The Career Novelist – Donald Maass
This book is a primer for anyone serious about pursuing a writing career. Covers everything from creation to publication.
GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict – Debra Dixon
If you don’t have this book, drop everything and get a copy. GMC is the building blocks of all good fiction and Deb Dixon shows you how to stack the blocks like an expert.
Story – Robert McKee
Technically, this book is for screenwriters, but it does a great job of breaking down all the elements of a good story. This text uses movie examples, which makes the lessons accessible to everyone.
Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer: How to Edit Yourself Into Print – Browne and King
The self-editing book of choice because it covers what’s relevant to fiction writers, including redundancy, show vs. tell, POV, voice, and sophistication.
On Writing – Stephen King
Part memoir and part writing guide. Stephen King’s easy style and rich storytelling ability makes this the non-manual, writing manual.
Writing the Breakout Novel – Donald Maass
Observations on what it takes to push the average writer into the stratosphere. Great tips on upping the ante in your own work.
Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent From Hell – Fisher
Every aspiring writer should read this book. Not every agent has your best interest at heart. Presents a real-world case of what happens when writers ignore the warning signs.
Dojo Wisdom for Writers – Jennifer Lawler
A different approach to the “writers-life” book. Includes exercises to help overcome fears and blocks that might be holding you back.
The Synonym Finder – J.I. Rodale
Better than any thesaurus ever written.
Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life – Edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schultz
This book is indispensable! Yes, it includes tips from some well-known authors, but its best asset is a good laugh. This business is tough, a little humor can help get through the rough spots.
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