Just as there is a large number of writing blogs to choose from, there are also many books to help writers improve their craft. I have selected a few of my favorites as well as two on my "to be read" shelf.
My mentor Rebecca Petruck recommended the first two; they accompany me whenever I travel.
Lisa Cron advertises that this book answers the question, "What does every brain crave in a story it hears?" And it does. The back of the book blurb states, "Each chapter of Wired for Story zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, tis corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now." Don't believe me? Read this excerpt.
Although Save the Cat was originally penned for screenwriters, hoards of novelists now use Blake Snyder's book to plan and outline their stories. This six minute cartoon demonstrates the 15 different beats that are central to Snyder's manual. His model is so popular that other writers have adapted and published worksheets for novelists based on his book. Trust me. You'll want the book too.
No list of recommended craft books would be complete without a book by Donald Maas. This is a follow up book to Writing the Breakout Novel and is stuffed full of writing exercises on building plot layers; creating inner conflict; strengthening voice, point of view, and theme; as well as heightening your protagonist and antagonist. The exercises are well worth your time and effort.
Last week I mentioned how much I have learned from Janice Hardy's blog, Fiction University. In this book Janice has provided a step-by-step guide to planning a novel. I wish I had it before I started Half-Truths eight years ago! I'm particularly looking forward to working through her section on writing a synopsis--something that is very difficult for me to do.
This list would be incomplete without a book particularly for children's writers. From the back cover:
Mary Kole's candid commentary and insightful observations, as well as a collection of book excepts and personal insights from bestselling authors and editors who specialize in the children's book market, are invaluable tools for your kidlit career.
I've heard fantastic things about this resource. I just need to find time to read it!
This week's giveaway is a brand new copy of:
A description from the Writer's Digest website: