I think a lot people have my problem. Whenever my writing’s stuck or it’s just not flowing like I think it should, I throw money at the problem and buy a new writing book. A lot of these books just sit on my shelf. I’ll get them, try a few of the exercises or suggestions or follow the daily routines set out in them, but they just don’t strike the right cord. Periodically, I conduct a purge and trade them off for fiction at our local second-hand bookstore. I’m close to hitting that point again. There are a few favorites, which, if you’re at the point where money is about to be thrown, you might want to take a look:
1. Writing the Natural Way, by Gabriele Lusser Rico. This book has been updated from the edition I have. In fact, this writing book has survived a number of purges and continues to sit on my desk. Whenever I’m stuck I pull this one and start making webs with words. It hasn’t failed me yet.
2. The Nighttime Novelist, by Joseph Bates. The title on this one really spoke to me. I’m a night owl, working on my second novel and I only have short periods of time in which to write. There are some great worksheets here to help get a focus on your story and characters. I have all kinds of sticky notes and bookmarks in my copy. It’s helped me more than once to make progress on my writing.
3. Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. Story Engineering completely changed how I think about writing. I’m not sure how I managed to write my first novel without it – of course, no one published it either. I’m in the process of re-working the novel I’m currently writing and then I’m going back to tinker with the first. I keep Story Engineering on my iPad just so I have it with me – just in case.
So why do I think a lot people have my problem? Because there are so many writing books out there! Feel free to post a comment with your favorite or favorites because I’m sure to hit a dry spell again. I’m not sure throwing money at the problem helps, but when when you’re desperate – it’s worth a shot.