Craft Book Connoisseur

From Where You DreamIf you’ve spent a little time on this site, you probably know that I LOVE CRAFT BOOKS! I’m not sure if this is because if I’m one of those daft people for whom information goes in one ear and out the other and I actually need to read 800 craft books to “get it”, or if I just like hearing the same things over and over again.

Of course, I jest.

In actuality, I like to read so many craft books because different authors discuss the same concepts differently. I like to get multiple perspectives. Every book you write is different, and some concepts apply more to one project than another. There is no “bible” for craft books (in my opinion). I think you need a library. A library that’s ever-expanding! And yes, it’s possible I’m a little obsessed.

I thought I’d share the favorites in my current library, so you can add to yours!

Ingrid’s Top 10 Craft Books:

(as of right now, and in no particular order)

1. From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler

2. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Eighth Edition) by Janet Burroway

3. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principals of Screenwriting by Robert Mckee

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

Books 1

5. The Art of Fiction  by John Gardner

6. Aspects of the Novel  by E.M. Forster

7. A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

Books 2

8. Words Overflown by Stars: Creative Writing Instruction and Insight Edited by David Jauss

9. Alone, With All that Could Happen by David Jauss

10. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for Those Who Love Books and  For Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

Books 3

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite craft books are too. So, please share!

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5 thoughts on “Craft Book Connoisseur

  1. No contest! The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus. Quite simply, it’s awesome.

    Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer is, of course, one of the most important writing books. Jack Bickham was a student of Swain’s who explains the Swain method in more current terms, but the gist is the same. Pretty much any book that uses the concept of ‘scene and sequel’ is a disciple of Swain, however much removed.

    I don’t really ever write much, but I sure do love reading writing books! I have a big bookshelf full of them, and refer to them constantly, for no obvious reason. Currently I am enjoying Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure. It starts out with a very good summary of all the important works about playwriting and screenwriting. I can’t yet attest to the content of his system, but it’s worth the price of admission for the Hollywood anecdotes alone.

    it’s so much easier to read about writing than actually write! Don’t get hooked, like me. You’ve been warned.

  2. Thanks for the list; I’ve read McKee, Burroway and Prose and am always happy to add to the pile. My favourites include Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmigh Wooldridge, This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley and Becoming a Writer by Dorthea Brande.

  3. Ooh, that’s a great list! *adds more to my TBR pile* I love FROM WHERE YOU DREAM and STORY. I’m also a fan of Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, Donald Maass’ WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, and Jessica Morrell’s BETWEEN THE LINES.

    I don’t write much poetry, but Mary Oliver’s book really appeals to me (just because it’s her). May have to check that one out next!

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