My Top 10 Books For Writers #CreatorsMatter #authortube #Creatortube #campnanowrimo

My Top 10 Books For Writers #CreatorsMatter #authortube #Creatortube #campnanowrimo



hey guys and welcome back to my channel on today's episode we're going to be talking about my favorite writing books and we're going to break those up into three separate categories there's inspiration for when you're thinking about drafting and you need to get inspired to really get into your writing number two there's crafts basics and process meaning process from other writers and how you may add their tips and techniques to yours and finally there are the books for advanced writers in editing plus we're going to take the top three books and I'm going to show you how you can turn them into a writing course on whatever level you're on you may be surprised what's on the list and you may be surprised what's not on the list but that's what's coming up on today's episode of the story detective stay tuned number one on the list for inspiration I would say would have to be on writing by Stephen King because let's face it the part that's based on crafts is not as extensive as or all-encompassing as the book makes it out to be there's some basic craft techniques there's some common-sense techniques but I think most of what this book does is when you read all the little trials and tribulations of Stephen King's life and how he became that writer that part of the process of what he went through that inspires us as writers and let's face it when I read that book when you read that book you were probably more inspired to write than most books that you've picked up because all that's in there my number two slot goes to Natalie Goldberg and her book writing down the bones now as far as inspiration she takes writing to a slightly different level where Stephen King gives you the obscure and his life in process Natalie Goldberg gives you an artsy Zen technique because she comprises Zen with writing and for many people writing is kind of a spiritual practice and if you're into that sort of thing Natalie Goldberg's book is really inspiring she also gives craft techniques and tips and just like Stephen King you'll get some good things out of this because it's a really good book but it's also there for the inspiration I think going through her life and her little stories is inspiring you'll also pick up different things from her point of view that you won't from Stephen King's point of view and I used to listen to unright and writing down the bones before I began almost every project when I first started out because they were my top two inspirational books and together by the time I finished those books I was gearing up and ready to get down and dirty and rice there's a lot of inspiration packed into these two books also for those of you who are into timed writing Sprint's and the Pomodoro method natalie goldberg was actually for those of you not aware she developed this before Francesco Cirillo came up with the Pomodoro Technique now the thing is if you look at the Pomodoro Technique Cirillo invented this in the late 1980s while he was a student meanwhile Natalie Goldberg had been doing this years before and actually published a book writing down the bones in 1986 so was this where cirillo got his inspiration or did he develop it on his own or did he kind of take a bite out of Natalie Goldberg and run with it on his own because that book writing down the bones was actually mega popular at the time because it gave you these spiritual techniques and timed writing techniques much the way the Pomodoro method became popular so if you're into all that then this is a must-have book for you and the final one under the category of writing inspiration would be the writing life by Annie Diller this book is for writers who enjoy all of the crazy things writers do in the self-torture we put ourselves through because let's face it we put ourselves through all that because deep down we enjoy it and this is a book that's basically on Annie Dillard's adventures in writing crazy things that she did like locking herself in a cabin in the middle of winter chopping her own wood to keep warm because all she had was a wood stove just to be isolated so she could get her book written in peace so if you enjoy things like that those little adventures and techniques and tribulations of a writer then the writing life is definitely a book that you should own the second topic for craft basics is a little bit beyond the basics if you're just starting out and you need a writing book that covers all the basics there's a ton of them out the problem with so many writing books all will cover the same grandpa in a slightly different way and sometimes those writers that come out with a book covering the basics I understand why they do it because there's literally millions of people it's coming into this fresh and they need to cover the basics so by coming out with your favorite new author or your favorite new bloggers version of the basics is definitely a selling point and it can keep it fresh for the newbies but at the same time you're getting the same basic information that thousands of other books will tell you in a slightly different way and if that writer isn't good at getting those craft points across if they're not doing their own take on the craft it can get boring really fast and I think that's where newbies will suddenly get mad at the rules because they'll come at the same things over and over and over telling them this is what you must do this is the only way and we're going to cover some of that here if you want a good book on the