Monthly Mash-up: 10 Writing Craft Books And Blog Posts

writing craft books and blog postsThere are so many great writing craft books and blog posts out there I just had to do my first monthly mash-up focusing on those. The following are some of my favorite books, in no particular order:

Writing craft books:

  1. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland — Brenda shows us that no writing is absolute crap. In fact, she challenges us to write the worst piece possible, then goes on to show how in even the worst there will be a few gems. She tells us cherish the quiet moments because that is when our stories are percolating.
  2. Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell — James walks us through the four act set-up, character arc, various plotting methods and a myriad of other techniques that make writing more efficient (if you’re a plotter, that is). Pantsers can find great information in this book, as well, with questions to ponder either before or after the first draft and different methods of revising once the draft is complete.
  3. Story Engineering by Larry Brooks — Larry explains the six core competencies of concept, character, theme, story structure (plot), scene construction and writing voice, showing us why each of these are important to writing a great story. He also breaks structure down into easily understandable points and gives an idea of how to judge the length of a potential story.
  4. The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes — Ralph helps writers understand that we are not alone in our fears. He gives anecdotes of how famous authors coped with that fear, even encouraging each of us to develop rituals that help get us through the fear of setting words on the page (or screen).
  5. Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell — From redefining failure and success to learning how to embrace failures, John shows us that making both small and monumental mistakes is something to strive for rather than try to avoid. If you’re worrying about falling on your face as a writer, especially as an indie, this is a great book for learning how to accept failing as part of becoming successful.

Writing craft books aren’t the only place to get great information. There are hundreds, perhaps millions, of great blog posts with exceptional advice on how to be the best writer you can be. Here are just a few:

Writing Blog Posts:

  1. Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover by Diana Murdock — Diana gives us a peak into how she chose the cover of her book, Souled.
  2. Tips for Writing Back Cover Copy a guest post by Roz Morris on Jamie Gold’s blog — Having trouble condensing your entire book into a couple of paragraphs? Roz has some tips on what do to and what not to do to capture your story and make readers want to snuggle up with your book.
  3. Saying ‘No’ — A Successful Writer’s Must by August McLaughlin — If you’re struggling to get any writing accomplished because others think you can drop everything to help them, the August has some great ideas on how to set boundaries.
  4. Ask the Editor: How can I cut back on the abundance of pronouns in my writing? by Kira McFadden on Novel Publicity — Having problems with an abundance of he/she/it? Kira shows us how to rewrite passages to limit the number of pronouns used.
  5. 7 Setting Basics That Can Bring a Story to Life by Jody Hedlund — Setting can really bring a scene alive and move the plot forward if we use it properly. Jody gives us 7 ways to make setting almost a character in itself.

These are 10 of my favorite writing craft books and blog posts. I have hundreds more because I’m a craft junkie, as Jillian Kent said in her guest post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog. (Psst… That’s #11. :D) I’m always looking for more blogs to read and books to buy on the craft of writing, so, if you have one you love, please share it in the comments. Happy writing!

8 Responses to “Monthly Mash-up: 10 Writing Craft Books And Blog Posts”

  1. Love this list! One of my favorite books, okay, two of them are ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King and ‘Sometimes The Magic Works’ by Terry Brooks. They aren’t necessarily craft books as much as they are, this is what I do, kind of books. Both are highly motivating, though.

    Now I need to go read up on some of those great blog posts you have listed.

    Happy Sunday!

    • vripple says:

      ‘On Writing’ is in my TBR pile. I’ll have to add ‘Sometimes The Magic Works’ to my wishlist. 😀 Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Jami Gold says:

    I *love* Story Engineering. 🙂 I have Bell’s in my TBR pile too.

    Thanks for the link! I hope Roz’s guest post is helpful.

    • vripple says:

      I made sure to bookmark it after I read it. Every little bit of advice on back cover copy is helpful, IMHO. 🙂

  3. Bryce says:

    My favorite writing craft book of all time is Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain.

    I’m currently reading Story Engineering, and I love the story structure stuff, his take on writing characters seems a little flat.

    • vripple says:

      There were a few things in Story Engineering I had some trouble with, but I think that’s the way with any craft book/blog. You take away what you can use and leave the rest.
      I haven’t read Techniques of the Selling Writer, but I’ve added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  4. […] Hey, folks, I’ve got a major migraine today, but I didn’t just want to leave everyone in a lurch. I decided to post Story Engineering and Tips for Writing Your Novel with Larry Brooks a video interview by Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn in response to a comment about Story Engineering on my post Monthly Mash-up: 10 Writing Craft Books And Blog Posts. […]

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