Fodder for Resolutions, Part 1: Books on Writing

credit: Todd J,

New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s a list of books and resources for moving forward with your resolutions for writing. Posts on teaching and general living-well resolutions to follow. Whatever your resolutions, I recommend finding a good way to track your daily progress. Check out this post, “Don’t Break the Chain,” to see more about my strategy, which involves lots of colored pens. 

Books on Writing

When I’m asked about how I get writing done and how I broke into publishing, as in this interview, I end up saying the same thing: spend at least a little time almost every day on writing, even if it’s just fifteen minutes. Of course, this is easier said than done. In “Making Writing Work,” I talk about cutting through my own excuses and getting down to business. Want to write more this year or have specific publication goals? Here are some books that I recommend.

The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman

This book gave me many strategies for basing my writing in the development of rich characters. A go-to resource for the first draft of a novel.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King

This is a great title for improving your writing at the sentence level and upping your craft.

Writing with Style by John Trimble

Forget Strunk and White. This is the absolute best grammar guide for elegant, readable prose. It’s consummately readable itself since John Trimble practices what he preaches.

The Sell Your Novel Toolkit by Elizabeth Lyon

So you’ve written, rewritten, and rewritten. You’ve workshopped your manuscript at a conference. You’ve joined a writer’s group and gotten feedback. You’ve let your manuscript cool off and rewritten it again. Now you think you’re ready to sell it. This book is a crash course on getting an agent and more. Don’t start querying until you’ve read it.

How to Write a Great Query Letter by Noah Lukeman

This free e-book (download here) demystifies query-writing. Lukeman is very much in the tough love camp, but if you follow his advice, your query letter will be the better for it.


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