Purple Prose + writerly books

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers: Day Eleven

You’ve finished your first draft. Congratulations! Now comes my favorite part: editing and revising. Sorry, even if you hate doing them, you can’t skip this step.

Here’s a list of books to help you with this all-important process.

Rocking Beginnings

From page one, you need to grab the reader’s attention. This is especially true when dealing with the harried agent or editor. Hooked by Les Edgerton is the best book I’ve read on the topic. I refer to it with EVERY novel I write.

Editing Made Simple

My all-time favorite book on revisions is Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon. It’s especially helpful for deepening your characterizations, driving your story forward, and developing page-turning suspense (even if your novel isn’t a suspense or thriller). And this is only the beginning.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King is another brilliant book, and is very different to Manuscript Makeover. They complement each other well.

Despite its name, the advice in The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman is applicable to your entire manuscript. The information is similar to that of the other two books, but I found them to be more comprehensive. But since a lot of writers love the book, I decided to include it in my list.


It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences by June Casgrande will have you smiling instead of falling asleep (a hazard with most grammar books). It’s the perfect stocking stuffer.

Powerful Words

Most writers have a thesaurus. But most writers don’t have THE best thesaurus in the world. I’ve blogged about Roget’s International Thesaurus before, but let me just say that this thesaurus will help you write powerful sentences and metaphors. I use it all the time.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I have a writing-craft book addiction. And you’ve only seen a small sample of them.
Do you have a favorite craft book of all time, or do you break out in a rash if you even look at one?


On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

Writing-craft books that will leave an agent singing,
A stocking filled with cool writing tools,
Gift cards so I can go on a novel-buying spree (yippee!),
Six books for page-turning plots,
Workshops to make me smarter,
One sexy dance outfit,
Membership to a writing organization,
Three books for kickass characterizations,
Tons of yummy chocolate,
AquaNotes, so I can brainstorm in the shower,
And Margie Lawson’s awesome lecture notes.

12 days of Christmas, best, book, favorite, fiction, love, Novel, and more:

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers: Day Eleven + writerly books