Write Better: Snag these Free eBooks

Want to know the best tool for improving your writing? Well, too bad– we’re going to talk about the second best: READING. (If you were wondering, the best way to improve your writing is by writing. Surprise!)

snagfreebooks

Can we take a moment to address how angry this book looks? Must be tough being 2nd best.

How to use this tool

Read
Pick up a book of any genre. It’s good to be versed in the genre you plan to write in, but don’t limit yourself– you can learn from everything. The book doesn’t even have to be “good;” you can learn a lot from the mistakes of someone else.

Evaluate
You read the book. How did you feel about it? Did you love it, hate it, or was it just “meh?”

Analyze
Did you speed read or gloss over any sections? Did you forget to eat lunch because you were busy devouring words?

Dissect
Which parts of the story made you react that way? Characterization? Description? Dialogue? Plot?

Inspect
Did the description bring the story to life? Was it a certain literary device that struck you? Were the characters horrible people yet oddly likeable? Take a closer look at what you loved or hated, and see if you can scrape away the surface details until it’s in its most basic structure. (e.g. Loki from Thor is generally a terrible person, and clearly the villain, but we love him! Why? Is it because from his point of view, he is the victim? Is it because he is actively working toward his goal, rather than sitting around waiting for the hero to come to him?)

Notice
This is the time to let your inner editor out of the cage– the one you rightfully gagged during the first draft. Be completely honest with yourself: Does your novel suffer from any of the same pitfalls you’ve uncovered in the book you read? Did you speed read during pages of description, but wrote pages of description in your own novel?

Go Edit/Write!
You know what you hated or liked and you’ve looked beyond the text to understand why you felt that way. Now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to your own work and show the world that you’re serious about this writing thing– You can do it!

Need something to read?

The following classics are available for FREE download because they are no longer protected by copyright law: Poor, defenseless stories… You should rescue them!*

* For my Non-U.S. visitors: Please check your local copyright laws before downloading.
* For my U.S. visitors: Feel free to take without asking; it’s an American tradition.

Click a genre to go directly to that section.

Romance
Mystery
Sci-Fi
Horror
Fantasy
Historical

romance
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

mystery

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Delivery of Space Shuttle Discovery

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Iron Heel by Jack London

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

horror

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Space fantasy

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

People of the Dark by Robert Ervin Howard

The Phoenix on the Sword by Robert Ervin Howard

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum

historical

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre  Dumas

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Enjoy!

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