I have read a ton of books related to the process of writing, from generating ideas, to character development, plot outlines and a premise – to editing, rewriting, polishing and publishing. Honestly I could have filled a small room with them.
Though I can’t say that any particular book, advice or sage words changed my life considerably, I have taken bits and pieces from them and developed my own style. It’s an individual thing, this writing lark, there isn’t just one size fits all. So these are my top four favourite of all time which I would definitely save from fire or flood if need be.
The Morning Pages, by Julia Cameron has to come top of my list. I refer to this system many times as it’s my kind of daily mantra. Before I do anything else, I pick up a fountain pen and journal and just let spill forth. It could be about writing, or life or whatever is bugging me at that moment. It sets up my day.
How to Write a Novel using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. I’ve read everything there is out there on plot, and this one just clicks with me. Randy uses a very familiar fairy tale, well a mix of them, to demonstrate the steps required to build a story. And, for me, it works every time.
From 2k to 10k Words by Rachel Aaron. Again, this is not a book which shares any hidden secrets on the world of writing. There isn’t a hidden formula, it’s down to the writer to make it happen and the advice here does what it says on the can. What more can I say?
Writing a Novel in Scrivener by David Hewson. Scrivener is my favourite piece of software. I probably still don’t know more that a quarter of its capabilities but this book is a great place to start.