Best Writing Books for Beginners

7 Best Writing Books for Beginners

Looking to tackle some wild dreams in 2023? Here's a list of writing books for beginners to get you off to a good start.

We all start somewhere. And if we have a guide to send us off, all the better.

Conquer Books would like to be your guide. With that, the first post of this year is a list of writing books for beginners. If you have wild dreams of finally writing that novel that’s been incubating in your imagination, but haven’t known how to start, we’re here for you.

These 7 best writing books for beginners will help you gain your footing in the world of story.  We chose them because they cover the basics and offer newbies solid ground to stand on. It’s that solid ground you need to take the next step.

Take a look at our selected list, but if you decide one-on-one help is best for you, we’re only a click away.

7 Best Writing Books for Beginners

A creative writer’s shelf should hold at least three essential books: a dictionary, a style guide, and Writing Fiction. Janet Burroway’s best-selling classic is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and for more than three decades, it has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn the craft.  

This new edition continues to provide advice that is practical, comprehensive, and flexible. Burroway’s tone is personal and nonprescriptive, welcoming learning writers into the community of practiced storytellers. Moving from freewriting to final revision, the book addresses “showing not telling”, characterization, dialogue, atmosphere, plot, imagery, and point of view. It includes new topics and writing prompts. The book features a wide and diverse range of today’s best and best-known creators of both novels and short stories.  

This book is a master class in creative writing that also calls on us to renew our love of storytelling and celebrate the skill of writing well. There is a very good chance that one of your favorite authors learned the craft with Writing Fiction. And who knows what future favorite will get her start listening to this edition?

Do you envision celestial cities in distant, fantastic worlds? Do you dream of mythical beasts and gallant quests in exotic kingdoms? If you have ever wanted to write the next great fantasy or science fiction story, this all-in-one comprehensive book will show you how. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction is full of advice from master authors offering definitive instructions on world building, character creation, and storytelling in the many styles and possibilities available to writers of speculative fiction.

The boundaries of your imagination are infinite, but to create credible and thrilling fiction, you must ground your stories in rules, facts, and accurate ideas. Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction will guide you through the complex and compelling universe of fantasy and science fiction writing and help you unleash your stories on the next generation of readers and fans.

In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her tricks of the trade. She shows how you can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters—and much, much more.

She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire.

With humor, honesty, and wisdom, Gail Carson Levine shows you that you, too, can make magic with your writing.

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story – from the opening image to the finale – this audiobook lays out the 10 story genres (“Monster in the House”; “Whydunit”; “Dude with a Problem”) alongside quirky, original insights (“Save the Cat”; “Shard of Glass”) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate – and a novel that will sell.

With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer’s craft: on writing from “first thoughts” (keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; don’t listen to it)—even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author’s witty approach (“Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger,” “Man Eats Car,” “Be an Animal”), will inspire anyone who writes—or who longs to.

The journey to become a successful writer is long, fraught with peril, and filled with difficult questions: How do I write dialogue? How do I build suspense? What should I know about query letters? How do I start?

The best way to answer these questions is to ditch your uncertainty and transform yourself into a KICK-ASS writer. This new book from award-winning author Chuck Wendig combines the best of his eye-opening writing instruction with all-new insights. It’s an explosive broadside of gritty advice. He’ll help you destroy your fears, clear the path, and help you find your voice, your story, and your audience.

Explore fundamentals of writing, learn how to obtain publication, and master the skills to build an army of dedicated fans. No task is too large or small for the kick-ass writer. Whether you’re just starting out or you need one more push to get you over the top, two things are for certain–a kick-ass writer never quits, and Chuck Wendig won’t let you down in this high-octane guide to becoming the writer you were born to be.

Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America’s most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.

Organized into four sections, “Nuts and Bolts,” “Special Effects,” “Blueprints for Stories,” and “Useful Habits,” Writing Tools is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature. This new edition includes five brand new, never-before-shared tools.

Accessible, entertaining, inspiring, and above all, useful for every type of writer, from high school student to novelist, Writing Tools is essential reading.

It takes many years to learn to write well. A good teacher can significantly shorten that time span. As readers, books are our teachers. That’s why this list of the best writing books for beginners will be valuable to the new, aspiring writer.

However, there comes a point in the journey where you might find personal guidance more helpful than a book. If you find yourself there, reach out to us. We help writers just like you every day. Read more on how we can help you finish that novel.

Until then, keep adding to your pile of writing books for beginners.

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