Far be it from me to give advice on how to write. That isn’t really my forte, nor do I feel it is my place as I have yet to build an impressive set of writing credentials. Sure, I’ll throw out a fun writing prompt from time to time, but that is as much for my benefit as it is for anyone who reads/uses it.
Still, if you want to write fiction well, increase your skill, and just give yourself a greater knowledge on how to go about the craft of writing, you could do worse than reading the following books. Each of them has been a fantastic help to me both creatively and structurally.
How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
By Orson Scott Card.
If you have any inkling about writing speculative fiction, you should read this book. Even if you disagree with the author’s political views, you should read this book. This book is a fantastic resource with a ton of general knowledge on actual factual science, brilliant ideas on fantasy concepts like mythical creatures and magic, and basic sci-fi and fantasy story structure for both short stories and full length novels. This book also stands as the only instructional book that has inspired me to write a new novel from something factual I learned reading it.
By Stephen King
For my money, this is hands down the best book on how to write. Period. Half an autobiography of the author, the other half an inspiring instruction on craft that will make you feel empowered to write more and write often. While reading it you will learn important “rules” on how you should be writing that you most likely hadn’t even thought of before, and after reading this you will feel like you can succeed at being a writer. If I need a little push of motivation, sometimes I will break out this book and read one of the middle chapters at random. After that, it’s butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, and away we go.
Bird By Bird
By Anne Lamott
If there is a better book on overcoming obstacles, coping with writer’s block and pushing through it, and increasing your flow as a writer, I haven’t found it. Not only that, it is a very entertaining read with a healthy dose of instruction on everything from plot to character and more. Also, a great book for people who have thought about getting into writing but were intimidated by the thought and scope of it. Give it a shot.
There are a ton of other excellent books and resources I’m leaving off, but these are the three that have inspired me most over the years. If you have not read them, and you are a struggling with your craft, you should head to your local library, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon and pick up a copy (or three). They will help, I promise.
Till next time,