So you want to be an author? Awesome! The first thing you’re going to want to do is to start writing. But what if you don’t know where to start? What you can do is learn about the craft of writing. This post has curated some of the best books on writing process. Before we get started let me say that this post is a guide. While you will learn about the writing process you will have to actually try out the techniques to figure out what works for you.
Best Books on Writing Process: Setting Writing Goals
As you begin your author journey, you will quickly realize that you won’t accomplish many things unless you establish firm goals. You will need to set goals to improve your writing, to meet a word count, and career goals for yourself as an author. Yes, I know writing is a creative pursuit but the sooner you understand the importance of setting business objectives for your authorpreneur path, the easier things will be.
The books in this section will either help you set achievable goals for your writing, or provide you with skills and tools to meet your word count goals.
Self-Discipline for Writers: Writing Is Hard, But You Too Can Write and Publish Books Regularly by Martin Meadows
Martin Meadows shares his philosophy and strategies on how to build self-discipline as a writer and how to keep writing over the long term. Writing doesn’t have to be burdensome. You too can write with more ease, and most importantly, write and publish consistently so that you can enjoy a flourishing writing career. Let’s learn together how to accomplish this exciting goal.
The One-Year Novelist: A Week-By-Week Guide To Writing Your Novel In One Year (Writing As A Second Career) by L.M. Lilly
The One-Year Novelist walks you through the steps week-by-week, taking you from idea to finished draft. It also includes ways to strengthen your commitment so you’ll be sure to finish in a year. This plan will work whether you can follow the age-old advice of at writing the same time every week or day or whether you need more flexibility because you never have a regular schedule.
The Procrastination Fix: 36 Strategies Proven to Cure Laziness and Improve Productivity: Daily Training for Mental Toughness and Self Discipline by Jacob Greene
Almost all of us would have procrastinated on something at least once in our lives. One of the tricks here is to know what you can and can’t procrastinate on. Procrastinating on that work project which the company needs for clinching the million dollar deal is definitely very much different from procrastinating on getting that anniversary gift for the significant other.Trying to learn how to promote your work? Check out this list of books that can help. #amwriting #writingcommunity #writingresource Click To Tweet
Publish. Promote. Profit.: The New Rules of Writing, Marketing & Making Money with a Book by Rob Kosberg
Publish. Promote. Profit. explains the current self-publishing environment and covers the ins and outs of what it means to be an author, expert, and thought leader in your field. Far beyond “how to self publish” or “book marketing” Publish. Promote. Profit. explains how to create compelling content quickly and become a true bestselling author even if you have no list, no following, and no platform. It contains many real-life examples and case studies of the successful systems his authors are using to attract an endless flow of leads, clients, speaking opportunities, and media.
Publish with Purpose: A Goal-Oriented Framework for Publishing Success by Tara R. Alemany
Writing a book isn’t easy. Marketing one isn’t any better. Successful authors understand how the two support each other.
The case studies and exercises in this book provide you with a valuable roadmap to effortlessly engage the right readers and achieve the results you want for your reader, your book, and yourself.
Best Books on The Writing Process
The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear by Anne Janzer
Want to be a better writer? Improve your process. When you learn to work with your brain instead of against it, you’ll get more done and have more fun. The Writer’s Process combines proven practices of successful authors with cognitive science research about how our minds work.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Advice on writing and on life from an acclaimed bestselling author:
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”
Writing to Be Understood: What Works and Why by Anne Janzer
Have you ever wondered what makes your favorite nonfiction books so compelling, understandable, or enjoyable to read? Those works connect with you, as a reader. When you recognize what’s happening, you can apply those same methods to your own writing. Writing to be Understood will help you expand the impact of your words.What are some of the different methods of story writing? This list of books can help. #amwriting #writingresource #indieauthor Click To Tweet
Best Books on Writing Process: Methods of Writing a Story
Are you still with me? Good. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline using the three-act structure, or do you save the cat?
How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written? All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down on paper.
In this book, you’ll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her—turning her into a stronger, more courageous person.
Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell
What’s the best way to write a “next level” novel? According to James Scott Bell, the middle is exactly where you’ll find your story’s heart and heat. Bell’s “Mirror Moment” is the secret, and its power is available to any writer, at any stage of the writing process.
Plots and Plotting: How to create stories that work by Diana Kimpton
Do your stories fall flat? Do you get stuck in the mid-book blues? The solution is to improve your plots, and this book will show you how to do that without restricting your creativity. Jargon-free and packed with examples, it tackles the many issues that make up a good story including subplots, character development, and conflict.
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need Jessica Brody
Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story–from the opening image to the finale.Want to learn more about story structure? Check out this list of books on the topic. #readinglist #writingcommunity #bookrecommendation Click To Tweet
Best Books on Writing Process: Story Structure
If you still need help with getting your story exactly how you want it? Then, these books on story structure may be just what you need.
Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K. M. Weiland
Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal.
Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing by Libbie Hawker
When it comes to writing books, are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”? Is one method really better than the other? In this instructional book, author Libbie Hawker explains the benefits and techniques of planning a story before you begin to write. She’ll show you how to develop a foolproof character arc and plot, how to pace any book for a can’t-put-down reading experience, and how to ensure that your stories are complete and satisfying without wasting any time or words.
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
What makes a good story or a screenplay great? Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story–and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts.
5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out by K.M. Weiland
If you’ve read all the books on story structure and concluded there has to be more to it than just three acts and a couple of plot points, then you’re absolutely right! It’s time to notch up your writing education from “basic” to “black belt.” K.M. Weiland shares five “secret” techniques of advanced story structure.
Write Great Fiction – Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting and Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell
How does plot influence story structure? What’s the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that’s gone off course?
With Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, you’ll discover the answers to these questions and more.
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K. M. Weiland
Why do some stories work and others don’t? The answer is the story’s structure. An understanding of proper story and scene structure will show you how to perfectly time your story’s major events and will provide you with an unerring standard against which to evaluate your novel’s pacing and progression.
So there you have it: one gigantic list of the best books on the writing process. I hope you’ll actually read some of them to get an idea of what other authors have tried and recommend. But don’t let your giant reading list stop you from doing your greatest work: writing your book. If you want to download this list for reading at a later time, sign up for my email list and I’ll send it to you.