Best Fiction Writing Books Welcome to the big collection of the Best Fiction Writing Books. This will be my on-going page where I maintain the list of all the books relevant to fiction writing from writing craft to publishing. As I publish reviews for these books they will be presented as blog posts and linked from here.

The links to the pages below will take you to the Amazon page for the book, and the descriptions are quoted directly from Amazon. You can read the rest on the Amazon page. Please help share this page and spread the knowledge.

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Basic Elements of Fiction


45 Master Characters45 Master Characters
by Victoria Schmidt

45 Master Characters will make your characters and their stories more compelling, complex and original than ever before. You’ll explore the most common male and female archetypes—the mythic, cross-cultural models from which all characters originate—and learn how to use them as foundations for your own unique characters.


Building Believable CharactersBuilding Believable Characters
by Marc McCutcheon

Using this reference, readers can create characters who think, hope, love, cry, cause or feel pain, save the day – and seize readers by emotion. Mark McCutcheon eases the process of building convincing characters for stories and novels. He starts by conducting an inspiring and informative roundtable where six novelists reveal their approaches to characterization.


Characters & ViewpointCharacters & Viewpoint
by Orson Scott Card

This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination. Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories.


Creating Character EmotionsCreating Character Emotions
by Ann Hood

Creating Character Emotions will help writer s find vivid ways to express emotion in their fiction. In 36 lessons, Ann Hood sheds new light on love, hate, fear, grie f, guilt, hope, jealousy and other emotional states.


Getting into CharacterGetting into Character
by Brandilyn Collins

Proven techniques for creating vivid, believable characters. Want to bring characters to life on the page as vividly as fine actors do on the stage or screen? Getting into Character will give you a whole new way of thinking about your writing. Drawing on the Method acting theory that theater professionals have used for decades, this in-depth guide explains seven characterization techniques and adapts them for the novelist’s use.


The Complete Guide to Heroes and HeroinesThe Complete Guide to Heroes and Heroines
by Tami Cowden

Many books attempt to show writers how to create believable characters. This one is unlike the majority: it specifically identifies 16 “master archetypes,” complete with thumbnail sketches and descriptions of specific qualities, flaws, background, styles, and possible occupations.


by Monica Wood

Description is most powerful when it’s visible, aural, tactile. Make your descriptions fresh and they’ll move your story forward, imbue your work with atmosphere, create that tang of feeling that editors cry for and readers crave. Monica Wood helps you squeeze the greatest flavor from the language. She segments description like an orange, separating its slices to let you sample each one.


by Gloria Kempton

When should your character talk, what should (or shouldn’t) he say, and when should he say it? How do you know when dialogue–or the lack thereof–is dragging down your scene? How do you fix a character who speaks without the laconic wit of the Terminator? Write Great Fiction: Dialogue by successful author and instructor Gloria Kempton has the answers to all of these questions and more!


Writing DialogueWriting Dialogue
by Tom Chiarella

Characters need to speak to each other, but writers often have trouble crafting dialogue that sounds aut hentic and original. Whether it”s an argument or a love scen e, Chiarella demonstrates how to write exchanges that sound realistic.


Blockbuster Plots: Pure & SimpleBlockbuster Plots: Pure & Simple
by Martha Alderson

Blockbuster Plots Pure and Simple (BBP) shows plot rather than talking about it. Using two unique step-by-step visual tools for developing and deepening scenes and plot, BBP shows how the pros layer three distinct yet overlapping plotlines – Character Emotional Development, Dramatic Action, and Thematic Plot. When the dramatic action changes the character at depth over time, the story becomes thematically significant.


NovelistNovelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Plot
by J Madison Davis

This book covers the most popular element among our fiction-writing audience: plot. Appealing to novelists of any stripe. The Novelist’s Essential Guide to Creating Plot allows readers to focus on and examine in depth the structure of the novel – either one they’re currently working on or one that they are planning.


by Ansen Dibell

“There are ways to create, fix, steer and discover plots – ways which, over a writing life, you’d eventually puzzle out for yourself,” writes Ansen Dibell. “They aren’t laws. They’re an array of choices, things to try, once you’ve put a name to the particular problem you’re facing now.” That’s what this book is about: identifying those choices (whose viewpoint? stop and explain now, or wait? how can this lead to that?), then learning what narrative problems they are apt to create and how to choose an effective strategy for solving them. The result? Strong, solid stories and novels that move.


The Plot ThickensThe Plot Thickens
by Noah Lukeman

As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.


Plot vs CharacterPlot vs Character
by Jeff Gerke

What’s more important to a story: a gripping plot or compelling characters? Literary-minded novelists argue in favor of character-based novels while commercial novelists argue in favor of plot-based stories, but the truth of the matter is this: The best fiction is rich in both. Enter Plot Versus Character. This hands-on guide to creating a well-rounded novel embraces both of these crucial story components.


by Jack Bickham

Even with great characters, a gripping plot and outstanding dialogue, a story isn’t complete without the appropriate setting-the unifying element in most fiction. Jack Bickham shows how to use sensual detail, vivid language and keen observations to craft settings which help tell credible, interesting stories and heighten dramatic and thematic effects.


