Every year dozens of books on writing romance are published. Some of them are truly awful. Some are pretty darn good. I’ve compiled a list of the books that I think look interesting or valuable. I’ve read most of them and the others I’ve perused.
While it’s probably unreasonable to imagine that you’ll want to read all of these books, that’s a book a month all year, you might consider setting a goal to read one “writing” book each quarter. That’s four books this year. Many of these books are less than $3.00 and you can stockpile them in advance. Some are new books, some are oldies but goodies.
Thinking Like a Romance Writer by Dahlia Evans – This book is packed with descriptive words and phrases for any and every situation your characters might find themselves in. When you’re stumped and not sure how to describe a scene or you’re tired of using the same old phrases, this book will help you out. I’ve taken a good look at it and it’s amazing.
ROMANCE-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets by Julie Lessman – To be honest, I don’t write for this market. However, it’s a large market and it can be a genuine challenge to create conflict and tension with an inspirational plot. If this is your market and you’re struggling with plot, this may be a perfect book for you. It’s well reviewed and genre specific.
Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell – I’ve read a lot about James Scott Bell and a bit from him (I’ve read his book titled Plot & Structure, which he wrote for the Writer’s Digest folks). He has a unique approach to writing. It’s not for everyone. However, if you’re just starting out or you’re finding that you’ve hit a bump in the romance writing road, his approach may be the key to helping you take the next steps. Check out his website to learn more about him. http://www.jamesscottbell.com/styled-7/index.html
On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That Sells by Leigh Michaels – Okay, this is one of the oldies but goodies that I was talking about. I still pull this book down from the shelf occasionally and flip through it for assistance, motivation, and inspiration. This may be one to buy in paperback format rather than digital so you can mark it up.
Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance by Liz Fielding – This book comes highly recommended by any romance writing group. Liz Fielding has published more than 60 romance novels and she has it down. This book is designed to help the beginner understand the requirements and nuances of a good romance book. She walks you through the steps and stages of a solid romance plot and shows you how to create good characters – ones that your readers will want to visit over and over.
The Busy Writer’s Tips on Writing Romance by Marg McAlister – This goes under the category of not new but “new to me.” I recently came across The Busy Writer and she has some good information. I haven’t read this book but she has an abundance of good reviews and a full Busy Writer series of books. Her information is solid and her material stands up.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – This book changed my life. It changed how I look at and approach writing. It changed my mindset about who I am and my role in this world. It’s an amazing book. If you’re looking for guidance, inspiration, and motivation then make this part of your library.
A few notes….
All of these links are to Amazon. I’m not an affiliate for Amazon. I don’t get any money if you buy the book. You can buy them at Barnes & Noble or check them out at your local library too. I am a huge fan of downloading a sample for my Kindle or Nook before I buy. That way I can make sure the book is worth my time and my money.
A few that I do have on my book shelf also include:
–Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
–Stephen King On Writing
–Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction by Jessica Morrell
–Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (Check this one out at your library first. It’s not for everyone)
You can also buy Writing the Breakout Novel and the corresponding workbook (which is super useful, at the Writer’s Digest Shop.