My 3 Favorite Books on Writing
I can't believe it's now the end of August! I keep seeing friends posts about unboxing their fall scarves, boots, and sweaters. The box stores are already full of harvest/Halloween decor and I must confess that I'm not ready to switch into fall mode. I'm 86.3% ready but the weather needs to turn crisp before I don my slouchy beanie and wander the pavement cupping mugs of cider.
But there's no denying that we are coming into a season for reading! I tend not to read and watch movies as much in the summer as I do in the colder months. One friend confessed to me that she's looking forward to the slower pace of winter so that she can relax, read by the fire, and cuddle with her new baby.
So, in honor of the coming reading season, I've compiled a list for you guys of my top three favorite books on craft and storytelling.
STORY by Robert McKee
McKee is sometimes referred to as "the Story Doctor." He lives and works in Hollywood where he consults with screenwriters.
Although his book aims to teach the principles of screenwriting, the principles apply to novel writing too. It's like the bible of story structure.
In the first few chapters, he addresses the problem of how storytelling is taught in colleges in the 21st Century, and why so many mediocre, cliche stories are still making it to the silver screen. His tone is a bit scathing at times, but I find it refreshing because he says what so few are saying: story art is in trouble!
Some may disagree with me, but just the fact that I have to read twenty books in order to find ONE that really touches me, speaks volumes. (Book puns, hee-hee!)
McKee's book felt like a challenge and I was excited to push myself harder and write better.
I'm so sad I can't take a picture with this, but I lent it out--and can't remember to who! (Give it back whoever you are!)
Three years ago, I had the privilege of taking Kole's workshop at The Loft and was so inspired! Having worked in the lit industry for many years, Kole is the perfect authority on how to write a page turner for teens.
If you write YA or MG fiction, this book is a MUST read. It's like taking a college class on writing from a comedian--she is hilarious in book and person!
This book is a quick read with tons of examples from bestsellers. I don't like to write inside books, but I marked this one up with my pink highlighter like crazy! Like McKee's book, it inspired me to a higher standard of excellence.
I also recommend following his website WriterUnboxed which features new posts every day of the week!
Bonus for Historical Fiction Writers
If you're a historical fiction writer like me, The Writer's Guide To series by Marc McCutcheon is a great reference to keep close to your heart. It is full of anything and everything, slang, popular songs, to major events, these books have it all!
They don't go into great detail, but it's a great way to get started and the slang chapters are pure gold!
What are your favorite books on writing? What are you looking forward to most this fall?