As a new writer, the first battle for me was knowing where to begin. With so many ‘how to’ books on the market, it’s hard to pick which one could be right for you.
We posted our ‘five books to kick start your writing,‘ last year. As there were so many I wanted to pick, here are a few more I think you may find helpful as you find your own path to writing your first book.
I have lost track of the amount of people who have recommended this book to me. Whenever I am talking about ‘how to write’ books with other writers, this book (along with Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott,) will always comes up accompanied by the sentence, “have you read it? You should, it’s fantastic.” Part memoir, it also offers invaluable advice and a tool kit for aspiring writers. Stephen is one of the most successful writers so I don’t think you can go far wrong with On Writing. (Hodder Paperbacks.)
I actually have this book on my kindle so I can have it available to me all the time. It’s a fantastic book full of advice, anecdotes and tips on getting published from writers such as Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell, Ian Rankin and Jilly Cooper as well as publishers like Orion, Transworld and Harper Collins. This book is definitely worth the money in my opinion. (Accent Press.)
I brought this book on a bit of a whim when window shopping on Amazon one day and I’m glad I did. I have found it incredibly helpful. If you are the kind of writer that needs a little inspiration or a bit of a warm up before sitting down to write your word quota for the day, then this book is perfect. It does exactly what the title suggests – it gives you 365 writing exercises. You can do one a day or more if you want to. You don’t have to do them in order either. Examples of the exercises include showing not telling, using photos to create characters and using memories. I love this book and I can’t recommend it enough. (How To Books Ltd.)
I LOVE this little book. I first saw it when I was watching a video that Lisa Jewell did about her writing room. It looked interesting so I brought myself a copy. It sits on my desk and it is useful when I need a little help in getting started with the writing. It’s full of writing prompts, words and pictures that can inspire. I always find something in there that will help me when I need it. It’s a nice little addition to my working space. (Running Press.)
Not a ‘how to write,’ book in a conventional sense but for a perfectionist like me, it’s a great chance to stop being so regimented with my thinking and to let the imagination run free for a bit. One of the first tasks in this book is breaking the spine and although this goes against every rule I have about how I treat a book, it allows me to let go a little and relax and hopefully unlock the creativity. If you are looking for something that is more focused on writing, Keri has also released a book called Finish This Book which includes a series of quirky prompts to kick-start the imagination. (Penguin.)
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.