It seems like every person who’s ever written a novel has also written about the experience of writing a novel, but these are the most valuable I’ve come across so far. If you have any to add, feel free to do just that in the comments section below.
Half memoir, half writing advice this book is full of great advice from one of the most successful authors alive today. The story of how he got his start is fascinating, not to mention the background it gives on his stories, including where he struggled and how he felt. On top of that you get advice on everything from how long to write each day to editing to sharpen your manuscript.
This is a book full great advice on the entire writing process, from brainstorming to publication. There’s at least one chapter, whose title is not appropriate for the website of YA author, that has stuck with me. It also offers some hilarious insight into the mild insanity of writing.
This book targets the kind of punctuation, diction, and grammar mistakes that send up red flags in the heads of editors and agents reading your manuscript. Great things to keep an eye out for, though the advice shouldn’t be taken to the extreme, and I don’t know that I’d recommend it for anyone who doesn’t already have a completed manuscript because it might drive them insane.
Obviously this one is for people interested in writing science fiction and fantasy, but it’s also got a section on “The Life and Business of Writing,” if you’re interested. It gives a great crash course in science fiction and fantasy and what they are (and aren’t), and a lot of what’s been done before. It also gives advice on challenges that are unique to science fiction and fantasy like world creation, and balancing the exposition of the fantasy settings and cultures with character development. I thought that as someone well-read in science fiction I could skip this one, but I got it for a Christmas present and realized I couldn’t have been more wrong.