Books That've Helped Me Improve My Writing Part 1
I want to begin a series on RR dedicated to all the books that have helped me with my writing journey so far, and I thought I'd share it with you.
The first book in this series will be Les Edgerton's HOOKED.
HOOKED is a book that details the importance of grabbing your readers' attention with the first line. This is especially important if you're trying to traditionally publish your novel. Publishing houses don't have time to mess about considering they receive thousands upon thousands of manuscripts each day. It is our responsibility as writers that our first line really "hooks" the attention of a potential agent, editor, and/or fan from the moment they read the first line. The competition is fierce so it's imperative we make it count off the jump.
HOOKED also provides a plethora of examples from best-selling novels AND even gives you an insight from editors on what exactly they look for when reading a manuscript.
Key things to remember:
Your opening scene involves four (4) primary components.
1. The inciting incident
2. The story-worthy problem
3. The initial surface problem
4. The Setup
HOOKED goes through all four of those and more in full detail. I highly recommend it and I hope it serves you a great service as it did with me.
Happy reading and writing my friends!
All the best.
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by Strunk & White
All four of these books are pretty cool, with Save the Cat being great for structure. I think Stephen King's is a good starting point to understand some concepts, and finally, The Elements of Style is a great resource for grammar and stylistic advice.
There's also a lot of resources that improve craft outside of books.
Writing Excuses is a fantastic podcast run by different published authors, whom often have guests that are in the industry. Even including editors and publishers from time to time. Or agents. It has topics that range all across the spectrum of writing that I think is really insightful and provide good advice to consider.
Along those lines, Brandon Sanderson has a rather famous free lecture available online that I think most people in writing circles know about.
Other than that, for some nontraditional sources of advice on writing or craft, I find some nonfiction books to be pretty good at considering how to build characters in a realistic sense.
The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene is pretty good.
Art of War by Sun Tzu helps to develop tactical characters and warfare in larger-scope novels.
I suspect there are plenty of examples that fall into this category I have yet to read.