Romantic Novelists' Association

Hints & Tips For New Writers #13

13 February 2019

I often feel like a fraud writing this blog, mainly because the title implies I know what I’m doing, so this month I thought I’d do a round-up of some of the best books about writing by people who genuinely know their stuff. There are a LOT to choose from so here are a few of the most popular – and thanks to all of you who got in touch with recommendations! Some of these are about writing in general, some are more technical (The Elements of Style will seriously test your grammar skills) and some are more specific to romance, but they’re all useful. You might not agree with everything they say (personally I like an adverb here and there) but you can’t break the rules until you know them. So happy writing – and reading! Jenni x

Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2019: The Essential Guide to the Media and Publishing Industries – published by Bloomsbury (this is the 112th edition so we can probably presume it’s pretty good!)

The Writing Life: Writers on how they think and work (Collection from the Washington Post Book World) – Marie Arana

Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance – Rosanne Bane (contains some great tips for dealing with writer’s block)

Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer – Roy Peter Clark

The Creative Writing Coursebook – Ed. Julia Bell & Paul Magrs (based on the Creative Writing programme at East Anglia University and containing lots of helpful exercises and activities)

Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You – Ray Bradbury

The Writing Life – Annie Dillard

Little Book of Writing Romance – Liz Fielding

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King (a lot of people recommended this!)

Marketing the Romance – Liam Livings

Reading like a Writer – Francine Prose

The Elements of Style – William Strunk Jnr & White (aka. everything you ever needed to know about grammar!)


Jenni Fletcher writes historical romances for Mills & Boon and is a visiting tutor of English at Bishop Grosseteste University. Her sixth book The Viscount’s Veiled Lady is out now and she is currently procrastinating.