A list of books, podcasts and lectures on the craft of writing
A note on the works mentioned: I am recommending these writing resources in particular because they are the ones that have given me the most practical, straightforward, or innovative advice on writing; they focus more on the “craft” of storytelling, than the “art” of the written word.
As a result, I have left off works that were inspiring to me but did not give me something I could immediately apply to my writing.
I hope you find these resources as helpful and eye-opening as I did.
A podcast featuring a roundtable of author’s discussing various writing topics. I particularly enjoyed the season on “Elemental Genres.”
The first few episodes describe the Story Grid Editing Methodology described in the book of the same name, which you will see I recommend below. However, the next part of the podcast is Shawn Coyne an experienced editor guiding Tim Grahl through the process of writing a novel, through 1st draft, a second first draft (with more guidance), and now the first edit. I highly recommend this podcast both for the experience of hearing a novel being created scene by scene, and Shawn Coyne’s writing advice.
This book covers a wide range of topics including theme, setting, characters, and a 22-point plot structure. The method is a bit more complex, than some of the other structure books but offers some great insights and a more wholistic way of thinking about your story.
This book has a good breakdown of the 7-point story structure, which gave me a new way of understanding story.
As a micro-level craft book, this taught me to think about scenes as discrete units and gave me a method for evaluating how well my scenes were working.
As someone who floundered writing a book without an outline, this book changed the way I thought about writing.
Dramatica is dense, but I particularly enjoyed the discussion of characters, their relation to each other and to the theme of your work. I recommend checking out the website for an overview before jumping into the whole book.
The class is particularly aimed at Fantasy writers, but has advice applicable to all writers.
For advice on editing your own work see my Editing Resources