Recommended Resources

Writing about writing, recommended by you

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Save the Cat!
by Blake Snyder
Screenwriting How-to
Book (series)
Recommended by: NerdyWordyOverlord
Welcome to a fantastic crash course in story structure. Although this is technically a screenwriting book, the principle it deals with are applicable to any form, especially long forms like novels. Along with structure, it contains a great breakdown of all stories into twelve genres (and probably not the genres you’re expecting), as well as common tropes, pitfalls, and tips to make your story stronger. It’s a light, entertaining read that uses modern (at least for its published date in 2005) movie examples.

If you really like the movie break downs, there are sequels called Save the Cat! Strikes Back and Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies. You can also find just about any popular movie broken down into a Beat Sheet on savethecat.com

I’m a little biased since this was my first book on writing, but in my opinion it’s a must-read. (Plus the title is just the best).

 

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Story Physics
by Larry Brooks
Novel-writing How-to
Book
Recommended by: NerdyWordyOverlord
Please read this book. I picked it up on a spite-filled whim (he stole my thing that I say (3000 points to whoever recognized that quite)) and it’s pretty much turned my novel around. It’s possibly even eclipsed Save the Cat! as my favorite/most useful writing book.

First of all, if you’re at all skeptical about story structure’s usefulness/necessity/existence, Brooks hears you, and he makes a compelling argument. I already adore story structure, but Story Physics brought my understanding to the next level.

My favorite part of this book is that Brooks actually explains how to do things. Beyond just saying “the reader must have empathy for the hero,” he explores which underlying principles of storytelling (the “physics”) enable you as a writer to create that empathy.

I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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Story Trumps Structure
by Steven James
Novel-writing How-to
Book
Recommended by: Sarah
I really recommend this book to anyone who is stuck and having a hard time writing. I’ve never had luck with the three-act structure, plot point planning, strict outlining approach, and I found most of this book really inspirational.

 

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