Monday Musings

The Top 5 Books for Novel Writers

So, for this week’s Monday Musings I am talking about my top 5 books for novel writers. Not that they won’t help other writers as well, but these books are especially helpful to those who are writing novels. I have not been compensated in any way for the listing of these book and resources, they are my opinions.

  1. Outlining Your Novel & Outlining Your Novel Workbook

This book by writing guru K.M. Weiland helped to turn me from a pantser to a plotter. I honestly don’t remember where I heard about this book, but it helped me go from a nebulous idea of a novel to a healthy 20,200 words in two weeks of writing. I count the workbook as part of this book as it helps to use both in conjunction while outlining your novel.

2. Crafting Novels and Short Stories

This book, put together through many of Writers Digest editors and full of essays, opinions, and segments on the Writers Life, is full of useful insights and tips from writers who have been where you are. I find it especially helpful when I’m trying to remember things like POV, description and revision methods. From the beginning novelist to the successful author, this book has tips, tricks and anecdotes to help you along. I’ve found that it was especially helpful in reading about overcoming writers block.

3. On Writing 

Stephen King’s memoir about the craft has been an iconic book on many a writers shelf since it came out in 2000. I find that his book inspires me to keep writing and also helps me to take in one of the masters of the crafts advice to the novelist. His memoir and advice book is an essential on every writers shelf.

4. No Plot, No Problem 

Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo wrote this book as a guide to writing a book in 30 days. While I have yet to master the writing of a full novel in a month I find the tips that he shares to be helpful, especially when it seems so easy to make an excuse for not writing. I find his week-by-week guide to be helpful even if I do expand it to longer than  a week for each section.

5. Structuring Your Novel & Structuring Your Novel Workbook

Again, K. M. Weiland has scored with an impressive and essential book. While most authors and novelists have a good grasp of story structure, she explains it in a way that is both easy to understand and to implement. The workbook helps to put the understanding of structure into your hands. When used in combination with the Outlining Your Novel books, these provide an easy grasp of how to craft your novel.


So, that’s it for my list of the top 5 books for novel writers. What are your top 5 books for novelists? Next week on Monday Musings: The Top 10 Resources for Writers.

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