Guest Post: Our Favourite Books on Writing

Most books on writing are fantastic, but there are a few that stand out more than the rest...

... And the rest we just haven't had a chance to read yet. Ah, the never ending problem with books. So many books, so little time.


(Why can't I make a living just reading books... wait...)


Our favourite books on writing:


Randy Ingermanson's book series on The Snowflake Method

We don't regret for a second leaving his first book on writing, The Snowflake Method, on Kristan's desk... or watching her buy the other two.


The Kick-@ss Writer by Chuck Wendig

Another one that magically ended up on Kristan's desk (*innocent look*).


Show, Don't Tell by Sandra Gerth

Many writers fall into the trap of explaining to their readers instead of just cutting through the chaff and immersing the reader in the story. Gerth shows us what to look for in your writing, and even when telling is preferable to showing.


Why Authors Fail: 17 Mistakes Self-Publishers Make That Sabotage Their Success (and How to Fix Them) by Derek C. Doepker

Seems funny for a publishing house to suggest a book for self-publishing, but the reality is that the hints and tricks in here can help any author.


Build Better Characters: The psychology of backstory & how to use it in your writing to hook readers (Creative Academy Guides for Writers Book 2) by Eileen Cook

Half the battle is a great plot. The other half is characters that respond like read people and who readers feel a connection with. Always helpful to read up on what makes a great character.


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

The book that set the standard on books on writing, and one that not only we quote but so does Kristan (a lot).


Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

This isn't the only book Weiland has written on writing, but it's a great place to start.


Prose Models (Second Canadian Edition) by Gerald Levin, David Rampton, and Gerald Lynch

There is a reason we don't have a link for this one as the only way to get your hands on it is used, which may make it a bit of a challenge to find. However, if you can get a copy it's more than worth it. Not precisely a book that will help you write with step-by-step instructions but it is a textbook that will help you recognize what makes great literature by studying from the greats and has been used in MFA programs courses across Canada.


This is by far not an exhaustive list, but it's a great place to start if you're looking to build a collection and need a helping hand to get started.


Also look into joining this massive online community and just get writing: https://www.nanowrimo.org

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