Suggest Course Reading

Suggested Course Reading

  • Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them by John Yorke
  • The Ultimate Hero’s Journey: 195 Essential Plot Stages Found in the Best Novels and Movies by Neal Soloponte
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface by Donald Maass
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Wired for Story and Story Genius by Lisa Cron
  • The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr
  • Save the Cat writes a novel by Jessica Brody
  • Write your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell
  • Writing Unforgettable Characters by James Scott Bell

Each of these books has drastically altered my outlook on story and writing, and some have even challenged everything I thought I ever knew about myself and therefore challenged my construction of fictional characters, imbuing them with the same depth of flaws and faults and glorious contradictions that form our own character.

Some help more with structure, some with character, some with both. Others are best read after doing a first draft, some before and some even after you *think* you have finaldraft523.docx

Also, read some books in your genre, released in the last 6 months. 

Be critical and analytical. Think about what they’ve done well.

A note on craft books

They are not for everyone. And sometimes they can do more harm than good if read at the wrong time. Some people like to use them before they start writing (recommended) or between drafts (also recommended), while we’d also advise trying to avoid using them while drafting, especially the first draft. Sometimes the information and things to learn can seem overwhelming, and you might feel like it’s impossible to apply all the things the books have taught you.

That’s understandable and very common.

BUT, give it a go. Read them, then decide they are not for you. It reminds me of a favourite saying.

“Regret the things you’ve done, not the things you haven’t done.”

And the same goes for everything in the course – give it a go, even if it seems trivial or something that doesn’t suit you. Sometimes you don’t know what works for you, until you try new things and experiment.