Hello and happy holidays! As we approach the end of the year, I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite writing resources. It took me years to find a few of these, and I wouldn’t be at the level I’m at now in my writing craft if I didn’t learn from these resources. Whether you’re looking to improve a certain area of your writing or you’re looking for a great gift for a writer friend, I hope you’ll find something here that you’ll love as much as I do!
Most/all can be found at your favorite bookstore or on Amazon, and some may be available in your local library. I personally like to own print versions of each so I can take notes in the margins, but everyone’s a little different!
My top five writing craft resources:
If you’re struggling with dialogue: check out Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. I loved this book, and it really helped me build out dynamic dialogue that upped the conflict and tension, even when it wasn’t around a major conflict.
If you want to improve your showing versus telling: Understanding Show, Don’t Tell by Janice Hardy CHANGED MY WRITING LIFE. I really, really struggled with this prior to reading this resource, and I’m so grateful for it.
If you want to improve deep POV and voice: Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson is a short and wonderful guide toward improving deep POV and voice.
If you want to improve your story structure from start to finish: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody has been a game changer for me. I review it every time I start a new story to make sure I’m hitting the beats I’m looking for, showing the character development and change throughout my work, and to brush up on my story structure.
If you want to deepen emotions, settings and descriptions: I own nearly every thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, and they have drastically improved my creation of realistic settings and emotions. They have different thesauruses, including: Emotional Wound, the Emotion Thesaurus, Conflict, Positive Traits, Negative Traits, Rural Settings, Urban Setting, Occupation. Consider what might be most helpful for you, and start from there!
Bonus addition: If you want to further improve your story structure: Story Genius by Lisa Cron gets a ton of love in the writing community for helping to improve one’s craft, and it’s currently on my reading list! Since I haven’t read it myself just yet, I can’t confirm it’s a favorite, but I’ve heard great things!
If you have a favorite craft book that isn’t listed here, let me know! I’m always on the lookout for great resources.
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3 thoughts on “My Top Five Writing Craft Resources”
Always love books on the craft, so thanks for this, Valerie. My personal favourites are The Getaway Car by Ann Patchett, and Consider This by Chuck Palahniuk. There are a few I haven’t checked out from your list so I guess I’ll be off checking them out now!
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Thank you so much, Stuart! Adding those two to my list to check out as well, thanks for the recommendations!