Scary! Scary! Scary!
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Three Books To Help You Overcome The Fear of Writing Your First Novel
You have an idea for a story. You have always dreamed about writing a book. You have spent countless hours reading and re-reading epic tales from your favorite authors and have decided perhaps, just maybe, now you want to give it a try for yourself.
There’s only one little problem...
You have absolutely no clue where to start!
Let’s admit it, starting your first manuscript can be a pretty daunting experience. Especially at the beginning if you’ve never attempted something like this before.
If this sounds like you, then I would love to share three books that were imperative to my journey when I first began writing my novel. I hope they help you as much as they helped me!
1.) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you require inspiration and courage, then I can not recommend this book enough. I listen to Gilbert’s words every time I begin to get discouraged or feel overwhelmed. (In fact, I've read this book three times and listened to it at least twenty times more.)
She does a brilliant job of eliciting the wonder that comes when we set out to create something beautiful in this world. Whether it be story, dance, or music, whatever it might be, she encourages you to do that thing. She puts fears at ease and lays worries to rest. If you are feeling like perhaps writing a book is just too difficult, give "Big Magic" a listen and let the words convince you otherwise.
2.) How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Once you have mustered the courage to give this whole writing thing a go, your next dilemma might be that you have no idea where to begin.
This is where “The Snowflake Method” comes in. Ingermanson helps you start small and then build your story on top of itself. This allows you the freedom to dream and create while also giving structure to those thoughts.
He also weaves his own technique into a fictional story that is delightfully entertaining. It is clever and cheeky and definitely makes it more interesting.
So, if you are having a hard time getting your words on the page, I would definitely recommend giving this book a read.
3.) “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King
Finally, if you are beginning to write, but question whether or not your writing is up to publishing standards, then this book will be a lifesaver.
Each chapter outlines a principle to help improve your writing. It gives examples and offers exercises for you to practice the skills you are learning. The principles are simple and straightforward but also crucial to writing strong prose.
I used this book to edit the first five chapters of my manuscript, and I believe it is why I got such encouraging feedback from the editor.
If you are looking to hone your craft, then this book is for you!
I really hope that these books help you gain confidence, give you clarity, and improve your craft so that you can finally get that story out of your head and onto the page!
Have you read any of these books? Have they helped you with the writing process?
Honorable mentions: These three books were also very helpful when I was first starting out.
1.) Save the Cat Writes A Novel by Blake Snyder
2.) Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
3.) Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy
(PS. I've linked all the books to make them easier for you to find. I want to be fully transparent and share with you that I am trying out the whole "Amazon Affiliate Program" thing. I also want to assure you that I will NEVER link anything that I do not 100% stand behind or that I would not link for free. Thanks so much for your support! Please only purchase if you would do so naturally. I appreciate you!)