Get It on the Page – Books for Writers

By Kat La Mantia | November 2 2022 | GeneralAllBlog

Once again, it’s NaNoWriMo, the annual challenge to write a novel (or 50,000 words of it at least) in the month of November. The ethos behind the challenge is simple: just write. No dawdling, no editing, no hand-wringing. Production is the goal, because if you never get words on the page, that novel will never get written.

For those brave enough to take on the challenge, we have books to help. Whether you’re concerned with characters, plot, or craft in general, there are titles on our list that can help bring your work to life. Check out our favorites below, and then take a deeper browse through our NaNoWriMo title list.

Happy writing!

Book In a Month
The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days
978-1-59963-988-8
What can you accomplish in 30 days?If you make time to write and put away all of your excuses, could you stay on track and finish your novel in only a month? With a structured plan and a focused goal, yes, you can!Using a combination of flexible weekly schedules, clear instruction, and detailed worksheets, author Victoria Schmidt leads you through a proven 30-day novel-writing system without the intimidation factor. Book in a Month shows you how to:   • Set realistic goals and monitor your progress   • Manage your time so that your writing life has room to flourish   • Select a story topic that will continue to inspire you throughout the writing process   • Quickly outline your entire story so that you have a clear idea of how your plot and characters are going to develop before you start writing   • Draft each act of your story by focusing on specific turning points   • Keep track of the areas you want to revise without losing your momentum in the middle of your story   • Relax and have fun--you are, after all, doing something you loveSo what are you waiting for? If you've been putting off your book project, let Book in a Month be your guide and find out just how much you can accomplish!
$19.99 US
Sep 04, 2015
6 x 8
Paperback
304 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

The Book You Were Born to Write
Everything You Need to (Finally) Get Your Wisdom onto the Page and into the World
978-1-4019-5562-5
Now in paperback, here's a guide to writing a full-length transformational nonfiction book, from an editor with two decades' experience working in publishing.
$17.99 US
Sep 15, 2020
6 x 9
Paperback
296 Pages
Hay House Inc.

Mastering the Process
From Idea to Novel
978-1-9848-7833-5
As the author of twenty-four novels, Elizabeth George is one of the most successful--and prolific--novelists today. In Mastering the Process, George offers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel. This is a subject she knows well, having taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years."I have never before read a book about writing that is so thorough, thoughtful, and most of all, helpful." --Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women
$17.00 US
Apr 06, 2021
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
336 Pages
Penguin Books

The Secrets of Story
Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers
978-1-4403-4823-5
You've just boarded a plane. You've loaded your phone with your favorite podcasts, but before you can pop in your earbuds, disaster strikes: The guy in the next seat starts telling you all about something crazy that happened to him--in great detail. This is the unwelcome storyteller, trying to convince a reluctant audience to care about his story. We all hate that guy, right? But when you tell a story (any kind of story: a novel, a memoir, a screenplay, a stage play, a comic, or even a cover letter), you become the unwelcome storyteller. So how can you write a story that audiences will embrace? The answer is simple: Remember what it feels like to be that jaded audience. Tell the story that would win you over, even if you didn't want to hear it.The Secrets of Story provides comprehensive, audience-focused strategies for becoming a master storyteller. Armed with the Ultimate Story Checklist, you can improve every aspect of your fiction writing with incisive questions like these:     • Concept: Is the one-sentence description of your story uniquely appealing?   • Character: Can your audience identify with your hero?   • Structure and Plot: Is your story ruled by human nature?   • Scene Work: Does each scene advance the plot and reveal character through emotional reactions?   • Dialogue: Is your characters' dialogue infused with distinct personality traits and speech patterns based on their lives and backgrounds?   • Tone: Are you subtly setting, resetting, and upsetting expectations?   • Theme: Are you using multiple ironies throughout the story to create meaning?To succeed in the world of fiction and film, you have to work on every aspect of your craft and satisfy your audience. Do both--and so much more--with The Secrets of Story.
$19.99 US
Nov 01, 2016
5-1/2 x 8-7/16
Paperback
368 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts
978-1-64129-341-9
They say writing is rewriting. So why does the second part get such short shrift? Refuse to Be Done will guide you through every step of the novel-writing process, from getting started on those first pages to the last tips for making your final draft even tighter and stronger.
$15.95 US
Mar 08, 2022
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
168 Pages
Soho Press