Description & SettingDescription & Setting
by Ron Rozelle

How essential is setting to a story? How much description is too much? In what ways do details and setting tie into plot and character development? How can you use setting and description to add depth to your story? You can find all the answers you need in Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting by author and instructor Ron Rozelle.


Beginnings, Middles & EndsBeginnings, Middles & Ends
by Nancy Kress

Get Your Readers’ Attention — And Keep It — From the First World to the Final Page. Translating that initial flash of inspiration into a complete story requires careful crafting. So how do you keep your story from beginning slowly, floundering midway, and trailing off at the end? Nancy Kress shows you effective solutions for potential problems at each stage of your story?essential lessons for strong start-to-finish storytelling.


Conflict, Action & SuspenseConflict, Action & Suspense
by William Noble

What makes a book a page-turner? How do you grab your readers right from the start and hold them through the last sentence? How do you make your plot twist and turn and keep the action moving without losing continuity? You do it by generating drama and developing it using conflict, action and suspense. You make your reader burn to know what’s going to happen next. You create tension…and build it…to the breaking point.


Immediate FictionImmediate Fiction
by Jerry Cleaver

From the legendary creator of the Writer’s Loft in Chicago, comes a writing course for those who want to see results now. Immediate Fiction covers the entire process of writing including manuscript preparation, time management, finding an idea, getting words on the page, staying unblocked, and submitting to agents and publishers. With insightful tips and advice, Jerry Cleaver helps writers manage doubts, fears, blocks, and panic all while helping to develop their writing in minutes a day. A practical and accessible resource, this book has everything the aspiring writer needs to write and sell novels, short stories, screenplays, and stage plays.


Make a Scene: Crafting a powerful StoryMake a Scene: Crafting a powerful Story
by Jordan Rosenfeld

In Make a Scene, author Jordan E. Rosenfeld takes you through the fundamentals of strong scene construction and explains how other essential fiction-writing techniques, such as character, plot, and dramatic tension, must function within the framework of individual scenes in order to provide substance and structure to the overall story.


Plot & StructurePlot & Structure
by James Scott Bell

How does plot influence story structure? What’s the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that’s gone off course? With Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, you’ll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot.


Scene & StructureScene & Structure
by Jack Bickham

An imprisoned man receives an unexpected caller, after which “everything changed…” And the reader is hooked. But whether or not readers will stay on for the entire wild ride will depend on how well the writer structures the story, scene by scene. This book is your game plan for success. Using dozens of examples from his own work – including Dropshot, Tiebreaker and other popular novels – Jack M. Bickham will guide you in building a sturdy framework for your novel, whatever its form or length.


The Scene BookThe Scene Book
by Sandra Scofield

The Scene Book is a fundamental guide to crafting more effective scenes in fiction. In clear, simple language, Sandra Scofield shows both the beginner and the seasoned writer how to build better scenes, the underpinning of any good narrative.


Finding your WriterFinding your Writer’s Voice
by Thaisa Frank

An illuminating guide to finding one’s most powerful writing tool, Finding Your Writer’s Voice helps writers learn to hear the voices that are uniquely their own. Mixing creative inspiration with practical advice about craft, the book includes chapters on: Accessing raw voice, Working in first and third person: discovering a narrative persona, Using voice to create characters, and more.


Make your words workMake your words work
by Gary Provost

Gary Provost practices what he preaches in Make Your Words Work. He helps you learn to write well by, among other things, writing well himself. His warm, witty, entertaining instruction teams with solid examples as well as exercises. Get the good word now. This is the writing course to help you make your work more powerful, more readable, more salable.


Showing and TellingShowing and Telling
by Laurie Alberts

“Show–don’t tell.” How many times have you heard this standard bit of writing advice? It’s so common in writing courses and critiques that it has become a clich?. Writers are often told to write scenes, dramatize, cut exposition, cut summary–but it’s misguided advice. The truth is good writing almost always requires both showing and telling. The trick is finding the right balance of scene and summary–the two basic components of creative prose.


Spunk & BiteSpunk & Bite
by Arthur Plotnik

Today’s writer needs more than just a solid knowledge of usage and composition to write successfully. Bestselling author Arthur Plotnik reveals the secrets to attention-grabbing, unforgettable writing, in this trade paperback edition. Updated with all-new writing exercises, Spunk & Bite will help writers take books, articles, business reports, memos, and even e-mail messages to the next level.


The Power of Point of ViewThe Power of Point of View
by Alicia Rasley

Point of view isn’t just an element of storytelling–when chosen carefully and employed consistently in a work of fiction, it is the foundation of a captivating story.


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