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Storytelling and Writing Craft > Propose a craft book here for group or buddy reads

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message 1: by Graeme (last edited May 20, 2018 01:34PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi all, post your books here with a Goodreads link and a short statement about the value of reading it.

Make sure the book is still available for purchase before suggesting it.

Group and Buddy reads will be organised from here, however I will create a specific nominations thread for each new read.

Specifically, we are looking at books dealing with the creative act of writing stories.

Where the concept of "stories" can range from vignettes, through to multi-book series, and includes other formats such as screenplays.

Where writing is concerned with: plot, dialog, scene setting, characterization, conveying emotion, creating suspense, editing, etc.

Think of this folder as fostering a series of online, collaborative workshops between writers attempting to improve their craft through sharing experiences, knowledge, skills, and techniques.

Please understand this is not a forum to promote your own books, with one exception - you have written a specific "how to," style book on some aspect of the craft of writing. In that one case, you are allowed to present your book once for consideration on this thread or on a specific nominations thread within this folder. Multiple entries will be deleted. Offenders will be warned on the 2nd instance and banned on the third.


message 2: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi all,

I'm proposing group reads for the following books.

[1] Story by Robert McKee by Robert McKee for its brilliant and detailed instruction on all things story.

[2] How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson by Randy Ingermanson for its excellent and accessible discussion of a 'specific,' story composition method.

[3] Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman by Albert Zuckerman, a good overall book, with a really valuable chapter on POV that made everything clear for me.


message 3: by Stefan (new)

Stefan Vucak | 9 comments I have written a number of articles about writing, publishing, and editing, which are compiled into a book 'Writing Tips for Authors'. It is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Tips-A...


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Sabino | 2 comments Hello,

I'd love to propose Your Creative Career - Turn Your Passion into a Fulfilling CareerYour Creative Career: Turn Your Passion Into a Fulfilling and Financially Rewarding Lifestyle

It was released in January by Career Press.

Thank you,

Anna


message 6: by Graeme (last edited May 12, 2018 08:54PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Stefan, Anna, Mehreen, I'm looking specifically for books about the craft of writing and storytelling.

Those books will be preferenced over other books.

** Please note the revised post at the top of this thread and ensure you comply with it ** If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 214 comments For what it's worth, a couple of years ago I wrote a small series of blog posts on dealing with the dreaded writer's block. The posts look at a few practical techniques to ferret out the underlying causes of blocks and to treat them, touching on setting, characters, and plot, and unpacking that old chestnut "write every day".

I expanded this theme into a full-blown presentation, and one of these days I plan to package it up into a short e-book.


message 8: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Ian, that's a good example of what I'm talking about.


message 9: by Lena (last edited May 12, 2018 10:04PM) (new)

Lena | 606 comments Zen in The Art of Writing
Scribd had the audiobook version available. It’s highly rated.


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks Lena, that's what we're looking for. An excellent suggestion.


message 11: by Lena (new)

Lena | 606 comments Should be a good read 🙂


message 12: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Another book which I believe is relevant to this group is The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell by Joseph Campbell which is an excellent presentation of the hero mythology and very applicable to a range of genres.


message 13: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Just for everyone's benefit, I'm looking to run with "Story," by Robert McKee and we will start on the 1st of June. This will give us all an opportunity to develop the methods and expectations of how these forums/workshops will operate.

We'll confirm this book (or another option) later this month.


message 14: by Lena (new)

Lena | 606 comments Scribd has an audiobook copy of Story so I’m good with that.


message 15: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Amazing, it gets around.


message 16: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer I've written a few blog posts geared toward writing, but I don't have any books published about it.


message 17: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Denise, we already have a plethora of material. This will not be 'raced,' through.

But dissected over time.


message 18: by Alex (last edited May 13, 2018 11:20AM) (new)

Alex (asato) Here are my recommendations, depending on where the group wants to start. I'm also willing to join in a buddy read with anyone on any of the following books.

Notes:
* They are all widely available, except for the first one as noted.
* I own a copy of all of these books.
* They are in my list of top 10 writing advice books (I even have a bookshelf too: 10-top-writing-guides ^_- (https://www.goodreads.com/review/list...)).

Basic character development, story structure, and pacing
* GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction. Short but extremely relevant. Dixon uses movies to demonstrate her points. Might be more for the beginning writer. It's available in hardcover but outrageously expensive at $72 (b/c it's out-of-print), but it's also on kobo ($9.99) and kindle ($13.59).

* How to Write a Movie in 21 Days. Easily convert the pacing for a movie into the pacing for your genre novel. I use this book as the basis for all of my outlines.

Overview
Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies. Comprehensive and detailed with a plethora of examples. Two techniques, which I haven't seen described in this useful and epiphanic way in any other book, stand out: (1) Particularity: "To characterize, particularity is used to show how an individual looks dresses, or speaks without resort to cliches or generalizations." (2) Triage revising:
Instead of going through a page-by-page edit, you should fix the major problems first, much like a developmental editor would.

Self-Editing
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print. The nuts and bolts of writing. Clearly explained with a plethora of examples, exercises and their take on how they'd edit them. If I can inculcate these techniques into my first or even second draft I'd become a more efficient and effective writer. We're reading this in my local writers group.

