These are some of my favorite books about writing and the writing industry. Click the thumbnail of the book, and you will be redirected to the book’s Kindle page on Amazon.
On Writing – Stephen King: You want to improve your writing? The second half of the book deals with the craft of writing, and is some of the best I’ve found. A must read. I love when he writes about the difference between people that “like the idea of being a writer,” vs. people that will actually do the work. “Read a lot, write a lot,” and start here.
Immediate Fiction – Jerry Cleaver: Many self-publishing guides start off by saying, “Write a good book,” as if that was the easy part, and then everything that comes after. Cleaver’s book will help you write the good story in the first place.
The Anatomy of Story – John Truby: This is the one book that changed my writing more than any other. It may be difficult to get sidetracked early in the book, but stick with it. If nothing else, go back and check the chapter titled 22 Elements of Story. The idea is to get away from formulaic storytelling, and to create an original, organic story. Have you ever read a book/watched a movie/heard a song, and thought it seemed just like the last five? This book shows how to solve that problem. If you only read one of these book, read this one.
Take Off Your Pants: Outline Your Books For Faster, Better Writing – Libbie Hawker: I’ll leave it to you to figure out the “Pants” part of the title, but this is a second book on story structure. Perhaps a little more approachable than Truby’s book, it deals with many of the same issues. As an author, it’s not enough to just write this happened, that happened, and then something else happened. It’s your job as an author to take the reader on a journey, and this book, along with Anatomy of a Story show you how to do that.
Committed: A Novel About Dreams, Writing, and Self-Publishing: Most of the aspiring writers I meet aren’t, by nature, business people. Like Peter in the story, they’re creative, and thinking about spreadsheets and algorithms makes them shut down or run away. Committed is an easy way to learn how to make decisions about your writing career, without getting bogged down in left-brained work. Release Date: November 2, 2015.