One of the most important skills to be successful in college and beyond is the ability to write creatively. However, this skill is a rare commodity, and many believe that it is something that you are born with–not a skill that can be honed through research and close practice. That conception, though, is incorrect. Creative writing is something that can be learned, and there are countless books on the market to help you learn the introduction to writing skills that will allow you to become the best writer in the class.
1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
This book is written by one of the most popular contemporary writers, and connects King’s experiences with basic tools of the trade. By combining personal experience from one of the most successful writers with tried-and-true tips, this book is a must-read for all newbies in creative writing. Who better to learn from than the master himself?
2. No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty
This book is ideal for first-time writers who have always had the craving to write, but never the motivation. This provides survival strategies and pep talks to get you through the dreaded “writer’s block” and get to writing your first full-length piece.
3. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
If you’re reading this list, you’re no doubt already a voracious reader. This book teaches readers to slow down and pay attention to words with the goal of applying the knowledge to written masterpieces.
4. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne, Dave King
Unfortunately, if you want to write well, you also need to know how to proofread well. This book teaches you the skills necessary to do just that.
5.Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction by Larry Brooks
One of the most difficult aspects of writing a book are figuring out whom you want your characters to be. Larry Brooks helps guide you through the fine art of character and scene development in this step-by-step guide.
6. Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Write Great Fiction) by James Scott Bell
This book examines how a plot influences a story structure and allows for enhancement of the novel. Readers will learn how to craft strong beginnings, middles, and ends, and how to revise a plot that’s strayed off the course.
7. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
This book focuses truly on the art of writing, instead of the product. Ray Bradbury explores the art of writing with curiosity and gusto, along with practical tips for honing the craft of creative writing.
8. The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
This guide is designed specifically for young writers who are new to the craft. It is a practical book that provides a transformational approach to the art of writing.
Whichever book you choose to read (all or just one), it is an undeniable fact that reading about writing will make you an infinitely better writer. But for you to become truly successful in this art, you must practice! Read frequently, but write even more often. Creative writing is not an innate trait, but something learned through experience, wisdom, and practice.