basics that won't bore you stiff then I would say the secrets of story by Matt Burd he not only covers the basics but he does it in a way that even after writing for years didn't bore me in fact his take on it adds new little things that he discovered and his take on it is more fresh more interesting than I would say a good deal of the other books not to say that there's not good ones out there there are Matt's way I found to be refreshing I found it to be educational and inspiring at the same time so if you're starting out for the basics then the secrets of story I would say should go on your list grading the novel from plot to print to pixel by Lawrence block now Lawrence block is a master craftsman he's also been doing this for a while getting his point of view when you're looking to compile the the rules or the basics of crap he goes through the basics and beyond his experience is just like every other writers experience and he talks about finding that person and following the rules that said this is the only way to write you have to get a sharp pencil and index cards and write everything out from your cards on your characters your plot your scenes and outline it to such a degree that it became frustrating and infuriating and then what he did for himself and I think this is not only a valuable book but it's also a very entertaining book so it gives you craft techniques it gives you the Lawrence block process it gives you a lot of good information in a way that reads very well because let's face it Lawrence block is a great right saving the cat by Blake Snyder if you're looking for a book on those those beats within a story those structural points and also if you think about it there are points that make up a psychological aspect of your story and this is a good book to learn those points because a lot of those plot points are looked at as being formulaic they're really not the idea behind the formula is because people are so used to seeing it done in movies and Hollywood takes those same points and they do the beats and they're the same beats with interchangeable characters and a slightly interchangeable plot and almost every movie that they do and that's why it looks formulaic if you look at those plot points from a fresh eye and think of what you could do within that structure then these things can be really valuable category number three is advanced writing and editing Dorie engineering by Larry Brooks I would say writers that want to follow through with those story structural beats Larry for me was the person that really opens some doorways to learning and understanding structure and how you can utilize it in a way that's not formula and again you have to imagine the possibilities but within Larry's hands it becomes something that you can really understand what the criteria of each of your story sections are and it's based on three part structure which is broken down into four parts structure because if you think about it most books in most movies have what's a three part structure but that long middle is divided in two so it's really four quarters and Larry covers what's important for each quartile of a story whether it's a movie or a novel and I've tested this theory on countless movies and novels I even went back to Saul Stein's novels who was one of my mentors who writes more literary and he uses this same type of structure it's just that he uses it instead of from a plot beat point of view all those beats come from character and if you understand what those beats are and then you read from various genres like you're supposed to read widely and you compare these things you'll see how a number of different people use it from a number of different angles and how those things can go together in ways not to determine your story but as guideposts and reminders of the possibilities on what could happen the rest is up to you because as writers we use those beats in different ways and Larry Brooks story engineering always instrumental and opening my eyes to a great deal of those things Larry also has a website called story fix com and if you have questions or need expanded alternate explanations Larry has broken all these points down in a number of different ways to make it easy for people to grasp all these points and there's a lot of interesting discussions on that site a story by Robert McKee now this is mainly for script writing and for movies but the same thing applies to any story you're telling this book it's a big book but its own biblical there's stuff on there not only the covers plus structure but it covers character beats within a scene how characters interact with one another what the beats are for a scene now many writers including some writers who've been doing it for more than a minute have trouble with what actually comprises the scene and within your book you'll end up with scenes and you'll end up with partial scenes which are fragments which you either have to delete or incorporate mix them into something else because they usually come in the form that says okay on between scenes and I need to get my character from point A to point B let's have them go for a walk or let's have them go for a car ride and you don't actually have a complete scene understanding the beats of a scene and how they fit into the context of your platform for a story and those previous few books that we mentioned then McKee's book will be hugely helpful it's the next level of what you need to put your characters on the stage to put them in scenes and to keep them on be on track for getting the most out of your scenes and the most out of your story and the