If the old adage that every person has a great book inside them is true, you’re going to need a few great writing instruction books to get your story onto paper.
Here are a few writing instructional books that can help you organize your ideas, and create a plan to complete your novel.
- First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner
- From First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen Wiesner
- Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
- Book-in-a-Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
- The Writer’s Digest Write Great Fiction series
First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner
Perfect for writers who like to plot every aspect of their stories from start to finish, First Draft in 30 Days provides a day-by-day schedule and comprehensive worksheets that will help you do just that.
With specific tasks for each day of the month, plenty of examples from her own work as well as popular fictional works, and tips on how to customize the method to your own style, Wiesner’s book is an excellent resource for organizing the bones of your story.
As an added bonus, many of the worksheets included both can be downloaded for free from the author’s website.
From First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen Wiesner
A companion book to First Draft in 30 Days, this second version includes many of the same worksheets and instructions on getting the draft or outline of your novel completed.
From First Draft to Finished Novel picks up where the first book left off. While First Draft in 30 Days covered outlining, this one focuses on making all the parts that you outlined work together in a more cohesive way. This book also includes tips on preparing the proposal you will send to potential publishers. Query letters, synopsis, and the first three chapters or first 50 pages (or partial) of your book.
Using the Story Plan Checklist that you created when outlining your novel, Wiesner gives tips on how to turn that into an effective synopsis by carefully whittling down the details into something that will entice editors.
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Critically acclaimed author and writing instructor Larry Brooks offers budding novelists of wealth of information on his website, storyfix.com.
Building upon those ideas, Story Engineering offers an in-depth look at Larry’s manifesto, that every story whether a short, novella, novel and even screenplay, needs a solid foundation upon which to build.
Utilizing the pillars of great writing, Larry’s Six Core Competencies to successful writing (concept, character, theme, story structure, scene execution, writing voice), readers will learn how to define the milestones that every good story needs. Along with Larry’s patented Story Engineering Checklist, will help your story to work together in perfect harmony.
Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Similar to First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Weisner, Book in a Month provides a detailed plan that allows you to outline your entire novel in 30 days.
An extensive collection of worksheets is included in this book and they cover everything from characters, setting, plot, and conflict, as well as a character arc tracker, worksheets for your hero and villain, and some unique sheets that help you to see a snapshot of other important aspects of your story.
The Writer’s Digest Write Great Fiction series
Known for their magazine which provides tips and advice to aspiring authors of all genres and experience levels, writers digest also provides an extensive catalog of writing instruction books.
Their Write Great Fiction series covers all aspects of the writing process, including plot and structure, characters and viewpoint, description and setting, revision and self-editing, and dialogue.
Authors who want to sharpen their skills or learn new ones can do so with this informative and educational series.