Guest Post: Paul Bellow on Seven Books every Writer Needs to Read in 2017

Paul Bellow is a new LitRPG writer I’ve chatted with quite a bit.  He is a fairly prolific writer in other genres and uses different pseudonyms depending on what genre he’s communicating in.  As a writer who has several years of industry experience, I was more than happy to host some of his thoughts.



Well met. I’ve been writing full-time a few years now, first as a copywriter then as a novelist. During those years, I’ve gleaned knowledge from many sources, including books. I’ve put together a list of seven books every writer should read in 2017.

The Fiction Factory by John Milton Edwards

This book details the work of a writer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It shows his passion and ability to grind, writing thousands of words a week. One interesting thing to note is that Edwards was a lawyer before he turned to writing full-time. This is more of a motivational book on what it was like to write over 100 years ago. Good stuff!

Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

You can tell this book was written in the 1960s by the casual sexism here and there throughout. With that said, it’s a wonderful look at how to write books that people want to read. The bits about selling your story are out of date, but the other information is timeless and well put together for the most part. This book will help you.

Secrets of the World’s Best-Selling Writer by Francis L. Fugate

Did you know the guy who wrote the Perry Mason novels is one of the best-selling writers of all time. At his peak, he completed one novel every week. You read that right. This book highlights the life of a top writer in the mid-20th century. Some of it is dated, but the core lessons are still relevant today. Also, it’s another good motivational book.

The Bestseller Code by Jodie Archer  & Matthew L. Jockers

Love data and crunching numbers? You’re going to love this very helpful book. While it doesn’t lay out a step-by-step guide to writing a best-seller, the book has a lot of juicy information you can use to write better novels. Did you know Da Vinci Code and 50 Shades of Grey are similar in at least one way? Get the book to find out how. You might be surprised.

The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

This is a book on writing by an editor with multiple decades of experience in genre fiction. He knows his stuff. The Story Grid Podcast is also very useful and entertaining. His system is similar to others, but you’re going to learn something by reading the book. His insights as to why books sell from an editor’s standpoint is valuable.

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

After reading this book and putting its lessons to work, I started selling more books. This will help you understand WHY humans read stories. And that will give you insights on how to write better stories that keep people turning pages until the end. Useful and interesting, this book is a must-read for all writers.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman

While not as entertaining as some of the other books on my list, this book has been useful on more than one occasion. You’ll learn better ways to SHOW not TELL about 75 different emotions. It’s more of a reference book, but it’s still helpful and should be on your virtual bookshelf if you’re a writer.





Paul Bellow is a full-time author currently penning a LitRPG series of novels. You can also find more of his work over at LitRPG Reads. He occasionally takes time to help other authors while enjoying his personal journey as a full-time author.

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