On Writing, Plot & Structure, Thoughts on Writing

Novelists: Some Excellent Resources

June 8, 2012

Writing is an art; it also is a Craft. We writers are fortunate that there are those who came before us who were/are Master Craftsmen – writers who carefully thought about what makes for a solidly constructed novel, and who then wrote books to help the rest of us minimize any spinning of our author-ly wheels.

Here are some of the works that I believe truly stand out in their ability to help aspiring novelists master the Craft of writing:

The above books focus on how to build a novel properly; they provide how to’s on technique (plot and structure, characterization, story arc, concept, etc.) that will speed writers on the road to publication.

Two additional books I highly recommend:


Steven Pressfield’s book is one of the best to address the common writer’s blight: procrastination. The Guide to Manuscript Formats provides all the guidelines you need to enable you to format your novel to meet the expectations of agents and editors.

* Now, sadly, out of print, but you may locate a copy in your local library or at a “gently used” book store.

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  • Reply Margaret Yang June 9, 2012 at

    Agreed! Techniques of the Selling writer is fantastic. That book is older than I am, but its lessons are timeless.

    I’m surprised that Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass isn’t on your list….

  • Reply admin June 9, 2012 at

    Hi Margaret, thank you for the suggestion. I’ll have to search the shelves for Donald Maass’s work. I totally share your enthusiasm for Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer; it is outstanding and would have been at the top of my list if I hadn’t listed alphabetically. – Jessica

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