My Favorite Books for Writers (and a Scrivener template)
STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE by Steven James
— A rare book that doesn't preach outlining or demand strict structure. I also enjoyed his take on character- vs. plot-driven stories. Ultimately, he has very strong ideas about the elements and escalation of a good book, but his approach is more flexible, and he doesn’t shame you for not having the entire story figured out in advance. Pantsers/hybrids will probably appreciate this one more than die-hard plotters.
CONSIDER THIS by Chuck Palahniuk
— This book is part memoir, part really interesting writing advice. Palahniuk is the author of Fight Club, so expect some uncomfortable stories. Fans of On Writing by Stephen King (also good!) will probably enjoy this one.
STORY GENIUS by Lisa Cron
— A great, in-depth approach to creating a compelling story based on how your readers' brains are wired (for more, see Lisa Cron's WIRED FOR STORY). I also created a Scrivener template for this book's process that you can download and install: Story Genius.scrivtemplate. For more on using Scrivener for the Story Genius process, and instructions for installing the template, check out my post on Writer Unboxed.
THE EMOTION THESAURUS by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
— An incredible resource for using nonverbal cues to deepen the emotion in your story. A must-have resource for any writer. Read about their old online version here. They've also added a subscription website called One Stop for Writers that has all of their fantastic resources in one place, including a bunch more useful thesauri.
BOOKBUB ADS EXPERT by David Gaughran
— Before I read this book I had no idea how to even start with BB ads. Not because the platform is difficult, but because I didn't know how to use the tool effectively. Gaughran provides a step-by-step approach to strategy, testing, and ad design that helped me figure out how to develop and execute a plan. He supplements with up-to-date online resources as well. Highly recommended.
PLOT & STRUCTURE by James Scott Bell
— Another good book on understanding plot and story structure, brainstorming, choosing story ideas, and more.
THE ART OF WAR FOR WRITERS by James Scott Bell
— Motivation and advice in short bursts, based on Sun Tzu.
OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL by K.M. Weiland
— A great little book for easing you into outlining (which I don't do, but I envy, lol).
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK by Donald Maass
— Helps you write the unexpected, and strengthen your characters and storyline.
— I love this thesaurus that lets you search by concept or topic, not just word.