6 Good How-to-Write Books

I'm late posting today. Been a bit under the weather plus trying to finish a novella for an anthology.

I've had a few emails from readers who want to know more about writing. I think a good place to start is with a list of books for writers. Any of these will help you write better. Here are a few for you to consider.

Dare to Be a Great Writer: 329 Keys to Powerful Fiction by Leonard Bishop

Solid, no-nonsense writing instruction, dispensed out in 329 easily digestible portions, to help fiction writers polish their skills and support their talent with cultivated craft.

Writing and Selling Your Novel by Jack M. Bickham

The late Mr. Bickham sold more than 80 novels in his career. In this book, he shows how to write publishable fiction.

Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham

Whether or not readers will keep turning the pages depends on how well a writer structures the story, scene by scene.

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

How does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course? This book answers those questions and helps you create a believable and memorable plot.

Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

This book helps you create believable characters who will "live in your memory, your imagination and your soul." This book helps you develop and present characters and helps you with viewpoint.

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack M. Bickham

When you write fiction, you must master so many elements--some you may not even be aware of. This book points out the most common mistakes writers make in their fiction.

Takeaway Truth

Writing is a learned skill so give yourself an advantage with some great how-to books.


  1. Very helpful, Joan. There are a lot of good books on how to write. SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Browne and Dave King is another fine example. Writer's Digest Books puts out a whole line of how-to books as does The Writer, Inc. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White is a classic of advice for writers. The more modern ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser is a terrific resource for writers as well.

  2. I'm a big fan of the ones you mentioned too, Jacquie. Zinsser's book is a classic, as is Strunk and White's. The Elements of Style is such a small book, but it can make a BIG impact on one's writing.