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9 Best Fiction Writing Books You Should Read

Writing is no easy job. Writing fiction is arguably the hardest kind of writing you can do. If you want to take your fiction writing to the next level, then these are the 9 books you should read.

We reached out to writers and experts to get their suggestions… Here is what they had to say.

#1 On writing by Steven King

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Stephen King is just that: a King of fiction writing. What better way to learn about fiction than from someone who has written almost 100 fiction books with at least 75 of them being made into films? This book starts at the beginning of King's life and takes the reader along the journey that shaped him as a person and as a writer.

It demonstrates to readers that you can take a simple moment in life and turn it into an entire novel if you let your imagination take over. King explains how to empower readers and how to empower yourself as a writer. He shows through this short novel not only how to connect with an audience but how to do it brilliantly. After reading King's book, you can see that behind every moment, there is a story waiting to be written. This book is also great because it can be for experienced fiction writers or for beginners.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: McCall Robison from Best Company

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#2 The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton

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Most of her work is fiction, so this rare nonfiction title from her is not only unique, but helpful and insightful. She covers short stories as well as novels, characterization and plot, and as a woman struggling in a man's profession at the time (1925) but still receiving recognition and awards, she has a perspective on the craft and business that speaks not only to women writers but all authors who want to create absorbing stories that will engage readers for years to come.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Cecily Wolfe from CecilyWolfe

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#3 On Writing Well William Zinsser

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I'm recommending William Zinsser's On Writing Well, and the funny thing is, it's not actually about fiction writing. But it is the best book I've ever read on the topic of writing clearly and directly, something fiction writers need to do just as well as nonfiction writers. Too often I find my first-draft prose unwieldy, convoluted, flabby, trying too hard to sound impressive when I should just be telling the reader what I want to say.

Fortunately, it's terribly satisfying to identify and snip out all that sloppy language, with Zinsser's lessons as your guide! Long after you've read it, this book stays with you, like a helpful guide looking over your shoulder, showing you words you can omit. On Writing Well is a warm, friendly and utterly indispensable friend to any writer looking to dig stronger stories out of the linguistic sludge.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Adam Bertocci  from AdamBertocci

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#4 Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

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It is a book for screenwriters but it has useful information for anyone writing fiction. It is great for learning why some plots work and others don't.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Lovelyn Bettison from LovelynBettison

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#5 The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

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The Story Grid is an in-depth guide to story and genre. In it you learn about genre tropes and how to meet fan expectation while still maintaining the integrity of your story.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Lovelyn Bettison from LovelynBettison

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#6 Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

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Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland does a great job of showing how to unite story structure, plot and character development. This book goes way beyond the classic Hero's Journey so you can learn how to create memorable characters and stories.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Dan Janal from Write Your Book In A Flash

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#7 Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

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Although written for the business world, this book explains a methodology for making ideas stick in the mind. And if you can do that with your fiction, then you’ll write something that endures.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Kyle Weckerly from Direct Call Solutions 

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#8 Writers Tricks of the Trade by Morgan St. James

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The book was originally compiled using 39 topics from my more than 600 published articles on the art and craft of writing for use as a back of the room book at my workshops and presentations. It has just been updated and expanded for 2018 and is available at most online booksellers in paperback, Kindle and ePub editions.

One of the reasons I recommend this book is that it is not a boring text book. Many people who bought the book tell me they keep it handy for inspiration as well as information. It is written in friendly prose with a touch of humor, touches on what works and what doesn't work-much of it from my own experiences as the author of 16 books.

I liken it to the appetizer table at a buffet, with a little about a lot and information that can be used right away. For in depth information on specific aspects of writing there is a bibliography of books I have used myself at the end of the book. Any of the books on that list are very helpful, as I don't recommend something I have not used myself.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Morgan St. James from MorganStJames

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#9 How to read Literature like a professor by Thomas C Foster

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I think every writing major for more than the past decade can explain the usefulness and value of this book. Personally, this book came to me roughly after I graduated high school and was just starting college and I realized I wasn’t going to get feed the answers as both a reader and writer. So the desire to retain more information about the sweet science we call writing brought me to this great read.

I believe there’s a saying around the lines of, “To be a great writer first you need to learn to enjoy reading” or something to that extent.

There are so many lessons I’ve learned from this book that still resonates with me and how little has in fact changed in it's application to creating fiction. I think the core thesis of the book is just that nothing exists in a vacuum and its okay to relate both writing and leaving the experience to both historical, social, and personal interpretation.

Your interpretation of your any level of reality be it through research or through your own manifestation of ideas can and could be used to anticipate and interpret the needs of the reader. This book kept me and still does accountable to both the whim and expectations of the audience I produce the content for.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Hero Lux from Surreal Dreams Studios

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