Recommended Books & Resources for Story Writers…

Because good writers read… and continue to read… and learn… and grow… I wholly encourage you to be a reader and become better at your craft by design.

If you’re serious about story writing, I recommend you get these books and resources.

As an Amazon Associate, to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, it is hereby noted that the purchasing links here are direct links (#ad links) to Amazon.

One of my favorites…

After reading and marking up my hard copy, I’m now listening to this gem for the third time. It’s fantastic — full of expertise for beginning through advanced writers. If you’re serious about being a story writer, I wholeheartedly recommend that you get it and read it (or listen to it) now.
Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 3.12.07 PM
Here’s a link to the paperback.
Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies,
by Sol Stein

(It’s also on Audible.)

How to Craft Perfect Plot and Structure…

Here are some books that are so good, I use them in my online fiction writing courses.

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 4.20.49 PM.pngA must-read for all story writers, this book outlines “The Hero’s Journey” (the “one storyline,” according to Joseph Campbell’s research, “that all good story follows”) and the major archetypes (character models/types) that readers have come to love and expect in story. This must-have knowledge will put you eons ahead of the rest, and if you work with me in any way in coaching, I ask that you read this book first.

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (3rd Edition), by Christopher Vogler

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 4.39.44 PM.png

Here’s another book worth its weight in gold. This book, penned by a Hollywood screenwriter, is great in helping to understand the “beats” — those expected plot points that drive a story forward. You’ll also find special how-to story-creation tidbits that, if implemented, will help you get raving-fan readers.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need, based on work by Blake Snyder

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 4.34.11 PM.png

Want to grab readers right away? Get this book, to learn how. The beginning of the book, in particular, is quite good.

Hooked: Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go,
by Les Edgerton

Build Conflict…
Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 6.56.54 PM

This book is still one of my all-time favorites. Donald Maass, you’re my conflict-building hero.
Writing the Breakout Novel: Insider Advice for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level, by Donald Maass

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 7.00.35 PMAnd the workbook that goes along with the book is great, too…
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook,
by Donald Maass

For Beginners…

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 3.18.30 PM
If you’re just starting out, here’s a course on Audible by James Scott Bell that’s simple, practical, and clear. You can get the recording on Audible.

If you want a strong outline of the basics of fiction writing, here’s the link:
How to Write Best-Selling Fiction

by James Scott Bell

For Serious Writers…

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 7.26.15 PM

The Portable MFA in Creative Writing, by the New York Writers Workshop

This book is a collection of subject-specific “essays” on writing by masters at the craft. Some of the chapters here are fabulous. I have an MFA, and I agree… a lot of what’s here is eye-opening to the writing becoming serious at learning the craft.

For All Novel and Story Writers…

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 7.18.15 PM

On Becoming a Novelist, by John Gardner

My favorite secrets to writing are found here in John Gardner’s book. In not-too-many pages, you’ll find truths as to what makes a good writer — including secrets to creating memorable characters, writing in an “emotionally significant” style, creating a “conscious dream” for the reader, and (my favorite section) understanding and using the rhythm and sound of the written word. Not expensive and worth every penny.

Television Writers and Big-Series Writers…

Stay tuned. I have some books and resources posting soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s