18 Best Books On Writing For New Authors

You are a bright, curious, and creative new author with so many ideas floating in your head.  Part of you is ready to write your book but the other part of you has no idea where to start.  Not to worry, there are many books about writing that can help you come up with ideas, structure your book, and help you bring your ideas to light!

Books about how to write

The best part of leveraging great books as an aspiring author is that some of the best books on writing are quick and easy to read, meaning you can easily fit reading them into your schedule.

Books about writing to get the creative juices flowing

There’s no denying that writing a book takes creativity. But creativity can be hard to come by.  Here are the best books on writing that will help ignite the creative genius inside of you.

Note: The books mentioned below are Amazon affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you buy a book using a link below. This helps us grow!

1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” won’t just help you become a better writer, but it will help you live a better way of life.  Gilbert helps readers follow their curiosity and uncover unique aspects of themselves to help them create art.

This book is excellent for those that feel out of touch with their creative side. By using short stories instead of an instructional style of writing, Gilbert shows you that living a creative life is about having courage and faith.

2. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Choose Yourself James Altucher

Perhaps you’ve chosen to write a book because you want to break away from the traditional career path. If so, James Altucher’s book will help you do that.

In his book, “Choose Yourself,” he breaks down the illusion of the American dream that follows a set career path and helps you to create habits that will support you in building the life you’ve dreamed of.

In addition, he helps readers come up with original ideas and turn those ideas into stories. When looking for the best books on writing, this book is a must.

3. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal like an artist book

Everyone has their favorite writer or artist they admire. Perhaps you finished a book from one of your favorite authors and wished you could write something half as good. Well, it’s possible with Kleon’s book, “Steal Like An Artist”.

Unique to other best books on writing, Kleon doesn’t try to get you to invent some story that has never been told before.

Instead, he embraces the fact that almost nothing is original. Yet you can use what’s already been done to create something that is unique and original to you.

4. Story Genius by Lisa Cron

Story Genius Lisa Cron

Lisa Cron’s “Story Genius” is for those who think more logically but also have an untapped creative side.

If you’re someone who enjoys structure and following step-by-step directions to create, this is the book for you. Cron walks you through every step of writing a novel, from the idea to multiple drafts, to a complete product.

Cron uses the power of outlining to save you time and energy and prevent you from writing hundreds of pages that can’t be used because they lack flow and structure.

Books to help with grammar and writing structure

Grammar is the inevitable part of writing that most writers either love or hate. The fact is grammar is important to ensure that your ideas come across clear and concise to the reader.

You don’t want your brilliant story to get lost in bad punctuations and misused verb tenses.

Here are books that help you better grasp the concept of grammar in a way that is more entertaining than your 9th-grade English teacher.

5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by bird Anne Lamott

This critically acclaimed book is said to be humorous yet helpful. Anne Lamott understands the needs and challenges of writers and gives instructions in a way that is simple yet valuable.

In her book “Bird by Bird,”  Lamott shares not only her advice from her own writing experience but the wisdom and knowledge that was passed down from her father, who is also a writer. This book is great for understanding the process of writing, drafting, etc.

6. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern

The blue book of grammar and punctuation book

This is one of the best books on writing that should be on every writer’s bookshelf. “The Blue Book” is a straightforward book that has all the rules of grammar you need to refresh on as you’re writing.

7. The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing by Michael DiGiacomo

English grammar workbook for adults

Amongst the few books for writers that focus on grammar, this book helps you understand English grammar in a fun and easy way.

Good for both native and non-native English speakers, “The English Grammar Workbook for Adults” covers grammar essentials such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and tenses.

The knowledge in this book is helpful for writing a book, email, or any type of written content.

8. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White

This classic book on writing is still recommended by many writing teachers. It’s a short book chock full of information on how to write, covering everything from grammar, to style, and usage.

“The Elements of Style” is great for both beginning and experienced writers who need to brush up on their English writing skills.

Books on writing personal stories

Everyone has a story living inside of them, and now you are ready to share yours. The only challenge is how exactly you share that story.

Writing personal stories may sound simple but requires a level of vulnerability and insight that isn’t easy to craft on paper.

Let’s look at the best books on writing that will help you craft your life story into a book people won’t want to put down.

9. Naked, Drunk, and Writing:  Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Adair Lara

Naked Drunk and Writing

Adair Lara is a seasoned writer, columnist, and writing coach that will help you write your personal story.

In her book, Naked, Drunk, and Writing, she helps you answer difficult questions that new writers face. These include answering one of the biggest questions of how to write when you’re busy, lazy, or scared.

Also, she addresses how to find the right agent when you’re ready to publish and whether you should share your manuscript with friends and family.

This book will help you write your book from start to finish.

10. Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir by Sue William Silverman

Fearless confessions book

This is one book for writers that is all-encompassing for those that want to put their experiences into concrete words and create memoirs.

Fearless Confessions” is particularly helpful as it includes writing exercises and illustrative examples.  In addition, this book will take you through the writing framework of plot, voice, theme, and metaphors.

If you’ve lacked the courage to tell your story, this book will help you work through your fears to cultivate an authentic and powerful book.

11. Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg

This beautifully crafted book can be used by writers or anyone who wants to get in touch with the deep memories locked away in their mind.

Through meditative exercises, Natalie Goldberg’s “Old Friend From Far Away” will help you tap into memories and deeper parts of who you are to tell your unique stories.

Critics claim this book to be a must-have when looking for books on how to write.

Books on writing fiction

Writing fiction involves detailed plots and character development. You are basically creating a new world within a few hundred pages. Thus reading books on how to write, particularly fiction, can be very beneficial.

12. Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks

Story engineering book

Larry Brooks introduces the concept of constructing a story as an engineer or an architect in his book, “Story Engineering”.

He describes that a successful story is created through six specific aspects. These include concept, character, story structure, theme, scene constructions, and writing voice.

This book is perfect for people who have an engineering mind and can use it to expand their creativity with writing.

13. How to Write a Damn Good Novel:  A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling by James N Frey

How to write a damn good novel

Originally written in 1987, many reviews still think that the knowledge and sense of humor in “How to Write a Damn Good Novel” still holds true today.

This book is actually a two-part series and is perfect for novice writers. It essentially helps you to become a better writer as it supports you through the different phases of writing.

James N Frey gets you to draft that first page, keeps you on track, and helps you correct the problems in your work.

14. On Writing by Stephen King

What better way to learn about writing fiction then from the master himself? “On Writing” by Stephen King is part memoir part instruction book on how to become a great writer.

You’ll learn practical tips about perfecting the art of writing while being entertained with King’s brilliant storytelling.

This book is great for writers who want to hone their craft and learn more about how to get a book published.

15. Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School, Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Writing fiction - Gothams writers workshop

This book from the famous writer’s school in New York covers all aspects of writing fiction, from character, plot and dialogue, to revision and selling your work.

The Gotham Writers’ book on writing fiction is a good starting point for writers who want to explore creative writing and explore the basics of writing compelling copy. You can read it on its own or use it as a companion guide during any fiction writing class.

Books on writing faster

Writing doesn’t need to be a fast process. In fact, some authors have spent 6 or 12 years writing their masterpieces. Yet, with everything moving so fast in the digital age, writing fast can give you an advantage.

The following best books on writing will not only help you to write faster but improve your writing skills.

16. 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron

2k to 10k book

Whether you have a writing deadline to meet or you are busy and have small pockets of time to write,  Rachel Aaron’s book, “2,000 to 10,000,” is a must-have to help you write more in less time.

Her book focuses on increasing your daily word count and provides helpful tricks for editing and writing character development.

When it comes to books on how to write faster, Aaron will make it happen for you.

17. 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter by Chris Fox

5000 words per hour book

From the title of the book, “5,000 Words Per Hour“, it may be a little hard to believe that anyone, especially a new writer, can write 5,000 words in as little time as one hour.

Apparently, the hype is true. Many amazon reviewers who are also writers have said that the book has indeed increased their writing speed.

The secret isn’t anything crazy such as locking yourself away in a cabin in the woods or using a special technique.

Instead, the secret is in building strong habits. The book helps you to build better writing habits and also supports you in tracking your words per hour.

18. Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker

Take Off Your Pants Book

By the title of this book, you may think that it has nothing to do with writing. Unless you are someone who likes to write in their underwear, then maybe you can relate.

Yet “Take Off Your Pants” is one of the books for writers that every new writer can benefit from. It’s all about the power of outlining. A unique tool that every writer should utilize before writing any type of genre.

With Libbie Hawker’s outlining technique, you will increase your writing speed and produce a quality book from start to finish.

Expert tip: Read books on writing but maintain your own writing style

The best books on writing are those that are practical and down-to-earth. Remember that while there are rules and guidelines you can follow to help you learn how to write and become a first time author, writing is very personal.

And your writing style should be in your own style and preference. These books will teach you the basics but you need to put in the work and dedication to become an expert on writing.

How can books about writing be beneficial?

The great thing about the best books on writing is that they are written by authors. These authors went through the same creative process as you.

They understand your struggles and your mental blocks and can help you break through the challenges of writing. Let’s look more into the other benefits.

Learn from accomplished authors

By reading books on how to write from seasoned authors, you can learn tips and tricks that only professionals know.

With insider knowledge, you can write faster, clearer and learn from the mistakes that other authors have made.

Learn more than what you learned in your college writing course

You most likely already understand the basics of writing. You can put together a sentence, you’ve written countless essays, but writing your own book is different.

Your writing isn’t going to be graded but consumed by readers who are looking for adventure, drama, romance, or self-help.

This is why reading books for writers can take your writing to the next level. These books show you how to level up your writing so that it’s featured in book clubs across the nation.

Inspiration and discipline

Writing a book takes more than just skill. You need creativity and the discipline to actually sit down and write.

Many of the best books on writing books not only give you activities to spark your creativity but also help you create a routine and different strategies to help you consistently write.

What books should you read if you want to be a writer?

If you want to be a writer, the best books to read are the ones on topics that that you want to write about. Read and study the style of the authors you admire. If they’ve written books about creative writing, then read those.

Learning to become an author is a lifelong process. You’ll always have more to learn and develop. That’s also what makes creative writing so much fun.

What is the best book on how to write a book?

Some of the best books on how to write a book include Stephen King’s On Writing, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Story Genius by Lisa Cron.

The best way to learn how to write a book though is to just start writing. Reading a lot of books about writing and taking creative writing classes will help you build the basics, you need to start writing to become a writer.

Only when you put pen to paper can you truly start to master the craft of creative writing.

Related posts for new authors

Did you find this article helpful? For more author resources, check out these related posts.

Become a better writer by leveraging these best books on writing!

As a first-time author, it can be hard to know where to start.  Whether you are writing fiction, a self-help book, or a memoir, the process can be a little easier when you learn from successful authors.

By utilizing just one of these books on writing books, you can save yourself time and agony. And overall, you can make your first book one of the best things you’ve ever written.

To find out more about how authors get paid or good questions to ask an author, see our other Clever Girl Author articles.

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