Are you thinking about writing a novel? Have you started writing, but don’t know how to continue? Perhaps you’ve already written a manuscript, but don’t know if it’s any good. Well you’re in luck, because there are some really good books out there to assist you. These books were the most helpful for me.
1. You absolutely have to read is Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. It will help you take whatever story idea you have and validate if you can turn it into novel or book series. You’ll learn about the six core competencies you’ll need for professional storytelling – concept, character, theme, story structure, scene construction and writing voice. The cool thing is, that he didn’t make this stuff up. He studied successful books and figured out the best way to explain it.
2. Don McNair does a great job of helping you clean up your prose with Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave (Great Books for Writers). It helps to read this book before and after writing your manuscript, so that you can correct your own mistakes.
3. Are you a plot first or character first writer? What you may not realize, is that you need to be both to write a successful novel. Jeff Gerke’s Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction will help you understand what readers are looking for and why each approach is important.
4. In order to hook your readers, you’ll need another one of Jeff Gerke’s books, The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up For Success. If your book meets all the criteria he explains – which is often what readers get to sample, you’re well on your way to success.
If there are any any books you can recommend to new fiction writers, I invite you to put them in the comments below.