Learning from the masters #IWSG

My favorite writing craft book is The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by the editors of Writer’s Digest. This book features articles and interviews from numerous authors and is broken down into five parts.

Optional Question:

What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it, you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?


Before I begin, I’d like to say hello! This is my first post in the #IWSG blog hop (details at the end of this post for those of you who don’t know about it). I’m excited to join the group, and I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to!

My favorite writing craft book is The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing (published in 2016) by the editors of Writer’s Digest. This book features articles and interviews from numerous authors and is broken down into five parts.

What will I find in this book?

Each “part” of the book is broken down into sections that emphasize one major aspect of writing. These sections start with advice from best-selling authors.

“But the truth is, it’s not the idea, it’s never the idea, it’s always what you do with it.”

Neil Gaiman

Part One: The Art and Craft of a Strong Narrative

Section One highlights the different aspects that go into creating a great novel. These articles focus on the importance of taking an idea out of your brain and putting it onto a blank page.

Section Two helps you build plot and create a structure for your writing. They elaborate upon different techniques for creating strong scenes and even adding depth to subplots.

Section Three is all about the characters in your writing. The writers here emphasize the importance of an authentic cast with their own individual personalities, motivations, and backstories.

Section Four focuses on craft and style. Elements here include weaving your theme into your novel, utilizing realistic dialogue, and adding depth to the story world.

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

Mark Twain

Part Two: The Writing Process

Section One is about getting started. Two authors are featured in this section to help you find your own voice as a writer and give you tips for defeating writer’s block.

Section Two helps you create a method for your madness. In essence, the writers here help with diving into research, goal-oriented planning, and beginning your first draft.

Section Three is dedicated to revising and editing. There are so many ways to tackle revising and editing. Writers here showcase different methods and even a checklist for working through the process.

#WritersLifeChat is every Wednesday night at 7 central!

Part Three: Exploring Novel Genres

There are no individual sections in this part, but there is still something for everyone here. From diving into the different genres to different audiences to multi-genre novels, you will hopefully find something you need here.

Part Four: Finding and Cultivating a Market for Your Work

Section One is actually the only section in this part… I’m not sure why that is, but it doesn’t matter because it’s all about publishing, pitching, and selling your novel.

Part Five: Interviews with Novelists

Section One offers advice about your readers, and Section Two offers advice regarding the purpose for your writing.

Various authors are interviewed in these two sections to showcase their overall advice and tips for other writers.

Well… what now?

Now? Now would be a great time to start writing! I know… I know… But, I bet you have an idea already brewing. Feel free to let me know if you’ve used this book or plan to write something exciting soon!

This post is part of the #IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and cohosted this month by PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox. The purpose of IWSG is to share our own fears and struggles in order to help encourage ourselves and other writers. Click here for more information, to continue hopping through other posts, or to join in!

8 thoughts on “Learning from the masters #IWSG

  1. Wow, this is a great recommendation and I’ll have to check it out. My current favourite is William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, which covers mostly non-fiction writing (great for bloggers). Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s