Sunday, July 1, 2018

Six Helpful Books Every Author Should Read

As authors, we always need to improve on the craft of storytelling in order to become the best storytellers we can be. A large part of improving our skills involves self-education and professional development.  

I believe I wouldn't have gained half of my storytelling skills if I'd not invested so much time in gaining education and sound instruction early on in my career.  Through my self-teaching journey, I've studied some books that helped me in awesome ways. 

As a result, I was able to write my first novel and novella. Both of my stories received glowing feedback from my editor, feedback that was not easily earned.

Now I want to share with you a list of books on the craft of writing, along with some commentary about them, that set my writing career on a successful trajectory. These resources can help you set your writing career on a profitable path. 

So, without further delay, here they are:

- Wired For Story by Lisa Cron. This is the number one greatest book an author at any level can read.  I credit this book to making my writing career. I've read it book at least eighteen times, and studied it intensely. In fact, I've read it so many times, I could quote entire paragraphs from this book.

My recommendation about Wired For Story is for you to buy it, then read it twenty times or more.


If you never buy any other writing craft book, buy this one. You'll be glad you did.

- Story Genius by Lisa Cron.  This is the second greatest book an author at any level can read. This book unlocks so many great truths about writing that are discussed in Wired For Story, and gives striking clarity to them. I've read this book fifteen times. And I got to the point where I could quote entire paragraphs of it. 

My recommendation about Story Genius is to memorize it word for word, just like Wired For Story. But if at all possible, read and study Wired For Story before you read this book. You'll get a lot more out of it if you do. This book, along with Wired For Story, will revolutionize the way you approach storytelling.

- Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. This is the third greatest book an author at any level can read.  If you've ever struggled with knowing that your story needs structure, but having no clue how to structure it, Save The Cat can help.  This book targets primarily screenwriters, but writers of all types can benefit from the wealth of information it provides. By reading Save The Cat, you'll learn a lot about the effect that a well structured story will have on readers. You'll also learn a lot about the ins and outs of Hollywood. 

My recommendation is to study this book intensely. Know its story structure principles backward and forward. Then, implement them into your story creation process. 

- Save The Cat Strikes Back by Blake Snyder. This is Mr. Snyder's follow up book to Save The Cat. This book goes even more into detail about story structure, and perfecting your story.

My recommendation for this book is to study it intensely, just like every other book on this list. It is truly a great read.

- Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It) by Janice Hardy. Like many writers, I struggled to wrap my head around the old "show, don't tell" adage.  For a long time, I didn't understand the real meaning of it.  This book explained "show, don't tell" in a way that really stuck. This book is far and away the best book I'd ever read on the concept of "show, don't tell". I was finally able to not only understand it, but how to implement in my stories.

So,here you are--five valuable books on the craft of writing you absolutely must read if you're serious about being an author. I hope you get as much out of them as I have.

Happy reading,

L. R. Farren  
Author of The Dangerous Way Home

P. S. - Oh, and let's not forget to read my young adult novel From Bad Girl To Worse. Then, you can see how I implemented all the awesome principles that I gleaned from the other books on this list, and put them to use in writing a compelling story. 

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