What are some of your favorite books about writing?
I have to share one of my absolute favs - Storygrid. So, so good if you suck at plotting like I do. If you’re overcoming serious pantser tendancies you’ll love Storygrid. If you love to plot each scene ahead of time, you’ll love Storygrid. Lol!!
Most of the material is free on the website but the book is worth every cent.
I loved The Snowflake Method. It’s not a regurgation of what is on Randy’s website about the samething, but it’s a story about how one fictious author goes about writing a book using the snowflake method. It’s really a cute read and gets the point of the Snowflake method across.
I also like How to Write Great Characters which is also fee on his website.
I’m terribly fond of The Writer’s Little Helper. Also, I just picked up Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story and, while I haven’t gotten through it yet, what I’ve looked at for it definitely has me intrigued. I do tend to like being amused at the same time as I’m reading about the craft, though, so my tastes may be a bit odder than some others.
Also, a little less about the actual writing but ages ago my parents gifted me a copy of Writer’s Guide to Character Traits and it’s earned a permanent place on my shelves.
I have a big long list of books I love, how much space do I get in a post again?
I think the books sold on the NaNo site (though you can also get them elsewhere, with much better shipping if you live outside the US like me) are great. I don’t use No Plot? No Problem! very much, however I use Ready, Set, Novel! when I’m planning out a new story, just to get me thinking about the different aspects, even if I don’t have all the answers yet (and I’m a planster, so I tend to start with ideas and most answers come on the fly). It’s less of a writing book but I also love their Pep Talks for Writers.
(Links in the above are to Book Depository because the NaNo store is out of stock).
I also really love this series of author thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. My favourite of these ones are the Emotional Wound and Negative and Positive Trait versions. I find these are fantastic for character building, even if my character doesn’t have an emotional wound at the beginning (though, let’s be honest, I’m a mean author and my characters are normally pretty messed up).
On world building, I adore Wonderbook. Not only is it a great read, it’s stunning. Full colour pages, illustrations of weird monsters… Yeah, it makes me pretty happy. And on the subject of monsters, Writing Monsters is very interesting, and not just from a dragon-to-sea-serpent kond of monster perspective. I’ve applied techniques in this book to villains as well.
I have more, but have restrained myself to just my favourites. I’m super keen to have a look at the ones you guys have suggested too, thanks for the easy links
I have a long list, but I will keep it down to my top 3.
What about podcasts? There are some nice ones from BBC Radio.
Inside the writer’s room (writers talking about their process)
Shakespeare sessions (analysing story structure)
The invisible college (lessons in creative writing)
I fall asleep quickly when listening to audio books and alike though .
I am a rebel (just a small one) and have not read any books on “how to”.
Just doing what feels right to me.
I recently found Self Publishing Formula. Two authors one was staring out the other was published going through various topics. I’ve only just started so I don’t know how it goes. My first podcast actually, not really big on them though could do more with them I guess.
Thank you for putting the Storygrid recommendation out there. I’d never heard of this and I just signed up for his video series.
Wow ! A lot of good advises here !
I actually found a really good bookshop this year, as I’ve just move to a new and bigger city. It’s a frenchy french stuff, probably not even translated into english, but I’ve started thinking of it as a bible for writing… Maybe I should check the other books above and look into another religion
It’s Construire un récit, by Yves Lavandier (Building a story), and it’s all about screenplays. He uses a lot of work of art (movies, series, paintings, european comics, plays…) in order to illustrate what he explains, and I chose it because it triggered exactly my culture, from Sophocle to Some like it hot !
I’m a big fan of Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin. It has a lot of advice and exercises about how to think about language, and I find myself coming back to this book over and over again and getting something new/different out of it each time.
I recently finished The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, which was helpful. It had good guidelines re: crafting a rich and resonant emotional core for your story, and helped give me some perspective on crafting better characters and character arcs. Making sure your characters are driving plot rather than vice versa is something that I still struggle with.
The other craft book that I liked in recent memory is Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig. It has his characteristic flare and charm and hyperbolic-but-inspirational-word-salad and a lot of good info.
Sorry, link for that last one here: Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig
This sounds truly fascinating. Also, is there anything better than moving to a new city and exploring its bookstores?
Thank you for this rec. I’m new to Le Guin’s fiction (ugh, where have I been?) and as far as I’m concerned she can do no wrong. Just found this book online, I’m looking forward to digging in to it this weekend!
I can’t believe no one mentioned Stephen King’s “On Writing”! Seriously my favorite writing book ever. Fun to read when you have writer’s block, helps restart your brain.
Writing Excuses is also an excellent writing podcast. “15 minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we aren’t that smart.” Some big name scifi/fantasy/thriller/humor writers are regulars. Lots of good guests. At least 14 seasons, but start with Season Ten.
Because I’m new to writing, I’m trying to read a few books about writing, but not too much so I don’t get confuse, for now I’m loving:
- Save the Cat, Writes a Novel, a savior for start writing
- Gotham Writers’ Workshop: Writing Fiction, I love the way that is writed, check the website for online courses
Mastering Suspense Structure & Plot, recomended by Neil Gaiman on his Masterclass
At this point the only one that I’ve finish is the Save the Cat, and was a real help for kick off my writing.