Continuous Improvement
After learning an overview of writing craft, character development, story structure, story pacing, and self-editing best practices, this is the first book that I recommend to start with because it will boost your speed of continuous improvement: 5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter. Right now I'm using a modified technique for outlining and writing.


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks Alex, a great set of books.


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Graeme wrote: "Hi all,

I'm proposing group reads for the following books.

[1] Story by Robert McKee by Robert McKee for its brilliant and detailed instruction on all things story.

[2] [bookco..."


I'd be willing to read (1) and (3).


message 21: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Alex, lets call that the 2nd nominations.


message 22: by Alex (last edited May 13, 2018 02:23PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Graeme wrote: "Thanks Alex, a great set of books."

Thanks! They are culled from about 19 books on writing that I've read over the roughly last couple of years. There are others out there that cover specific topics--like character development, dialogue, outlining--but they can be used on an as-needed basis as part of one's efficient continuous improvement (which the "5k wph" book establishes and that's why it's the first book one should read after the others I recommend). These are also all of the books that I recently recommended to my cousin's teenage daughter.

(I have another book on my 10-top-writing-guides bookshelf on researching and writing to market, but I thought that one veered off the topic somewhat.)

I've seen a lot of books on character development, story structure, and overall coverage, but I haven't seen very many, if any at all, that focus primarily on self-editing and continuous improvement--perhaps because they are two aspects of writing that have become absolutely indispensable with the bellwether of self-publishing that was the introduction of the kindle and KDP back on 2007.


message 23: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Interesting points Alex


message 24: by Graeme (last edited May 19, 2018 10:48PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi All,

I'm setting up the threads for the
[1] Story by Robert McKee by Robert McKee book, and expect to start in June 10th (3 weeks from today).

I will send a message today on this topic to alert everyone that we will start in three weeks.


message 25: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Just discovered (h/t P.K.) that "Story," is not available on Kindle, and the audio book may not be available outside the US, leaving paperback, hardback, audio (US at least), or library copies.

So while I think this is a really good book, it may suck big time for people to get a copy.

I willing to go ahead if there is at least one other committed reader.

I will work with the group to establish a 2nd read and run it concurrently with this one.


message 26: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments The ideas seem to have dried-up here. There are only two days left to decide on what book we will read - if at all. I thought Alex's selections were interesting and pertinent. I especially think
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers... a very good place to start. Editing, whether self or other, is a stand-out difference between the noticeably professional book and the sloppy, hastily published and even unreadable one. I think we could all improve in this regard.
Otherwise I am willing to give the majority selection a go.
Alex, perhaps you could give me the author or a link to the above?


message 28: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I'll second it, if we get no further nominations, we'll go with that with a start date of June 10th.


message 29: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Sounds good. Thanks Graeme.


message 30: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments I see that book is also not available as e-book. But I am ok with that if others are. Whilst researching it I came across another; The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. I was very impressed by the Look Inside app and I have ordered the book. The author obviously has great provinence and it is an Oxford University Press publication. It is worth looking at


message 31: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi P.K. I second your nomination.

The book is The First Five Pages A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman by Noah Lukeman

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/First-Five-Pag...


message 32: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi P.K. I second your nomination.

The book is The First Five Pages A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman by Noah Lukeman

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/First-Five-Pag...


message 33: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Thanks Graeme. I think it would be a very useful place to start; it seems to be very relevant to all standards of writing. But where is everybody? It might be that just you and I will have a buddy read.


message 34: by Alex (last edited May 31, 2018 11:40AM) (new)

Alex (asato) Graeme wrote: "Hi P.K. I second your nomination.

The book is The First Five Pages A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman by Noah Lukeman

AMAZON: https://www.am..."


Done. Requested through interlibrary loan.


message 35: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi P.K. Alex makes three, and the thread is up at https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 36: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Great. It's a start. I hope plenty of other colleagues will get onboard. Whatever the book, we must be able to get a useful debate going at least.


message 37: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi P.K. My view is, "give it a go," once other people see what is happening they'll develop confidence in the value of these threads and want to join in.


message 38: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments I think you're right, Graeme. I remember a good exchange of views about story endings in these pages. Perhaps Ian can find a way to start.


message 39: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 301 comments Very late to this, but I know that Eudora Welty wrote a few books on writing craft - one was The Eye of the Story, I think the other was simply called "On Writing."


message 40: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments I don't know Welty. But Stephen King also wrote one 'On Writing'
Apart from being that it is partly autobuographical and very, very funny.


message 41: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 301 comments Welty is one of the great Southern writers, often grouped with Faulkner, O'Connor, Capote, won many awards including the Pulitzer, O Henry, etc. Her book, "On Writing" was a collection of some of the essays that first appeared in The Eye of the Story" - it was published in the early 2000s, about a year after her death.


message 42: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Barbara wrote: "Welty is one of the great Southern writers, often grouped with Faulkner, O'Connor, Capote, won many awards including the Pulitzer, O Henry, etc. Her book, "On Writing" was a collection of some of t..."

Thanks for the info. Will check it out


message 43: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments P.K., I thoroughly enjoyed King's On Writing, even though I'm not a writer. Very entertaining. He came down hard on the use of extraneous adverbs.


message 44: by J. (new)

J. Rubino (jrubino) | 10 comments I don't really do buddy reads, but I would recommend Eudora Welty's "The Eye of the Story." And, of course, there are Elmore Leonard's famous "10 Rules for Writing."


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