In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been reading and writing a lot about, well, writing. How better to celebrate than with a countdown of some of my favorite books on writing?
- “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass
Maass has a phenomenal understanding of writing and story, and it shows in WTBN. This book covers all aspects of writing a “breakout” novel—an exceptional first novel that catapults into the book world at full force. Maass is clear, concise, and a phenomenal source for aspiring and published writers alike.
- “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers” by Christopher Vogler
Vogler’s book builds off of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey,” which describes the phases of a protagonist’s path as it relates to plot. Vogler’s work modernizes this journey and puts it into layman’s terms. This book is phenomenal for writers who would like to learn more about plot and structure.
- “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott
Lamott’s work is essential featured reading in most college creative writing classes, and understandably so. Through a lens of humor and faith, Lamott takes the reader on a step-by-step guide through their first novel. Lamott is a motherly teaching figure and her book is a necessary book for the writing shelf.
- “On Writing” by Stephen King
I wouldn’t be able to call myself a writer if I didn’t put this book on the list. In his timeless bestseller, part memoir and part instruction, King reveals why he’s one of the most successful writers in the world. More than instruction, this book is a beautiful representation of the craft and an inspiration to writers and readers alike.
- “Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting” by Robert McKee
McKee’s “Story” is hands down my favorite book on writing. At nearly 500 pages long, this monstrous brick of sheer knowledge is a necessity, in my opinion, for every writer’s bookshelf. Though it’s a book created specifically for screenwriters, its insights on crafting a compelling story are groundbreaking and a precious tool for writers of all genres and mediums.