Everyone Has What It Takes
A Writer's Guide to the End of Self-Doubt
978-0-593-33078-4
An insightful guide for any writer who's ever wondered if they're talented, creative, lovable, or worthy enough. Spoiler alert: You are.
$19.00 US
Jun 01, 2021
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
240 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

The Secrets of Character
Writing a Hero Anyone Will Love
978-0-593-33122-4
An insightful and actionable guide to creating a hero that readers will fall in love with, from the author of The Secrets of Story
$19.00 US
Apr 19, 2022
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
304 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

How To Write a Page Turner
Craft a Story Your Readers Can't Put Down
978-1-4403-5434-2
Infuse Your Fiction with the Powerful Tug of Tension! Tension is the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It keeps readers guessing and characters on their toes. When you've got tension in place, stories leave readers breathless and wanting more. When it's missing, scenes feel inconsequential, plots drag, and characters meander. Learning the craft of writing can sometimes feel like a paint by numbers approach--connect compelling character A to plot event B. To avoid writing that's formulaic, predictable, and slow, How to Write a Page Turner will help you sew the threads of tension tight for an unforgettable story. You'll learn how to:   • Recognize the essential tension elements of danger, conflict, uncertainty, and withholding, and add them to your fiction   • Create levels of tension in your characters through flaws, dialogue, power struggles, and more   • Build tension at energetic markers throughout the plot   • Use intimate imagery, strong sentences, and well-chosen words to build tension in expositionWhile this book walks you through the key areas that need tension building, from character to plot, it also delves deeper, analyzing exceptional examples from contemporary fiction's most gripping page-turners. So as you dive into the inner conflicts of a character's deepest psyche, to the mechanics of how you reveal information to the reader, you'll also discover how to craft a story your readers can't put down!
$18.99 US
Mar 19, 2019
5-1/2 x 8-7/16
Paperback
240 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

Troubleshooting Your Novel
Essential Techniques for Identifying and Solving Manuscript Problems
978-1-59963-980-2
Take your story to the next level of excellence! You've completed the first draft of your novel--now what? Chances are, it's not perfect...at least not yet. In order to increase your chances of getting a literary agent, selling your manuscript to a  publisher, or garnering an audience for your self-published work, you need targeted, practical instruction on tackling the problem areas and weak spots in your story. You need Troubleshooting Your Novel. In this hand-on, easy-to-use guide, award-winning author Steven James provides helpful techniques and checklists, timesaving tricks of the trade, and hundreds of questions for manuscript analysis and revision. You'll learn how to:   • ADJUST elements of story progression, from causality, tension, and setbacks to plot twists, climaxes, and endings.   • DEVELOP authentic, riveting characters by exploring their attitudes, desires, beliefs, and more.   • LEARN narrative techniques for elements such as dialogue, flashbacks, suspense, voice, subtext, and flow.   • ENSURE reader engagement by aligning with their expectations, fulfilling promises, and instilling trust.   • CHECK issues with context and continuity.You owe your book more than just a polish and a proofread. Strengthen your story, prepare it for the marketplace, and make it the best it can be with Troubleshooting Your Novel.
$19.99 US
Sep 20, 2016
5-1/2 x 8-7/16
Paperback
368 Pages
Writer's Digest Books

The Compass of Character
Creating Complex Motivation for Compelling Characters in Fiction, Film, and TV
978-1-4403-0086-8
Just as a compass provides direction for an explorer, so does motivation provide direction for characters in fiction. The "compass" of character motivation is composed of four points: Lack, Yearning, Resistance, and Desire. In The Compass of Character you'll learn to deeply consider the key question "What does my character want?" and learn techniques to answer that question by writing realistic and empathetic characters without falling into formulaic, unsatisfying results that only diminish the character. Bestselling author and acclaimed writing instructor David Corbett provides writers with the essentials for building characters with motivations that range from clear to complex by exploring topics such as:    • human yearning   • pathological maneuvers   • the pain of life vs. the promise of life   • backstory and behavior   • mechanics of growth and transformation   • dramatizing mistaken desire and misbegotten yearnings   • moral arguments The key to fascinating characters is rendering subtle inner states in straightforward external circumstances, which requires a fundamental understanding of the simple building blocks of complex motivation as they manifest themselves in behavior, where complexity of purpose collides with the messy, indifferent world. The Compass of Character is the one book that can guide writers to that end with both instruction and inspiration.
$19.99 US
Nov 19, 2019
5-1/2 x 8-4/9
Paperback
288 Pages
Writer's Digest Books