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Reading Roundup: My favorite books about writing

Every time I start writing a new book, I go through a dismal phase around 20% of the way into a draft where I think, this is not happening, I have no idea how to write this, I can't do it. I've written enough books at this point to know that it will pass, but since it's not my first rodeo, I know that craft books can sometimes be the catalyst to getting through this rough patch. So without further ado, here are my go-to books when I'm struggling with a new story.



Okay, Story Genius is the bomb. I credit this book and it's "genius" with helping me write Meet Me in Paradise. Key points: you need an electric heartline running through your book and everything should matter and be connected to the electric line. There's a case study! Oh case studies, love those. And handy templates. I go back to this book again and again.


Save the Cat is quintessential and I think it is worth a read for any budding, struggling, not struggling novelist.

This book is an oldie but a goodie. Honestly, I think I bought this when I was in grad school dreaming of being an author, and that was a very long time ago. Stein on Writing is a great craft book about writing well. More about vivid characters and descriptions and language than plot.

What can I say about Anne Lamott other than the fact that she's Anne Lamott and anything she says about writing is insightful and authentic. I feel like Bird by Bird is more about being an artist and writer as a human than about the writing itself, but it is one of my favorites when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Last but not least is Romancing the Beat--if you're writing romance, this book can't be beat. See what I did there? It's a fast read and chock full of information. A real roadmap to writing romance.


What are you favorite books about writing?

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