Books for Fiction Writers

Recommended Books to Help with Writing and Rewriting

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Here are my favorite books about writing fiction. All are available for direct purchase, of course, but many are also available if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription. The book pictures–if you press on them–will take you to the 10% preview at Amazon. Check out the books, and see what you think! If you don’t have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can try it out here (Amazon always has some deal going for it), and read some of these books! 

I’ve also included links to free writing courses I’ve taken at Reedsy on the given topics. These courses are done via e-mail, although a few are available for reading at the website as well. Courses are in broad topic categories like Writing, Editing, Publishing, Marketing, Design, and Distribution. See all available courses at Reedsy.

  • Overall Story Structure
  • Story Analysis
  • Character
  • Writing with Emotion
  • Show, Don’t Tell
  • Dialogue
  • Point of View
  • Plot
  • General Writing
  • Grammar and Punctuation

Overall Story Structure

Here are some books that give ideas about how to structure your book.

Screenwriting Tricks for Authors ripped the roof off story structure for me, discussing the 3-act story structure and the scenes that should go in them.

The 12 Key Pillars goes into depth on the overarching structural supports you need for a good story.

The Structuring book has a companion workbook and a related book about outlining.

Story Analysis

Here are some books that will help you take a more objective look at your writing … or help you reverse engineer other people’s books so that you can apply their techniques to your writings.  I think both of these books can help when you feel like your story is stuck or you’ve written yourself into a corner.

Solid Story Compass proposes to teach you how to do your own developmental editing–how to dig deep and figure out what’s working in your story and what’s not. Cool stuff that really helps any fiction writer. 

Character

Here are some books that talk about character. Reedsy has a nice free course on character.

Writing with Emotions

Here are some books that show you imbue your writing with emotion.

Emotional Beats helps you to write emotion more strongly so it impacts the reader with a real wallop.

Show, Don’t Tell

Here are some books that will guide you how to show more than tell.

Dialogue

Here are some books that guide you to better dialogue. Reedsy has a free course on writing dialogue that helps to develop plot and character as well as a course about the mechanics of dialogue.

Point of View

Here are some books that look at point of view, one general one as well as three about writing deep point of view. Check out Reedsy’s excellent (as in actually amazing) free course on point of view.

Plot

Here are some books that will help you sort out your plot. Reedsy has free courses about using the Three-Act Structure and Writing Short Stories

General Writing

Here are some books on general fiction writing. Reedsy has courses about how to write a novel (available via email as well as on the website) as well as a variety of courses about general writing and specific genres (romance, YA, middle grade, children’s books, cookbooks, and even researching historical fiction and nonfiction).

Grammar & Punctuation

Here are some books that will help you improve your grammar and punctuation.

I adore the Blue Book of Grammar! It is my go-to book for general questions. You can read a lot of it at their website. I suggest working through the book and/or the website slowly and doing the included/free quizzes; then, start to incorporate what you learn into your writing and rewriting.

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