Lately, I've been checking out some of the Facebook author groups I belong to, to see whom I can help. As I've been commenting on people's posts, I've realized that a lot of my advice comes from some of my favorite books—some about writing, some not.
So I thought I'd share my author library with you today. 😊
The Save the Cat! series by Blake Snyder and others
While most of these books are about screenwriting specifically, their points about story structure work in any medium. Following Snyder's tips has made my work so much stronger. (In fact, there's now a book called Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, which I'm looking forward to reading.)
The Writers Helping Writers series by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
These books, which I've mentioned in previous emails, are super helpful when I'm struggling with showing instead of telling. Some of the books offer writing prompts, but they focus on providing lots of ideas for ways to describe emotions; how certain personality traits can benefit and/or cause trouble for characters; what kinds of objects, people, and sensory information might be present in a given setting; what effects the shard of glass/wound + lie might have on a character's psychology and choices; and how conditions such as illness or addiction might affect a character's emotions and behavior.
The People Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman
This book provides the most convincing personality theory I've ever encountered. (Seriously. I'm a Blue, and almost everything he says about Blues describes me to a T.) The author describes four different personality types, each with its own core motive, strengths and limitations, needs and wants, and ways of getting along with the other types. The book includes a test so you can find your own type; I also run the test on every major character in my stories. It's all incredibly helpful for writing characters who aren't like me.
What books do you have in your author library? Comment below!
(Thanks to Vladimir Mokry for sharing their work on Unsplash.)