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7 BEST Writing Craft Books For Beginner Writers

If you are just starting out on your writing journey and are on the hunt for all things writing craft, you will no doubt have gone online and looked up books on the subject. I will bet you were immediately overwhelmed by the amount that exists! I know this because it is exactly what I did…

A while back, we won’t go into the details, I was on a similar hunt. The list of writing craft books that I discovered and that were recommended by various people was endless. So much so, that I had created a long list of books I wanted to purchase on the subject. But, like most writers, my list far exceeded my bank account’s ability to support my wants. In an effort to save you time and money, I have narrowed down that list to seven writing craft books that will give you the most bang for your buck.

It really does not matter whether you are a plotter or a pantser, this book will help you structure your story and give it the depth it needs to keep your reader turning those pages. Save the Cat Writes a Novel gives you an outlining method for novel writing that keeps the story pacing along, relevant, and engaging.

It is organized into 15 beats that take you from the opening image to the final page. If you only have resources for one book, this one would be it!

One major rule of storytelling that stands the test of time is ‘show, don’t tell’. It is the concept that draws your reader in, immerses them in your world, and the precise reason why the reader’s reality disappears, and they are living the story you created. You know that feeling right? This is a direct result of ‘show, don’t tell’.

Sandra Gerth had written a concise and simple text that shows you how to do exactly this. She also includes exercises at the end of every chapter so you can put your newfound knowledge and skill into practice with your own writing.

A fantastic companion for any writer who is showing, not telling, is the Emotion Thesaurus. This book is literally the writer’s guide to character expression. It covers two hundred and eighty-six human emotions and informs the writer how a character experiencing these emotions would feel, think, react and what it could potentially escalate or de-escalate into.

Emotions help the reader really feel the conflict, events, and interactions of the character. This invaluable resource will guide you with everything related to emotions, and how to describe them fully.

If your main character is the interest that holds the reader, they better have a good story to tell! Most stories follow a protagonist or two and their journey, internal and external, this is what keeps the reader flipping pages, well into the night. The status quo must change for your character, their norm must be disrupted, taking them through an arc, either positive or negative.

Your plot and your character arc should blend, from the opening image to the final page, or across a trilogy or series. This book is a must-have to take your protagonist through the three-act story structure and bring them into a vivid and realistic existence.

One way to vastly improve your writing is by creating dialogue that is crisp and full of tension. James takes you through examples of the good and the bad, the boring and the captivating. He walks you through his top ten dialogue issues, that range from punctuation through to period dialogue.

You want to create dialogue that immediately captures your reader’s attention. Dull dialogue drags your story down, so sharpen it up with this comprehensive and succinct guide.

For all the nerds out there, that want to know what makes a story riveting… This book is for you! Lisa Cron uses brain science that helps you create a first draft that holds the elements we humans are wired to crave in every story.

Going beyond plotters and pantsers, Lisa has discovered a method that is based on science. This guide will help you create a story with meaning and urgency that spurs your readers on.

This illustrated edition of the timeless text, The Elements of Style, is known by writers everywhere, and for good reason. This easy-to-follow resource on the English language makes writing clear and active.

The illustrated version makes learning these concepts fun and easy. It covers the basic principles of English, from the knowledge and skill of two great writers, William Strunk Jr. (professor of English) and E B White (Charlotte’s Web, amongst many other pieces). Easy to use and keep on hand, a must-have for punctuation and grammar.

Well, there you have it, seven of the best writing craft books for any writer just starting out. If you feel you will use this time and again, I highly recommend you purchase them (title and images are clickable links). If you would like to check them out first, visit your local library to see if they have a copy. What is a writing craft book that you love?

Until next time,

Take it easy, write some words!

Rose-Marie X

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