Elise Kova is a USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels. She writes YA fantasy and says she enjoys, “telling stories of fantasy worlds filled with magic and deep emotions.” She’s also a writing coach who helps authors who are just starting out and established writers looking to get that edge in their careers.
Elise has shared her top 5 writing craft books on TikTok and we thought we’d share them with you since she’s such an inspiration herself and must be doing something write if she can churn out up to 5 books in a year.
In This Article
Save The Cat! Writes A Novel
– by Jessica Brody
“What I really like about this one is that it really lays out when your different story beats, like the inciting incident, climax, and all of that, should happen.”
From the book blurb
Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story—from the opening image to the finale— this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate- and a novel that will sell.
See also the software application called Save the Cat which helps writers to organize, plot, & board their stories.
FYI: Brody also takes part in events like this one, that help authors with structuring and writing their books.
– by Tiffany Yates Martin
“…if you’re like me and you’re not really that strong with editing, this book is going to give you a lot of food for thought on how to make your stories stronger after you have written them- which is just as important as writing them in the first place.”
From the book blurb
Editing your own writing can feel like doing your own brain surgery. After you’ve completed your manuscript and you’re standing at the foot of Revision Mountain, climbing to the summit can feel impossible. It’s hard to look at your own writing with the objective eye needed to shape it into a tight, polished, publishable story—but just like writing, self-editing is a skill you can learn.
Developmental editor Tiffany Yates Martin has spent her career in the publishing industry honing practical, actionable techniques to help authors evaluate how well their story is working, where it might not be, and how to fix it. With a clear, accessible, user-friendly approach, she leads writers through every step of deepening and elevating their own work, as well as how to approach the edit and develop their “editor brain,” and how to solicit and process feedback. Intuitive Editing doesn’t offer one-size-fits-all advice or rigid writing “rules”; instead it helps authors discover what works for their story and their style—to find the best version of their vision.
Whether you’re writing fiction, narrative nonfiction, or memoir; whether this is your first story or your fiftieth, Intuitive Editing will give you the tools you need to edit and revise your own writing with inspiration, motivation, and confidence.
Romancing the beat
– by Gwen Hayes
“If you have relationships, at all, in your novel buy this tiny book and read it. I promise it will change your life. And if you do write romance novels, this will definitely change your life. It is fantastic for laying out how the structure of romance stories works.”
From the book blurb
What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book? Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre— something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc—not the other way around.
Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.
Wired for story
– by Lisa Cron
“This one is really fantastic in tandem with Save The Cat! because it also focuses on the different areas of your story and really digging into things like how to make your protagonist more likable and how to have your inciting incident be a great hook and all of that. It’s great for structure as well as some editing tips…”
From the book blurb
This guide reveals how writers can utilize cognitive storytelling strategies to craft stories that ignite readers’ brains and captivate them through each plot element.
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets—and it’s a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well” as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail—they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest.
Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.
“I know I said writing craft books but hear me out; every author is an entrepreneur – and understanding the business side of things is not only going to make you more savvy in your career, but it will also help you write better books – that sell, assuming that’s your goal… you need to think of your books as a product, and you need to understand how you are bringing that product to market and who that product is for, and this book can help with that.”
From the book blurb
Art for the sake of art is important. Writing for the love of it, or to create something beautiful on the page, is absolutely worthwhile and critical to expand the sum of human expression.
But I’m not here to talk about creativity or the craft of writing in this book. My aim is to take the result of your creativity into the realm of actually paying the bills…
In the book, you will learn:
- From Author To Entrepreneur
The arc of the author’s journey, definition of an author-entrepreneur, deciding on your definition of success. Plus/ should you start a company?
- Products and Services
How you can turn one manuscript into multiple streams of income by exploiting all the different rights, various business models for authors and how to evaluate them, information on contracts, copyright and piracy. Plus/ putting together a production plan.
Employees, Suppliers and Contractors
The team you need to run your business. Your role as author and what you’re committing to, as well as co-writing. Editors, agents and publishers, translators, book designers and formatters, audiobook narrators, book-keeping and accounting, virtual assistants. Plus/ how to manage your team.
In-depth questions to help you understand who your customers are and what they want, as well as customer service options for authors.
- Sales and Distribution
How to sell through distributors and your options, plus all the information you need to sell direct. ISBNs and publishing imprints ”” do you need them? Plus/ your options for pricing.
Key overarching marketing concepts. Book-based marketing including cover, back copy and sales pages on the distributors. Author-based marketing around building your platform, and customer-based marketing around your niche audience and targeted media.
Changing your mindset about money, and assessing where you are now vs where you want to be. Revenues of the author business and how to increase that revenue. Costs of the author business and funding your startup. Banking, PayPal, accounting, reporting, tax and estate planning.
Strategy and Planning
Developing your strategy and business plan. Managing your time and developing professional habits. The long-term view and the process for becoming a full-time author. Plus/ looking after yourself.
Hear it from Elise
@elisekovaI hope this helps a fellow writer 😌 ##writer ##writing ##edutok ##learn ##learnontiktok ##learnwithtiktok ##author ##authorsoftiktok ##authortok ##tips ##fyp♬ Stylish Jazz HipHop – Future Oriented Triad