There really are some great books on writing. I’m only sharing ones that I have connected with and feel other writers would, as well. But the important thing to me is to do a little research. See what your library has on the subject. Even a Writing Fiction for Dummies is a good place to start. Just start reading about writing. Read great books, bad books, and just read about writing. Find a blog you like by a successful writer. Whatever. Get started. Maybe one of these.
This is one I got from the library and then bought a copy. I need to read it again. Maass does a great job going over what the market looks for, what kind of books are a part of the next wave of literature, ideas of genre, etc. Don’t misunderstand, it isn’t a book about a formula, it is a book about being creative and unique in today’s market and not rehashing what’s come before. It was inspirational and important, especially as I revised The Living Stone. Maass says to write what scares you, not what’s safe. And so it helped The Living Stone become what it needed to be.
James Hall is a lit professor who had a series of classes where he and his students started researching the top selling books of all time (he details the criteria in the book) and tried to find some similar principles and aspects to each novel. From To Kill a Mockingbird to Hunt for Red October to The Firm and The Godfather and others, he found a series of aspects that were similar in each novel. What were those things? From plot to character to sex and religion, he explains the kinds of things that each of the bestselling books of the 20th Century had in common. And as different as each book is, they all had them in their own ways. Again, not as formulaic as it sounds. I read this after publishing The Living Stone and the book had all of them except one. But that’s okay. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had all but one, as well. The same one.
There you go. Are there any books on writing I haven’t shared that were important to you?