5 Books on Writing

It’s kind of funny, there are writers out there who write books on how they write books. Ironic, huh? But it’s great! It just gives the amateur writers, like me, a bit more insight on how the bestselling authors do it. I have been researching these books, so I could buy a few more. Which is where the idea for this blogpost came from. I mostly found new ones by looking at the suggestions Amazon gave me as “Other also bought this…”. Great feature, I might add (although, not so great for my wallet!). So I haven’t read all of these yet, but I plan to soon, as I just want to emerge myself in this big world of writing. And if you’re in the same boat as me, here’s a comprehensive list of 5 books that you might also want to check out.

Book 1. Save the cat! writes a novel by Jessica Brody

Buy here.

This book really gives you the building blocks to write a story. It explains in detail at what point in your story the character should find themselves in conflict or when it’s time for a plot twist. Brody uses examples from all different kinds of novels. For example, Harry Potter, but also Pride and Prejudice. Recently, she also published a book that’s solely about writing Young Adult novels. As I am not planning on writing YA, I haven’t bought that book. But it might be something you’re interested in.

Book 2. Story Genius by Lisa Cron

Buy here.

People say there are two types of writers, plotters and pantsers. The one completely writes out the plot and plans every little detail. The other is just winging it and sees where the story takes them. But Lisa Cron has spent decades of discovering why these methods rarely work and came up with an alternative. One based on the science of what your brains are wired to crave. This book helps you crack this code. From idea to a fully fleshed out blueprint for your story.

She also has another book about the writing craft, called Wired for Story.

Book 3. On Writing by Stephen King

Buy here.

People consider him the master of writing. He’s one of the most renowned writers out there. And the only book I own from him, is the one. His books are not typically the books I reach for, so I haven’t made that jump ever. But because he’s so well-praised, I should really pick one of them up in the near future. If only just to study his writing style. Because this book is probably completely different from his fiction work, so I can’t really study this to figure out his writing style. Well, maybe I can.

It is partly a memoir, but also holds practical tips for aspiring writers and what’s better than to learn from the master himself.

Book 4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Buy here.

This is a step-by-step guide on how to write and how to manage a writer’s life. Now, I haven’t read this one. But I am especially interested in the latter part. There’s a chapter on writing groups, but also on writer’s block. And then also of course on the technical stuff like writing dialogue or setting a scene.

Book 5. The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr

Buy here.

This is the only book that I do not have in my possession yet. But I found it interesting enough to put it on this list anyway. It reminds me a bit of how Story Genius also incorporates science to figure out how we as humans interact with stories and what draws us towards them. Will Storr has seen quite a lot of the world as a journalist and has written all kinds of stories, reporting from refugee camps in Africa to parts of Columbia that have been affected by war. So I am really curious to see how these experiences help him write a story.

Have you read any of these books? Or are there other books on writing that you know of? Maybe I’ll create another list in the future with your recommendations 😉

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