Early in my journey to become a literary god, I accepted the fact that I’d need to consume a lot of information to learn my stuff. Which was totally fine by me. I’m firmly in the ‘we’re always learning and growing’ camp. It was nice to grow my mind, and now I can say that I’m an expert. It’s sure nice for my ego.
I put together this list for you. These are all the non-fiction books I’ve read and loved about writing/story telling. The first five are my go-to recommendations for anyone looking to learn more about storytelling.
- Techniques of the Selling Writer By Dwight V. Swain.
This is my most favorite book. Swain does such an amazing job describing the fundamentals of story/ character construction. I ended up highlighting entire pages because there was so much good stuff packed in these pages!
- Story Engineering By Larry Brooks.
This book breaks down the core competencies of story construction. And it was such an eye-opening approach to story organization. I also really enjoyed his writing style.
- Hero With a Thousand Faces By Joseph Campbell.
Wow, wow, wow. This book is a classic for so many reasons. Campbell packed loads of information on packed on every page, and this book establishes him as a rockstar of fiction writing. This book should be a staple of anyone wanting to venture into the world of storytelling.
- The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr
Sweet pancakes. This book! It’s this sort of totally weird combo of psychology, story-ology (is that a word?), and neuroscience. And I’m not even joking. I was completely astounded how much I loved this book and how much I actually got from it. Like seriously, there were some sections that I highlighted completely because it had so much good information packed into it. You should like totally read it, while eating pancakes.
- Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling by Pixar.
Not a book, but gold nonetheless. These 22 rules by the Pixar guys are priceless. Basically, they contain all you really need to know about storytelling. They’re a complete look into a well-fashioned story, and that makes sense considering Pixar makes the best movies!
250 Things to Know About Writing: Chuck Wendig
500 Ways to Tell A Better Story: Chuck Wendig
25 Things to Know About Suspense and Tension: Chuck Wendig
25 Things to Know About Your Story: Chuck Wendig
Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer: Roy Peter Clark.
The Elements of Style: William Strunk Jr.
Dynamic Story Creation in Plain English by Maxwell Alexander Drake
Creating Character Arcs: KM Weiland
Structuring Your Novel: KM Weiland
5 Secrets of Story Structure: KM Weiland
Story Grid: What Good Editors Know: Shawn Coyne
Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling: Larry Brooks
Story Engineering: Larry Brooks
The Bestsellers Code: Jodie Archer and Matthew L Jockers
The Writers Journey: Joseph Campbell
The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell
Plot & Structure: James Scott Bell
Writing with Emotion and Conflict: Cheryl St. John
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy: Orson Scott Card
Characters and Viewpoints: Orson Scott Card
Writing to Sell: Scott Meredith
Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene: Paula Munier
Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story through Action, Emotion and Theme: Martha Alderson, Jordan Rosenfeld
Writing the Breakout Novel: Donald Maass
Write Great Fiction- Plot and Structure: James Scott Bell
This is just the tip of the iceberg, because I’m totally a believer in continuing education. So I’ll be adding to this list as I find and read new books!
Now, go forth and write!