Concepts into Movie and Television Deals (Michael Hauge) The title is long, but the book is nothing short of brilliant. Hauge is a story master and tackles structure from within the character. This book will shed light on internal and external conflict, inner and outer motivation, and the role each character plays in the story. This book will make you a stronger writer–make sure to get the 20-th Anniversary edition!
Hero’s 2 Journeys Streaming Series (Hauge/Vogler) I am tooting the screenplay horn again, because this streaming series between story experts Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler is one of the most wonderful things I have come across. If you want to understand story structure at a deep level and actually see how important the hero’s Internal and External Journeys work in tandem to create an unforgettable character, grab this. Grab it now. If you write novels, don’t think this isn’t for you. It’s for anyone who wants to create breakout characters and write story lines that will grab readers from start to finish.
Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World (Kristen Lamb) is a book to have on hand to navigate the social media world. A huge advocate of writers, Kristen knows her way around a platform and will help you build it the WANA way, showing you how to form genuine relationships with readers instead of adding to the void of promotional white noise.
Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer’s Toolbox Series)(C.S. Lakin) is a must-have resource that will help you find the beating heart of your story and use craft techniques to build an exceptional story that will offer your audience an unforgettable reading experience. I beta read this book a year ago, and am thrilled to see it released at last.
Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Lisa Cron) takes a deep look at the character’s inner emotional struggle and how it generates a raw and inescapable current of emotion (the third rail) that drives the story. This book includes step-by-step planning to uncover the hidden parts of your character and how to use it to plan your story so every aspect touches the third rail.
And yes, we’re adding our bestselling quintuplets, too!
The Emotion Thesaurus, along with The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus will help you craft unique, emotionally compelling characters. These books have been called “ultimate show-don’t tell guides” and “writing bibles” by many writers.
The Urban Setting Thesaurus and The Rural Setting Thesaurus are description game-changers for writers. Filled with description lessons, examples, and yes, sensory detail for 225 different locations, writers will learn how to master description and add incredible depth and meaning to their storytelling.
Our books are used by universities and are a favorite with writers, editors, and agents. In English, they have collectively sold over 185,000 copies, and have also been translated into Korean, Japanese, Romanian, and Chinese (both simple and complex).
To find out more about our guides, check out the generous samples via the “search inside” feature at Amazon, read a few of our 1000+ reviews, or visit our bookstore for an in-depth description of each volume.