My favourite resources about the craft of writing fiction
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Hey, fellow fiction writers (AKA people with too many imaginary friends)! There are a lot of resources out there about the craft of storytelling, because writers love to procrastinate by writing about writing, instead of whatever they're actually supposed to be working on.
Here's a hand-picked list of only my favourite resources, to help you hone in on the most useful shit.
- Stephen King's On Writing
- Anna Lamott's Bird by Bird
- Chuck Wendig's Damn Fine Story (and blog)
- Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work (and blog)
- Robert McKee's Story
- Shawn Coyne's The Story Grid (and podcast)
- Matthew Kalil's The Three Wells of Screenwriting
- Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones
- Strunk & White's Elements of Style
- Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet
Don't read Save the Cat, rather just watch one of StudioBinder's excellent YouTube videos that show how it plays out in action.
- Dan Harmon's 6-part series about the "story circle"
- Chuck Palahniuk's "nuts and bolts" essays in Lit Reactor (and a later series) - I particularly love his piece about "thought" verbs
- Emma Coats' 22 rules of storytelling from Pixar
- Reddit's r/writing and r/screenwriting both have very useful Wikis.
- Tips for writing fight scenes and weapons accurately
- A great roundup of other useful links across the web, including free online courses, writing organisations, manuscript formatting, how to find an editor/agent, and more. Many thanks to young writer Anna for suggesting this goldmine!
- Story Break
- The Tim Ferris Show (filter for episodes where he interviews writers, like this one with Joyce Carol Oates)
- The Writer's Panel
- Writing Excuses
- Panlexicon - a better thesaurus
- Bear - for digital note-taking (Apple only, soz) - update: I'm slowly moving my notes over to Obsidian
- I'm currently using Scrivener for novelwriting but I fucking hate it and am furious that nobody's invented something better yet (yes, I've tried EVERYTHING) - update: I've managed to get into a private beta trial for a webapp called First Draft Pro that is going to be the writing tool of my DREAMS once it's launched, watch this space.
- Currently using WriterDuet for screenwriting; Highland 2 is also good
- Ghost is my blog platform and email sender, Squarespace is your best option for simple websites, and Shopify is great for selling your own stuff
Got suggestions? I love suggestions! Pop me a mail.