Get inspired: the best books about writing

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There are lots of great resources and guides out there for budding writers, on everything from putting together a novel to writing a screenplay

We look at ten of the best books about writing which will help whether you want to write a memoir, short story, screenplay or novel.

The Five-Minute Writer by Margret Geraghty

If you find you’re pushed for time but have always wanted to try creative writing, then this book is for you. It’s packed with writing exercises that take only five minutes a day, but will help push you to write and think creatively.

Find it here

Back to Creative Writing School by Bridget Whelan

Don’t let the title put you off – this is a book for beginners as much as it is for experienced writers. It contains 30 creative writing exercises to stimulate your imagination and help you to shape amazing prose for short stories and novels.

Find it here

Structuring Your Novel by K. M. Weiland

When you’re ready to take the leap into longer fiction, take a look at this text aimed at helping you make the most of a novel’s structure. It helps you to see the strengths and weaknesses in your novel in order to make you a better storyteller.

Find it here

How NOT to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman

This hilarious book examines 200 of the most common mistakes made by authors, including overused clichés, one-dimensional characters, and nonsensical plots. It’s a must-read for any budding writers, and should help make sure you don’t fall into the trap of many a bad author.

Find it here

How To Write Your Life Story in Ten Easy Steps by Sophie King

If you’ve always fancied writing your autobiography then this tutorial text by Sophie King will help get you started. It has a ten step process aimed at helping you to think about your life story in a way that will attract readers.

Find it here

The Arvon Book of Literary Non-fiction by Sally Cline and Midge Gillies

This book by Arvon, an organisation who run writing retreats and courses, is a great guide for people who want to write good non-fiction. It covers a range of styles, including nature, history, feminist and travel writing.

Find it here

Writing For Children by Pamela Cleaver

If you’ve ever thought about writing a book to share with your grandchildren, then this is the guide for you. It’s filled with techniques to help you make the most of genres, plots and themes, with younger readers in mind.

Find it here

Break into Screenwriting by Ray Frensham

Budding screenwriters should make sure they buy this classic text by Ray Frensham, part of the popular Teach Yourself series. It’s a standard on many screenwriting courses and takes you through the basics of technical layout, story structure, dialogue and plot.

Find it here

Story by Robert McKee

You won’t find many screenwriters who haven’t heard of or read this book on writing by Robert McKee. McKee analyses the plots, structures and principles common to some of the most respected and popular movies to help writers shape better screenplays.

Find it here

On Writing by Stephen King

Finally, this memoir by the famous author is widely regarded as one of the best books available on writing. It’s packed with nuggets of wisdom from a master of the craft, and provides an interesting look into the career of a writer.

Find it here

What’s your favourite book on writing?


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