My top 5 writing book recommendations (and why)
So there are a LOT of books about writing out there, and I mean a WHOLE LOT! I figured I'd simplify and break some of the books I've found most helpful along with a few honorable mentions.
#1: Fantasy Fiction Formula - Deborah Chester
This book covers so much, and gives so many good principles for writers of all genres (not just fantasy). It communicates complex concepts simply and effectively, and I honestly consider this a must-read for writers.
#2: Save the Cat - Blake Snyder
While some consider the structure the "Beat Sheet" presents as a bit too rigid, it's still well worth studying this book. While the "Beat Sheet" structure is a helpful too, in my mind, the most valuable aspect of this screenwriting book is the insights it gives on Blake's writing process.
#3: The Magic of Fiction - Beth Hill
Yes, this book is a tome, but man, it's packed with helpful information and insights on writing techniques that I often see missing in the writing I edit. It addresses critical topics that are rarely discussed like book and character point of view (POV) and also gives great insight on the micro and macro of storytelling.
#4: Stein On Writing - Sol Stein
This book is an editors take on the micro of fiction. It zooms into details of prose and best practices to make words jump on the page. If you feel comfortable with your story structure abilities, and are looking to level up the words on your pages, this is a definite recommend.
#5: From Where you Dream - Robert Olin Butler
While the whole book has great insights, the thing that brings this to the top 5 list is it's chapter on character yearning. This book is worth reading for that chapter alone. He gives fantastic insight into how to expand from a character's deepest yearning into flaws, a plot, and more.
I'll admit, many books have helped me develop on my journey as a writer, and this top five list just includes the ones that I think had the highest impact for the reading time. There are TONS more tools and resources to help you in your writing journey. Here are a few:
How To Evaluate Stories - Laurie Hutzler (All her stuff is pretty amazing)
The Screenwriter's Bible - Trottier (A must read for film & TV writers)
Anatomy of Story - John Truby (The 22 steps and 4 essentials are fantastic structural systems)