I’ve been meaning to write this article for awhile, but I’ve been too busy to get around to it. This article is going to be a list of recommended fiction books on writing. Without further ado, here is my recommended list of books to read on writing:
The Elements of Style. William Strunk Jr., and E.B. White.
This book is very small; you can probably carry it in your back pocket if you wanted. This book covers a range of topics on writing. It’s something I’ve read a dozen times and highlighted and marked up to death. In very simple language, the authors explain how and when to use possessives, commas, dashes, S-V agreement, and everything in between. They do so in a concise way that explains things quickly and with plenty of examples. They also have a section on misused words and expressions and style. The style section is to be noted here because it covers topics like avoiding fancy words in your narrative, avoiding qualifiers, how to punctuate dialogue correctly, and so on. This is a short enough book that’s very fast to read, hence why I’ve read it many times to try and remember and learn all the rules (which I have not, sadly). Using this book will simplify your writing and hopefully tighten up your work.
Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Debra Dixon.
One of the best books on creating strong, character-driven stories, Goal, Motivation, and Conflict teaches you in its simplicity how to do so. Using simple examples from The Wizard of Oz and even Star Wars, Debra goes into the in and outs of realizing and creating a strong character through internal and external goals, motivations, and conflicts. She also explains how some characters can fall flat because his/her goal isn’t bigger-than-life and how to transform that, and thus your story, to get the most out of it. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. This books costs a lot at places like Amazon but can be bought for only $20 here.
Writing the Breakout Novel. Donald Maass.
Maass’ book does many things. It explains in simple language what authors whose books have broken out (exponentially increased sales) did. He has analyzed many authors who’ve had ‘broken out’ and has devised a book around it. From escalating tension, growing conflict, and arching characters in a universal plot, he ties in all of these aspects and more. You will understand how to make a bigger story, and think big, in order to write the most exciting and best piece of work yet. I read this then wrote The Bellum Sisters Trilogy, which for me has been a success.
Those are the three best books I’ve read so far. I hope you’ve maybe found a new book to check out for all you writers out there!
Also, Tempting Whispers: The Kategan Alphas 6 will be out July 27th! Make sure you check out the final Kategan’s book! Thanks for stopping by!
-T. A. GREY