Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Writing Craft Book Recommendations #IWSG


The IWSG question of the month: What is your favorite writing craft book? And why? 

I imagine a large percentage of people will say Stephen King's On Writing is their favourite writing craft book. While I did enjoy it and it's chock full of quotable quotes of goodness, I feel it sits more solidly in the memoir category. For me anyway. 

I have a few favourites I go back to over and over again. On Writing is one of them, but also The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell just works for me. It's described as Sun Tzu's The Art of War for novelists. It's easy to read. Super helpful. So many gems in its pages. 

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is another brilliant one. This one has a whole lot of anecdotal stories that bring the challenge of writing alive. It's wonderful to read someone else's succinct understanding of what it's like to be a writer. Again, this one has lots of golden nuggets to take away and apply to my own writing. 

Save the Cat is another wonderful one if you're looking to understand story beats. While it's more focused on screenwriting, it's helpful tips can be applied to novel writing too. 

There are a whole bunch of others. Each has had it's impact on me in some form or another. How about you? Which writing craft books have you loved? 

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

 

 

 

52 comments:

  1. Hi Lynda - thanks for these ... I know of them - and I'm sure they're helpful to all aspiring authors - you write so well and I really enjoy your stories. Cheers Hilary

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  2. I have On Writing on my shelf but I've not read it yet. I need to.

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    1. While it's heavy on the memoir side, I still recommend it.

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  3. Someone else recommended Jame Scott Bell's books. I've read others by him, but not this one. I really like Save the Cat for Writers.

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  4. My daughter recommended Bird by Bird years ago. And it looks like Save the Cat is the go too on peoples blogs. Another daughter read On Writing, and she agrees with you. It read more like a memoir, no help in writing.

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    1. There is a little help in On Writing, but it's not as rich as other books on writing.

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  5. I too like King's book but also feel it's more of a memoir. I'll have to check out The Art of War for Writers .

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    1. It's been a while since I've read it but it stuck with me. It's time I read it yet again.

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  6. There are so many writing craft books that I've read and enjoyed. None really fall into the "loved it!" category.

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day Being Busy vs Being Productive

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  7. Hi Lynda, thanks for all the writing craft book recommendations. I'm going to bookmark this post.

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  8. I do love Anne Lamont's writing! And Bird by Bird is on my 'read again' list!

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    1. It's definitely one of those books that are worth multiple readings

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  9. You know, I've still not read On Writing. But I have read Save the Cat!

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    1. It's a good read even if it's not jam-packed with writing tips.

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  10. Good choices, Lynda. I haven't heard of Save the Cat. Being a dog lover, that's a bit suspect but I'm still going to click through and check it out!

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  11. I agree about On Writing, while good with some excellent quotes, there are better books that focus more on the craft. I love Elements of Style. It isn't just focused on fiction writing, but it has some great tips that apply to all written content and made a huge difference for me with blogging particularly.

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  12. I've been reminded of books that I've read, relished, and learned from, but forgot to mention in my post today. 'Save the Cat' is a gem!

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  13. Yes, yes, and yes. I especially love the Anne Lamont book. I don't have the James Scott Bell book but I have a couple of others by him.

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  14. I've been seeing On Writing and Save the Cat on a lot of blogs today.

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  15. Hi,
    I like Anne Lamont books. I also have two or three books by James Scott Bell but I usually go first to The Writer's Journey.
    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. I haven't read The Writer's Journey. I'll have to check it out.

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  16. I have heard Save the Cat mentioned a lot. Great to get some good recommendations today.

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  17. Hi Lynda! Yes! Bird by Bird and STC are MUST HAVES!!!

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  18. Happy IWSG Day, Lynda, and thanks for your recommendations!

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  19. I'm keeping a list of all these great books on writing. Haven't heard of The Art of War for Writers. Onto the list it goes! Thanks!

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    1. I've been recommending that one since I first started blogging. It's been around for a while.

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  20. I have too many favorite writing craft books to list here, Lynda. In addition, I have a new one from Mystery Writers of America to digest. So much expertise out there and not enough time to read them all.

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  21. Good recommendations. I enjoyed reading On Writing, very inspirational. Many people have mentioned Save the Cat. I have it, just need to read it. LOL

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  22. So many people recommend Save the Cat in this IWSG round. How did I miss it before? After reading one blog after another that praise it, I went ahead and ordered it from my library.

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  23. Save the Cat is Alex's favorite, so I think that's why it's mentioned a lot. With all the craft books we have sitting on our shelves we should all be pro by now. Sadly, most cause a brain freeze for me.

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    1. It's good to read them occasionally, but I honestly think reading lots of the type of books you want to write helps way more. It's about seeing the theory in action, and learning what you like and why.

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  24. lots of great recs
    I remember reading Bird by Bird with a group
    but Save the Cat will always be my fave

    Tara Tyler Talks

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  25. I haven't read Bird by Bird, but have read all the others you mentioned. Did anyone from your area win at the Olympics this year?
    Joe Kovacs, my from neck of the woods, won silver for Shot Put Throw.

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    1. No idea. I kinda missed the whole Olympic thing...um-ah!

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.