Best Self-Help Books for New Writers and a Little Advice

I started my writing journey on 8 September 2008. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I sat down at my computer with nothing more than an idea. If I’d known then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort. I hope you will benefit from my experience.

At the time, I didn’t know the best way to write a beginning, middle, or an ending. I didn’t know what “beats” were, or what “foreshadowing” was–and it didn’t occur to me that I was foolish not to ask for, or look for help.

I think when it comes to creative things, people have some idea that needing help somehow implies that they aren’t actually talented. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, without any more delay, I will list the books that I have found most helpful.

100 Things Every Writer Needs to Know by Scott Edelstein–This was the first book I bought, and I referred to it a lot. Great starter book.

Beginnings, Middles, & Ends by Nancy Kress–Before writing line one, buy this book. It’s fantastic and will save you a lot of revisions. I’ve written three books and am working on number four–this book is sitting on my desk right now, opened. I always have trouble writing the middle of the novel, this book helps me get through that difficult transition.

First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke–Hate to, but will repeat myself–before writing line one, buy this book. But especially before sending to agents.

Last but not least, How Not to Write A Novel by Howald Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. See if you’ve committed the sins they list, and fix them before sending your book to agents.

I’ve used/referred to other books, but these are my favorites.