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The 6 Best Writing Books to Make You a Better Writer

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 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, 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 groups and critique partners, because I seriously love it so much. And each time I read it, there’s always something new I learn.

Plot Perfect is one of the best writing books to help you build action into your plot and to think deeply about your characters. This is one of the only books I’ve read that doesn’t discriminate between character or plot-driven novels because they’re synonymous from Paula Munier’s perspective.

You definitely need to add this book to your library! Get your paperback copy for less than $20 here.

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 needed to hear her twice just to glean half of what she was saying. 🤣

Story Genius is Lisa Cron’s latest book, but her previous book, Wired for Story is equally amazing. Lisa Cron loves to teach character-driven stories and finding your reason why. (She even includes the question ‘So What?’ at the end of all her scene cards).

Story Genius is a wonderful resource to put you into the mind of the reader and to understand why people love hearing stories. Be sure to add this book to your list!

Kidlit Writer's Starter Kit | Your guide to help you write a children's book

3. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Save the Cat is one of those writing books you’ll hear almost EVERYONE at conferences mention. It’s because it’s so important to improve your writing abilities!

My favorite thing Blake Snyder teaches is how to think in terms of action. Save the Cat is meant for writers who write screenplays, which are all action on the stage or big screen. But even novel writers can learn how to put action in our stories!

One of my favorite writing books to learn active writing from!

4. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donal Maass

Writing the Breakout Novel is another writing book that is coveted in writer’s circles. Donald Maass has also written MANY other writing books, which I’m sure are equally excellent. However, this is the only book I’ve ever picked up (Since I kept hearing about it from my fellow writing friends.)

I really enjoyed the insights into the publishing industry that Donald Maass included in this book, along with the overall concepts of what makes a novel “breakout”.

Although Writing the Breakout Novel doesn’t help with specific writing skills, it DOES change your thinking and approach to writing. I’d especially like a new release of this book, considering it’s been almost 20 years since Writing the Breakout Novel came out.

5.  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King

I finished Self-Editing for Fiction Writers this summer and have gotten a TON of value from this writing book. This is by far one of the best writing books to teach specific writing skills and less overall story building concepts.

Self-editing for Fiction Writers has particularly been helpful as I edit the new middle grade novels I’ve been working on. My groups and critique partners only read my stories once a month, so it’s nice to be able to edit my writing on my own.

Get this book to edit your writing better and stop worrying about not having an editor!

6. Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul

I recently learned about Writing Picture Books at a writer’s group, but it’s been out for almost ten years. However, the newest edition just came out this year! 😊

So many times writing books are meant for novel writers, particularly adult writers. It was refreshing to find a craft book meant for picture book writers. And I can’t wait to dive into this latest edition!

All picture book writers should own this book!


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. 😚

Download the free children's book template

Also, check out these other articles to improve your writing!

Add These Writing Books to Your Library Today!

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