10 Books On Creative Writing That Every Novelist Should Read
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12 Books On Creative Writing That Every Novelist Should Read

Writing takes a lot of study and practice. And reading about the writing craft is a necessity for writers who are serious about their writing work. But how do you sift through the hundreds of books on creative writing? And how do you know what to buy if you're just starting out?

If you're looking for writing reference books to help you fine-tune your craft, here are ten books to get you started. This list contains books on creative writing that every novelist should read. Or better yet, read and have on his shelf.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many other great books on creative writing which I urge you to check out. But to start out, here are some of my favorites…

12 Books On Creative Writing That Every Novelist Should Read

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything You Need to Know About Creating & Selling Your Work by the Editors of Writer's Digest

How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play by Barbara Baig

Novelist's Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Book From Boring to Bestseller by Todd A. Stone

Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias

Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction by Jeff Gerke

The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors, and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke

The Fire In Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass

Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict: Techniques for Crafting an Expressive and Compelling Novel by Cheryl St. John

Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron

Stein On Writing by Sol Stein

The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman


Need a book recommendation on a specific creative writing topic that I haven't covered here? Let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Jody Calkins
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Jody Calkins

MG/YA Author & Book Editor at Emery Road Writing Services, LLC
Jody Calkins is a MG/YA Author & Book Editor, Writer's Coach, Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Pilot's Wife. Author of SHATTERED and TAINTED (YA speculative thrillers). Her editing services and training programs help novelists improve their writing skills, get motivated to write, improve productivity and time management, and battle self-doubt and other roadblocks. She works with middle-grade, young adult, and adult books in a variety of genres including Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, and Self-Help.
Jody Calkins
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