Think of the top 5 best books you’ve read; the ones that have changed or improved your life. Are they fiction, nonfiction, or a mix?
For me, it’s nonfiction. I used to have one fiction book in there, The Power of One by Bryce Courtney. It’s still in my top 10, just not my top 5:
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- The Barefoot Investor – Scott Pape
- The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks
- The Queen’s Code – Alison Armstrong
- The Power of Vulnerability (audiobook) – Brene Brown
What was it about that book that made it so special? Why did it stand out? Did you like the author’s style of writing? Was it recommended to you? Did it help you solve a problem or provide a new perspective on something?
My top 5 books came into my life at just the time in my life. They gave me new information and a fresh perspective to help get me to the next level. They also answered questions I didn’t know I had.
The writing, or narrating in the case of The Power of Vulnerability, (as it’s a recording of a workshop) was engaging, insightful, and easy to read.
The authors were also credible, people who could clearly relate to what I was going through and had found a way out.
Their solution was simple, clear and concise, which made it easier to follow and inspired me to action.
You might wonder why I’m blogging about this. It’s because I want to you think like a reader AND a writer and author.
If you can identify the things you loved about your favourite books, you use them as a guide when writing your own.
Your Favourite Author
Consider your favourite or author or authors, as you probably have a few. Mine are:
- J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts’s alias) – the In Death series
- Dan Brown
- Jeffery Deaver
- Kathy Reichs
- J. K. Rowling – the Harry Potter series
- Joanna Penn
I did used to love James Patterson books but found them very templated, which got boring.
What do they have in common? Do they belong to similar genres? How do they differ from your favourite books?
My favourite books, for example, are all nonfiction, where my favourite authors, except Joanna Penn, who writes excellent nonfiction books for authors, write fiction.
Think about why you love their books. Does the story follow a particular structure? If so, is it the three act structure, the hero’s journey, or something else? Do their words create mental images so you can ‘see’ the story as it unfolds? How does the story engage you? Is there a message?
If it’s a series, how do the characters grow and develop? J. K. Rowling does this brilliantly in her Harry Potter books. So too does J.D Robb with In Death and Jeffery Deaver the Lincoln Rhyme series.
Break down their books from the perspective of an author. What techniques do they use you can learn from or borrow (the techniques, not their actual work or that’s plagiarism)?
What habits do they have that have helped them to become bestselling authors? Perhaps you could model them and adopt a few yourself. That’s the beauty of writing; we can all learn from each other. There’s always room for one more author; if you do the work.
Please share your favourite books and authors below.
Cheers to your writing success!
Please note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission if you purchase the book in your chosen format, at no additional cost to you.