Some suggest that a writer should read one book on writing and just move on with her work, but I’ve found reading books about writing to be quiet addictive.
This might be what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance and distraction from the actual work, but I guess there is a point in a writer’s life when she needs to learn a lot.
The Abundance of Resources
In the past, there weren’t many resources for writers and every writer had to figure out things themselves. In some cases that is a good option but most of the time, the books on writing are time-saving devices because the author had condensed years, if not decades, of experience into a single book and handed it to you to learn.
My List of Resources
During this year, I’ve decided to level up my writing and knowledge about writing and I’ve read multiple books on writing and story structure, including:
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steve Pressfield
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
- What to Read and Why – Francine Prose
- Writing Screenplays That Sell: The Complete Guide to Turning Movie and Television Concepts into Development Deals – Michael Hauge
- Be a Writing Machine: Write Faster and Smarter, Beat Writer’s Block, and Be Prolific – M. L. Ronn
- Reading Like a Writer – Francine Prose
- Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need – Blake Snyder
- You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) – Jeff Goins
- How to Write a Dynamite Scene Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing Book 2) – Randy Ingermanson
- The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know – Shawn Coyne
- Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told – Blake Snyder
- Poetics – Aristotle
- Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield
- Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
- How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method – Randy Ingermanson
- Writing Fiction for Dummies – Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy
- Ernest Hemingway on Writing – Ernest Hemingway
I’ve watched master classes:
- David Mamet,
- Aaron Sorkin,
- James Patterson.
Also, I’m a huge fan of some YouTube channels where you can find different authors and teachers talking about the craft of writing:
There is so much to learn but it’s fun
I’m not trying to brag or something like that, I just want to point out how much there is to learn in the story-writing craft, whether you are a novelist or a screenwriter.
I would suggest to any of you starting out as an author to read at least five titles from the list above because:
- you will get a clearer picture of what writing and storytelling is;
- you will learn how to self-edit;
- how to create a story structure;
- how to define the key elements of your story;
- where to place the key elements;
- how to make your story entertaining and emotional;
- how to develop likable characters;
- how to mentally prepare yourself for a long journey of storytelling;
- how to outline your novel;
- how to create three-dimensional characters;
- how to create a three-act structure;
- how to create an explosive scene;
- how to make a scene list;
- how to pitch your story;
- how to sell your story;
- how to find an agent and a publisher;
- how to promote your book;
- how to make an author platform;
- how to analyze the books which you are reading;
- many other things
Despite the fact that I have one novel and several stories behind me, I still have a feeling that I barely scratched the surface of the vast and complex universe of storytelling and writing as a craft in general.
Yes, many authors talk about the same things but once you get familiar with one context you will be able to dig deeper into the subject, which is extremely important for your personal development as a storyteller.
If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.