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The only way to write amazing books is to study the craft of writing. After researching and reading for hours, I’ve found the best writing books to help you become a better children’s book writer almost over night–if you can read them that fast!
These writing books are quoted time and time again from other writers and coaches, too, and they’re the ones that I have personally read more than once. Because it’s impossible to glean all the information the first time through.
You will LOVE these writing books and will start to see results as soon as you put their tips to practice. I know because they worked for me!
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The 6 Best Writing Books to Make You a Better Writer:
Most of these books are meant for adult writers, but the concepts still apply to children’s books. And it’s easy to adapt certain concepts and make them kid-friendly–which is what I had to do for Plot Perfect’s character card.
1. Plot Perfect by Paula Munier
Plot Perfect is my ABSOLUTE favorite of all the writing books! I’ve recommended it to everyone in my writer’s group and to my critique
It’s one of the best writing books to help you build action into your plot. I also love that this book doesn’t discriminate between character or plot-driven novels because they’re synonymous from Paula Munier’s perspective. Definitely a must-have book for your library.
2. Story Genius by Lisa Cron
I had the pleasure of hearing Lisa Cron speak on two occasions– once for a breakout session at a conference and another as a keynote speaker over dinner. Both were FANTASTIC! This woman is so smart–I would read anything she wrote. But my favorite book of hers is Story Genius.
Not only does she have you dive deeply into your character’s psyche, but she also has you writing full backstory scenes to help you understand the emotion behind their decisions. Plus, she has you really grasp your story’s “so what” factor, which is huge when you’re trying to convince people to keep reading.
Picture book writers and novelists should BOTH read this book.
3. Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
Based on the original book by Blake Snyder, Save the Cat Writes a Novel is such a perfect training on plot. I had the pleasure of attending a webinar with Jessica after reading the book, and can say the book had ALL the same information!
I really love how Jessica explains the complete plot breakdown with popular movie examples we’ve all seen. (The moment when everything really clicked for me!) One of my favorite writing books to make sense of all the beats you have to hit before your story ends!
4. Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole
This book took me a lot longer than it should have to read, but it blew my mind! Writing Irresistible Kidlit is from former agent, Mary Kole. So there’s a TON of industry knowledge in their about traditional publishing. But my favorite part was how she really broke down the Middle Grade and YA market for a writer. (I get how to make my story marketable after reading this.)
Cannot recommend this book enough if you plan on writing for the older children’s book audience.
5. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is an older book, but the teachings still ring true. I’ve found it to be by far one of the best writing books to teach specific editing skills. (Normally, you just learn about the concepts, and never make it into the line-by-line changes you need to make.)
When you only meet with your critique partners once a month, it’s nice to be able to edit on your own. Highly recommend you get this book.
6. Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul
Writing Picture Books has been out forever but got an update in 2018 and it’s awesome. Ann Whitford Paul takes you through the complete picture book writing process from characters, to plot, to rhythm and rhyme — all in one book!
I will admit, some of the rhythm and meter went over my head, which is why I don’t write rhyming picture books. 🤣 However, if you’re a picture book writer of any sort, you have GOT to get this book. No exceptions.
Between reading comp books and writing books, every writer will be better equipped to write the best books for children! Be sure to add one (Or all!) of these writing books to your library.
Also, check out these other articles to improve your writing!
- 10 Best Websites for Writers
- Plot Tips for Novel Writers
- Best Writing Exercises to help with Plot
- The Morning Routine to be a Successful Writer
- What’s a Comp Book & Why do you need to know them
- 4 Quick Editing Tips for Your Kid’s Book