Writing Craft Books – Recent Purchases to Recommend

I just indulged and bought a small passel of writing craft books and I thought I’d share them with y’all.

The Literary Enneagram: Characters from the Inside Out

As entertaining as it is illuminating, THE LITERARY ENNEAGRAM offers a fresh version of the standard “Great Books” course, using characters from literature to show the inner dynamics of the nine Enneagram personality types and their variations

I discovered the Enneagram for myself a little over a year ago and immediately began reading up on it to use to help with characterization. Then I discovered this, which is perfect for me. Just started it yesterday, and so far has been very illuminating. Very helpful in developing the character arc and emotional range of your characters.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression

One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character’s emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them. This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.

I began using their website back when I first discovered it in 2009 and am so delighted to finally have this in book form for easy reference. I just got it, so haven’t had a chance to peek inside, but my only wish with the website was that they had more examples of what these emotions feel like on the inside. A lot of times the entries only relate what the observable body language is, which the main POV character can’t usually know if we’re writing in Deep POV. The book may have more of this.

What To Do Before Your Book Launch

What To Do Before Your Book Launch is a guide for authors, covering everything from working with your publisher, to reading in public, to help for publicity and marketing, to using (and misusing) social media, to how to dress for your author photo…and far more, including cautionary tales, worksheets, timelines and etiquette tips.

I wasn’t sure if this would live up to the description, but it was definitely worth the purchase price! I haven’t yet been through this stage, so can’t say how accurate it is, but it seems to be very helpful in explaining what to expect, even getting into tips on how to pose for your author photo. Lots of scary cautionary tales as well!

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View

Dear Novelist: Would you like your readers to live your stories, not merely read them? Deep Point of View anchors your readers inside the point of view character(s) of your novel. This handbook shows you how to perform the transformation from ordinary narrative to deep narrative in clear, easy-to-master steps. I invite you to sweep your writing to the next level with a technique that creates immediacy and intimacy with your readers and virtually eliminates show/don’t tell issues. My Best to You, Jill

Again, I wasn’t sure about this one, but it was worth it. Most of the stuff I already knew, but man was I craving such a craft book over a year ago when I was first struggling with understanding Deep POV. For those still trying to learn it, I would definitely recommend this. Each chapter ends in recommended exercises. For those unpublished writers already familiar with it, it would be helpful for the review and for perhaps one or two subtle points. As I said, most I already knew, but there were a few nuances, with examples, that definitely helped me.

What recent writing craft purchases have you made? Are you a total dork about buying them like I am? I love ‘em. What’s your favorite?

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6 Comments

  1. Nancy

     /  October 31, 2012

    I have two shelves worth of craft books, though I don’t have the ones you bought. The deep POV might be interesting. However, I find that I do not learn writing lessons well just by reading about them. I have books on GMC, POV and giving characters emotions but I find it easier to understand the arcane system of Regency law that to understand how to put the precepts of the books into actual practice. Part of my problem might stem from the fact that I really prefer reading mysteries to reading most romances. The characters in mysteries are usually slightly detatched and usually in 3rd person unless a first person one.
    As for exercises and assignments on books– they don’t do much good unless there is someone to show you your errors.
    I recently had a work critiqued. It wasn’t fum but I learned more from that than I had from the books. Just have to be sure the one doing the critique knows what she is doing.
    Quite often the authors of books on craft use examples from books and movies I haven’t read or seen. Doesn’t do me much good.

    Reply
  2. Those are some great choices. One book that really got me going was Immediate Fiction. It was mentioned in two of the classes at nationals.

    Reply
  3. Great post. Yes, I’m a sucker for craft books, always searching for something that will somehow illuminate something I didn’t even know I was looking for. I really did like the “Plot Whisperer” – more after I’d read it and it had time to settle and curdle in my head. “Heroes and Heroines” describing the different character archetypes is another I couldn’t resist, and sometimes inspires a character idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. Very timely. I need “What To Do Before Your Book Launch” right now!
    Thanks!
    ~ Gina

    Reply
  5. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m off to the bookstore now, so I’m hoping they’ll have at least one! I’m reading Conflict, Action, & Suspense right now . . . pretty good so far!

    Reply

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