most out of your character's interactions because let's face it we we all sit there and we think of the same thing with the furrowed brows and the little gestures that we have our characters do repeatedly that come to us easily and I have told writers many times in the past when you're watching movies keep an ideas notebook for those thoughts and gestures when you see a character or an actor doing something in a movie that's exhibiting those emotions in a way that's showing rather than telling then write those things down if you want to understand the skeleton behind all of those interactions then McKee's book is great is Stine on writing by Saul Stein there are so many little tips and techniques for every part of craft in this book I would say this is a book that you would want to read maybe before you start drafting and then once you understand all the things that he's talking about or the different categories in there you can easily refer to it when you're editing for a quick reference guide for solutions in fact in the UK I believe it was published under solutions for writers because that's exactly what it is it's a guy who's not only a master craftsman but aside from being a novelist he's been an editor and a publisher so he understands from all sides of the desk where these things have to be done and he's developed a lot of techniques for helping out on almost every problem that you could run into when you when you're writing he had a number of writing programs that actually expanded upon this but they're out of print the closest thing you can find and to keep for handy Desk Reference would be this book how to grow a novel by Saul Stein more solutions and something that expands on some of the idea that some of the ideas that are started in stein on writing then how to grow a novel kind of goes hand in hand with this think of it if you go to a writing course whether it's an online course or in a classroom what you're going to be doing is hearing lectures reading books and applying what you've learned to your own stories whether it's a short story a scene in your novel and if you take top three books out of this which I would say would be story engineering story and Stein on writing if you take these three books and you want to give yourself a writing course just take something that you've written it doesn't have to be your manuscript if you're afraid you're gonna mess it up by experimenting you can make a copy of scenes in chapters so you can have a spare to experiment with take these books and look at each chapter as you read don't breeze through them quickly read a chapter then apply that chapter to your own writing you only learn by applying a course and what you're paying for in any course is the application and the virtual doing so you can remember and then adapt it to your own means and by doing this from chapter to chapter in these three books by the end of it I guarantee you will be a much better writer than you are now at whatever level you're on you are going to learn so much from these three books by applying it that way it doesn't have to be a long lesson you read a chapter you spend an hour to writing and applying it you know it's a it's it's an easy fix for giving yourself a very inexpensive course you have to be willing and able to put in the work this sounds like something for you then these three books and going through it in that chapter by chapter applying it as lessons will be probably the most complete writing course that I think you're going to find in three books for the price and you can do it all on your own if you're disciplined enough to do it just like with anything it's an exercise your exercising your body your exercising your brain and you can either breeze through these books and take a handful of points from it which are still going to help you or you can apply each section to your writing learn it practice it develop it and that helps become the writer that you're meant to be you become your best writing person by by putting all that information into your brain you it doesn't change who you are it builds on who you are you take that knowledge and you elevate yourself you elevate your skills you elevate your practice now at the time of this filming I looked up these three books on Amazon that's not looking on eBay or any of the other platforms but Amazon including shipping and taxes in my area you can get all three books for just a little bit over $40 so that's what I've got for you today I hope you liked this video and you've got something out of it if so remember to give it a thumbs up and remember to subscribe and I will see you next time in the meantime keep writing keep those keyboards clacking

5 Comments

  • Cassie Holmes says:

    Writing down the Bones was the very first writing book I ever read and it's one that I go back to when I'm looking for inspiration. I've added all that I haven't read yet to my TBR. Thanks for the list.

  • Telltale Twotones says:

    Nicely formulated full of excellent hands on points with great picks. Thanks!

  • MidlifeByKirstin says:

    Thank you, Robert! Great list, some unknown to me. Will dive right into them. Another inspirational favorite of mine: Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird. Greetings from Germany!

  • What Now? says:

    I'm having "start of semester" flashbacks. I won't go back inside I tell you!
    Wonderful stuff, damned comprehensive.

  • Carrow Brown says:

    An excellent selection of books! I have a few of those, but not all of them. I know what to add to my summer TBR now 🙂

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