Writing Craft Resources

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.


Podcasts

Writing Excuses by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and others…

A podcast featuring a roundtable of author’s discussing various writing topics. I particularly enjoyed the season on “Elemental Genres.”
http://www.writingexcuses.com/start-here/

 

Story Grid Podcast by Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl

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.
https://storygrid.simplecast.fm/

 

Books

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby

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.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1383168.The_Anatomy_of_Story

 

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K.M. Weiland

This book has a good breakdown of the 7-point story structure, which gave me a new way of understanding story.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18371991-structuring-your-novel

 

The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer by Sandra Scofield

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.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1182612.The_Scene_Book

 

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

As someone who floundered writing a book without an outline, this book changed the way I thought about writing.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12786668-outlining-your-novel

 

Dramatica: a New Theory of Story by Melanie Phillips and Chris Huntley

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.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1496090.Dramatica
http://dramatica.com/theory/book/characters

 

Video

Brandon Sanderson BYU Lecture Series 318R by Brandon Sanderson

The class is particularly aimed at Fantasy writers, but has advice applicable to all writers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL

 

For advice on editing your own work see my Editing Resources