The best writers are, first and foremost, readers. Books inspire their readers to walk away with some new idea that morphs their way of thinking. In some cases, those ideas lead to the desire to write your own tale. But where do you start?
You can spend your days pouring over all the New York Times Bestsellers that you can get your hands on, but at a certain point, a new writer needs to focus on the principles of writing. It takes practice to perfect your plot, dialogue and character development. These books will help you get started and learn a few lessons about how to take your next steps as a writer.
READING LIKE A WRITER: A GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BOOKS AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WRITE THEM
By Francine Prose
This book looks at well-known authors and analyzes their writing styles and devices. Prose discusses the elements of style of writers including Flannery O’Conner, Jane Austen, and John Le Carre. Rather than teaching how to write, this book focuses more on developing the writer mindset—to look at books critically and to consider how an author shapes their book. Read this book to practice your observation skills and take that first step towards your creating your own content.
By Stephen King
Stephen King is one of the most prolific modern writers. You could say he has writing down to a science. One method he uses to create good content is to write every single day, even if it’s garbage, even on Christmas or vacation. In this book about his experiences and advice on the writing process, King does not hold back from telling us exactly what he thinks every writer must do. He offers readers nothing less than tough love. That being said, before you dive into this book, you should be aware that his language isn’t exactly clean. If you aren’t comfortable with the strong words he uses in his fiction, this book may not be for you.
THE WAR OF ART: BREAK THROUGH THE BLOCKS & WIN YOUR INNER CREATIVE BATTLES
By Steven Pressfield
Though similar, this book is not to be confused with Sun Tzu’s famous book, THE ART OF WAR. Pressfield teaches method to combat the resistance in your mind that stops you from creating. We all have our own internal road blocks that stop us from writing content freely and honestly. Reading this book will give you definitive tools to beat down the enemies keeping you from your craft.
STORY GENIUS: HOW TO USE BRAIN SCIENCE TO GO BEYOND OUTLING AND WRITE A RIVETING NOVEL
By Lisa Cron
It’s not often the first reaction of creatives to look at writing next to scientific research, but Cron does so in an easy-to-understand way. She provides blueprints and tells us what really works, based off her experience as a Creative Writing teacher and the science behind why people are drawn to stories. This book is a system that walks you through the process of creating a character-driven story.