Writing a novel was one of my greatest dreams, but it was also one of my greatest challenges. When I started working on my first novel, I wanted to do everything I could to learn about the business as well as the craft. After sifting through stacks of writing books and resources, here are some that have been helpful to me:

Fiction Writing Tips

One of many excellent fiction writing resources by Jeff Gerke.

Advanced Fiction Writing

For the latest in technology as well as great info on writing structure, check out Randy Ingermanson’s popular fiction writing E-zine.

Jerry Jenkins on Character Development

Excellent info on creating characters including questions to ask for backstory and the importance of a solid (believable!) character arc.


The Forest For The Trees by Betsy Lerner

The book that every writer should read—at least once a year. This book won’t teach you how to write, but Betsy Lerner gives an honest (and very funny) examination of the writing life. If you’re a writer, you’ll wonder how she got inside your head. And you’ll be grateful that someone finally understands!

How to Grow a Novel by Sol Stein

grow_a_novelThe basic nuts and bolts of fiction writing. Conflict. Dialogue. Character Development. Point of View. It’s all in Sol Stein’s book.

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack M. Bickham

Ouch! This book was almost painful to read because I think I’ve committed all 38 crimes. This is another excellent (and succinct)resource that every novelist should read. Jack Bickham will put you on the right track and then coach you all the way to the finish line.

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

How does a novelist create a compelling plot that races out of the gate on page one? When should she add more twists and turns to push her readers onto the next page and then next chapter until they reach the end of the book? Jim Scott helps novelists craft an engaging plot that make their readers lose sleep, because they had to read “just one more page” before they put the novel down.

Between the Lines by Jessica Page Morrell

So many important elements go into a good novel, and Jessica Morrell breaks down these elements (backstory, cliffhangers, foreshadowing, pacing, etc.) so writers can transform their story into a memorable work of art.

Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

Are you a master at developing plots, but struggle to create believable characters? No worries. This book outlines 45 archetype characters that you can make your own. The archetype drives your character. You color in the blanks.

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