Arm Your Authorly Arsenal: 10 Weapons for Novelists

As novelists, our weaponry usually consists of a piping cup of coffee, a valiant iTunes playlist, and a mighty thesaurus. But like any weapon-wielding warrior, we need to arm our arsenal with only the sharpest tools. I present to you, heroes and heroines, the ten must-have books for novelists.

1. Writing Deep Scenes

I feel like I’ve been without my armor as a novelist this entire time because I only recently discovered this magical scroll last week. Action, emotion, and theme are three concepts discussed in this resource to help you create memorable scenes.

2. A Writer's Guide to Characterization

Want to understand why your heroine stays locked away in her castle every night? Want to learn why your hero is a total jerkface to his minions? This book digs deep into your characters’ personalities, and I’m in love with the quizzes that help you choose the right archetype.

3. Your First Novel

Before you become a knight, you must become a squire. Your First Novel is a must for beginning novelists who need a walk-through.

4. The Emotion Thesaurus

Conquer any dialogue battle with Angela Ackerman’s Emotion Thesaurus. I wield it often, and you should too.  

5. The Novel Planner

Don’t expect to defeat the dragon if you don’t have a strategy. This planner has calendars, weekly tasks, and outlines to help you in your journey.

6. The 3 A.M. Epiphany

Want to be a strong, mighty writer? You’ve got to exercise that brain. Get creative and ward off writer’s block with The 3 A.M. Epiphany.

7. Bird by Bird

Everyone needs a muse, and Anne Lamott is the creative influence you need to stay inspired. This should be required reading for every aspiring author.

8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Long live the king (Stephen King)! Learn more about the craft of writing. But beware of adverbs, for they pave the road to hell.

9. Writing Day In and Day Out

When you’re ready to raise the white flag and call it quits, Andi Cumbo-Floyd gently lifts your weary chin to her angelic face and whispers, “You must keep writing, noble one. Let me show you.”

10. The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists

Think of this book as the War of Art for novelists—know yourself, know your enemy, only fight when you can.

What’s in your authorly arsenal? We’re always looking for books to help us conquer writer’s block and other afflictions.


An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.