When learning any skill you need a good teacher (think Yoda with a pencil instead of a lightsaber), but anyone who has tried writing soon finds out that it’s often a solo journey. Most of your learning will often come from good old practice or from reading other author’s work, but that doesn’t mean you should always go alone.
Am I talking about joining a writer’s group? Don’t be daft, you’re too drunk for society at the moment… Do what comes naturally and pick up a book! But not just any book (I see you stroking that plumbing magazine), read on for the best books and websites on writing that forced a massive improvement in my own skills.
Keep in mind though, this is a work in progress and will be continuously updated, so check back whenever you need to level up.
[pmc_box background_color=”#4188d3″ border_color=”#4188d3″ text_color=”#ffffff” ]BEST BOOKS ON WRITING[/pmc_box]
Books! Some of these are a bit preachy (looking at you, War of Art), while others are NSFW in nature, language, and attitude (I love you Chuck). There are SO many books on writing and I have read so few of them – but I do try and be selective so check out the below for the books that I have both enjoyed and found to be genuinely useful in my own writing journey.
PS. The below are affiliate links, which means if you buy a book after clicking on them, you are basically giving me a tip for my recommendations – or don’t, whatever.[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
This was the first book on writing I ever read – I am a massive planner and the way Larry describes the construction of a story really speaks to me.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
I stumbled onto this book in an art shop on holiday in Berlin (I cringed writing that). It’s a quick, worthwhile read on what it means to be creative and is very affirming.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell
I like James’ books generally as he has a very clear message in his books and doesn’t waffle on. This particular book is fantastic at diving into what drives a story forward.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler
Based on the Hero with a Thousand Faces, this book looks at the mythic structure of stories and the common recurring character archetypes and structures within them.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]On Writing by Stephen King
Considering his track record, it’s a must-read book on how one of the most successful writers made his way. It also made me realise how often Stephen puts himself in his books.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Amazingly preachy and religious towards the end, but the first half of the book provides good insights into how writers often sabotage themselves.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]Wonderbook by Jeff Van der Meer
I bought this book on a whim when I was feeling low (it has lots of bright colours) but was surprised to find a book full of inspiration, weirdness, and energy.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]The Write Great Fiction series
Good old fashioned textbook style advice. If you want to learn the nuts and bolts of setting, characters, plot, etc. then you can’t go wrong with these books[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]Anything! by Chuck Wendig
God, where do I start? Chuck is a whirlwind of inappropriate wrapped in a storm of crazy – the fact he has a point is just icing on that awesome cake.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_quote border_color=”#0d58a6″]The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
An incredibly dull and comprehensive book on grammar which I should read more often.[/pmc_quote]
[pmc_box background_color=”#4188d3″ border_color=”#4188d3″ text_color=”#ffffff” ]BEST WEBSITES & BLOGS ON WRITING[/pmc_box]
There are thousands of websites and blogs on writing out there, more than you could ever read or keep up with, and to be honest you don’t even need to. Most websites (including this one if I’m honest with myself) just recycle the same noise and advice.
I advise you to subscribe to a few websites that you like, then once a year review which ones you are still reading, and find a few new ones to replace the boring/useless ones with. I tend to stick to ten websites at a time, the current ones are:
- Terribleminds – Awesome Article: Write that Goddamn Novel
- AnnKroeker – Awesome Article: To Learn How to Write, You Have to Write
- Book Launch – Awesome Article: Book Marketing Plan Checklist
- Goins, Writer – Awesome Article: The Hidden Benefits of Writing Daily
- Reedsy – Awesome Article: Writing in Third Person Omniscient vs Third Person Limited
- The Write Practice – Awesome Article: Why You Should Vomit Your First Draft
- Writer Unboxed – Awesome Article: How to Write When Life Sucks
- Writer’s Digest – Awesome Article: 11 Reasons Writing is Good for Your Health
- Write to Done – Awesome Article: Develop Your Narrative Voice by Stealing
- The Write Life – Awesome Article: Planning Your Writing Retreat
[pmc_box background_color=”#4188d3″ border_color=”#4188d3″ text_color=”#ffffff” ]THAT’S EVERYTHING, GO HOME[/pmc_box]
The best way to develop as a writer is to write. But if you want some support and advice, you can’t go wrong seeking some friendly advice from other authors through their books and websites. Just make sure you take all advice as what it is, advice, not rules!
Finally, I’m always looking for new (and good) writing books, podcasts, websites and articles so add any recommendations you’ve got to the comments below please.