Best books on writing to improve your craft (for serious authors)
Recently I made a big list of 25 best books on writing for authors who want to improve their craft but in case you missed it, here are the highlights.
Firstly – “how to write a book” isn’t the problem, it’s too big and too vague. What you really need to focus on, is how to tell a story readers want to read. That’s a genre consideration, not a marketing one.
Read nobody wants to read your shit or perennial seller or story grid to get your head around that.
Then, you need a story, which begins with plot. You can try writing a character based, drama only story but it might be a mess – in the beginning, a plotting structure will help you brainstorm ideas faster and make sure your momentum and pacing is tight. Start with the plot dot or plot perfect.
You can also grab my 25-chapter fiction plot outline templates.
Then finally, you need to get better at the craft of writing – but this probably isn’t what you think. Most authors can already string together purple prose and flowery description, but master comes from information management.
How and when you parse out critical information is important to avoid backstory, TMI, boring infodumps and lack of conflict, tension and suspense. I have some tricks for that in my new mammoth of a book writing guide.
Don’t worry about the writing – focus on the story elements. In most cases, the best way to improve is simply to avoid all the bad, amateur writing problems that crop up for most authors. I made a massive checklist of first-chapter problems and posted it to www.writethemagic.com – so check there, or this older article on self-editing your book.