I truly love learning about the craft of writing. There's nothing more exciting than reading an article or book, or listening to a speaker who provides you with a new and different way to look at the world. So, I thought I'd share my very favorite writing books. I've organized them by craft and inspiration. I hope you find something here that inspires you as much as I was.
Scene and sequel are fundamental to understanding the structure of writing fiction. Jack Bickham takes the concept introduced in Dwight Swain's book and boils it down to the nitty gritty.
Scene and StructureJack Bickham
A great take on archetypes, particularly paying attention to relationships between the archetypes and how they interact. A must-have.
The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and HeroinesTami Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders
Truly the fundamental building blocks of good fiction are in GMC. Any workshop you take will incorporate these elements in some form. Definitely worth every penny.
GMC - Goal, Motivation & ConflictDebra Dixon
The art of storytelling, whether in novels or movies, shares key elements. Syd Field's book defines principles of dramatic structure and makes them usable to ensure drama in the story.
Foundations of ScreenwritingSyd Field
One of those books you just have to read. There's real truth here, and practical advice on basic technicques and approaches for writing popular fiction.
How to Write a Damn Good NovelJames N. Frey
A great look at mythic structure (drawing from Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth), in Frey's practical style.
The KeyJames N. Frey
A classic with gems peppered all the way through it. Not just for young writers...for every writer!
The Art of FictionJohn Gardner
One of my all time favorites. His "Character is Story, Story is Character" quote is something I live and write by.
A book that everyone should have in their library. Scene and sequel is only one concept that Swain masterfully instructs. A can't-do-without book.
Techniques of the Selling WriterDwight Swain
Probably more valuable for advanced writers seeking to refine their skills. A lot of good technique for taking writing to the next level.
Between the LinesJessica Morrell
Some absolutely wonderful and inspiring exercises. Their 'List of Five' is a must have.
Discovering the Writer Within: 40 Days to More Imaginative Writing Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane
On Writing is good...this is better, though it's hard to find. There are moments of genuis.
Secret Windows: Essays and Fiction on the Craft of WritingStephen King
Inspirational, and all about the fight to create. I love this one!
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles Steven Pressfield
A time management book everyone should read because it's about so much more than managing time. It's about setting priorities.
The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life ManagementHyrum W. Smith
Short and sweet and oh-so-wondeful. A lot of real truths here. Including the one I live by - "To be enthusiastic, you have to act enthusiastic!" (My Dad introduced me to this one!)
Life is TremendousCharlie "Tremendous" Jones