I’ve been on this writing journey for over 30 years now and writing professionally for twelve. I was not born an award winner. I had to hone my craft because we all learn as we go. Like many writers, I also love to read and over the years certain books have stayed with me and helped me along my journey. Here are some of the books that had the most influence on my writing skills and my path as a published author. May they serve you well.
The Writing Craft
The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley
In The Power of Point of View, RITA Award-winning author Alicia Rasley teaches you the fundamentals of point of view (POV)–who is speaking, why, and what options work best within the conventions of your chosen genre. Then, she takes you deeper to explain how POV functions as a crucial piece of your story–something that ultimately shapes and drives character, plot, and every other component of your fiction.
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
In Story Genius Lisa Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft.
Writing Screenplays that Sell by Michael Hague
Yes, I know we’re talking about writing books here… but story is story and Michael Hague taught me more about writing books than anyone. Writing Screenplays that Sell is the most complete guide available on the art, craft, and business of screenwriting for movies and television. Renowned Hollywood story consultant Michael Hauge covers every aspect from concept to deal: screenplay development, artistry versus commerciality, adaptations, copyright protection; finding an agent; and more.
The Writing Process
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott isn’t afraid to help you let it out. She’ll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication. Readers will be reminded of the energizing books of writer Natalie Goldberg and will be seduced by Lamott’s witty take on the reality of a writer’s life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer’s block and going for broke with each paragraph.
On Writing by Stephen King
Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery
When the Writing Won’t Come Easily
The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. Many have found this book to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life – writer or otherwise.
Big Magic by Elisabeth Gilbert
In this book, Elisabeth Gilbert asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
Publishing and Promotion
How to Write a Book Proposal by Jody Rein with Michael Larsen
If you want to publish a book, you must present it to agents and publishers with a knock-your-socks-off proposal. Whether you’re seeking a traditional press to publish your self-published book or trying to win over an agent for your graphic novel, memoir, or nonfiction title, you need an irresistible proposal. The better your proposal, the better the editor, publisher, and deal you will get.
Platform by Michael Hyatt
To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success.
What books have influenced your writing craft? If you are struggling on your journey of writing your life’s work into a book, reach out, because I would be happy to help.
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