I’m not sure if this should be my favourite ‘writing books’, since most of them aren’t quite about writing, but I can’t think of anything else that gives the right impression. I tend not to read books about plotting or characterisation. I’m a pantser, and since I don’t plot out my novels, theory on plotting doesn’t help me. In fact, I find it gets in the way of my writing, and I focus too much on getting it ‘right’, that I don’t get it DONE.
So my list of books are going to be about editing, and improving your story on the smaller scale, and the sales/marketing of ebooks.
I just started reading Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books by David Gaughran a couple of days ago, and I’m LOVING it. Even though I’ve read a lot of webpages on promoting your books, and gained a lot from them, but this book takes it further than I’ve ever been. Some really great advice on how to get visible on the Amazon search engines, and how to stay there, backed up by a through explanation of how the Amazon algorithms work. I’d recommend this book to any self-published author looking to promote their work.
I really enjoyed Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson, for it’s explanations of how to really draw your reader in, and make them feel connected to the characters. It talks about how prose such as “He thought she would have forgiven him by now.” is actually keeping your characters at a distance, and explains ways to fix these problems. I feel this book helped my writing in a lot of ways, and I’m probably due for a re-read.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, is another great book for removing that barrier between the reader and character. As a writer, I’m as guilty as anyone of using telling to get my character’s emotions across rather than showing. This book is chock full of ways you can show that emotion rather than resorting to telling. It lists 75 common emotions, and gives you many different ways your character could display them. I keep this one beside me while I’m writing or editing.
Another favourite of mine is The Little Book of Self-Editing for Writers by Bridget McKenna. Everyone says you should get an editor for your books, and I totally agree, but you’ll save money by handing your editor the cleanest manuscript you can, and this book will help you with that. Using the search function of your word processor, it shows you how to look for an eliminate overused words, passive voice, and tighten your writing, in a simple to follow manner. A great start to your editing.
You know, I thought I’d have more. I have a lot of other samples of writing books on my kindle that I haven’t gotten around to reading, but these are the ones that grabbed me enough to read, and the ones I go back to.
Have you read any of these books? Like them or hate them? Do you have any other good writing books to recommend?