Seven Fab Advice Books for Writers
One of the best tips for any aspiring writer is to read, read and read some more. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, the very act of absorbing words will help inform your own process. That said, sometimes something with a little more guidance can be helpful and that’s why we’ve drawn together a few books that are great for getting you started and for getting the engine going again when you’re stalling creatively.
by John Mullen
Breaking down a selection of extracts from notable novels (including Monica Ali's Brick Lane, J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, Don DeLillo's Underworld, Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and more), Mullen gives us a good look at the components that go into making long form fiction work.
by John Yorke
Excellent reading for screenwriters (as well as anyone who’s keen to dig into the why’s and why not’s of plot), Yorke takes Shakespeare’s five-act approach to structure and looks at how it plays out over storytelling in all narrative forms – from film to theatre and novels.
This classic book is a great choice for anyone who’s either new to playwrighting or who is in need of some prompts to get them back into the groove. It covers really important ground like building relationships with audiences and actors as well as tips for understanding the physical space of the stage.
Not so much a book about writing as a book that helps you get to grips with the realities of being a writer, this is a funny and precise piece of prose packed with interesting observations from a former editor in New York’s top publishing houses.
Thomas covers a whole host of different topics in this engaging read. With years of lecturing on creative writing at University of Kent behind her, Thomas takes the reader through everything from narrative mode to the eight basic storylines in a way sure to fire up enthusiasm.
Master of the theory and nuance behind making comics, Scott McCloud’s follow up to the excellent Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics is a fantastic resource that gets right into the nooks and crannies of comic creation, from the broadest principles to the sharpest details.
Edited by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs
Following the structure of a twelve week creative writing course, this is a chunky and practical book with advice and exercises from 40 different writers. Yes, you read that right, 40. So there’s sure to be a nugget or two in there for everyone.
For more reading inspiration, be sure to check out our book lists.
Title image by congerdesigns, Pixaby