Supporting Your Writing Life, Uncategorized

My Favorite Resources Pt. 1: Story Craft

Hi, all.

I have curated a list of my favorite writing resources below. The links to these items are affiliated with Amazon (click to learn more.) For every purchase made through these links (and any purchase made within 24 hours after you click one, until you use someone else’s affiliate link,) I get a small percentage of the entire sale from everything in your cart EVEN if you don’t buy what I link here. It costs you nothing extra and every penny goes toward Writing With Rasmus. Please consider using these links if these books interest you! Thank you!

RJ

The Craft of Writing

Mr. King is my favorite author. I value his advice and instruction not just because about fifteen of his books are sitting on my shelf, but because he brings all of his facets—English teacher, husband, musician, successful (but firstly very unsuccessful) writer—to the table in this informative and frank book.

Dismally funny and written in an autobiographic voice, Anne’s book is an encouraging and freeing read for the writer who needs reminding to loosen up and just write.

Jeff Gerke (Operation: Firebrand novels, Plot Versus Character, The First 50 Pages,) is funny, clever, and upbeat. He introduces each new stage of the the novel-writing process as a “victory” and reminds us there is no such thing as a perfect first draft. He’s a little wacky and puts the fun back into writing.

This is a very heavy read. You have to devote a lot of brain power to this one, but if you do, it is what I like to call a Gold Mine. Have you ever had a day when you just feel like you’ve forgotten what makes good writing so good? You can appreciate it when you read it, but you just can’t put your finger on what you love so much? This book will show you exactly how to troubleshoot your work by giving examples from well-known books and plays. Some topics include: creating rounded characters; putting irrelevant details to work; “thisness”; simplicity; rhythm and music of prose and dialogue; style; metaphors; truth, convention, and realism; surprise and inevitability; and so much more.

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I reference this book all the time because it provides unique situations like how to write good flashbacks, and how to summarize in interesting ways without info-dumping.

Fleshing Out Characters

This book breaks down archetypes, provides insight into internal thought processes of different personality types (and “profiles” such as The Boss, The Adventurer, etc.) and demonstrates what happens when certain traits are pushed to extremes. It also diagnoses flaws like issues with intimacy, and shines light on conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Very handy tool for crafting characters who think, feel, and react differently than you.

Also from Becca and Angela: Emotional Wounds, Positive Traits, Negative Traits, Rural Settings, Urban Settings

Other Resources for the Craft

Some categories include: shapes; objects; colors; people (teeth, noses, hair, skin, eyes, etc.); clothing; tones of voice; gaits; airs, expressions, and general appearance; posture; and so much more.

  • The Cogitator’s Thesaurus (difficult to find)

Motivational Material

Incredibly liberating, Mr. Kleon reminds us there is nothing new under the sun and teaches us the correct way to rip off our heroes. (My words not his.) This book is a must-read for ANY type of creative personality. I read it about once a month or whenever I feel I need it. He also has a companion journal that I highly recommend; it’s an indispensable tool you get to look back through to hear your own brainstorming at times when you’re low.

Fellow Bloggers

These blogs are inspirational and chock-full of free (and paid) resources like workbooks, worksheets, videos, and more. Follow me @writingrasmus on Twitter for more great bloggers and writers!

My Favorite Writing Resources

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