One Craft Book I Can’t Live Without

Posted by annastan on January 22nd, 2014. Filed under: Books, Craft, WIP, Writing Process.

I know I’ve mentioned The Anatomy of Story by John Truby before, but I need to sing its praises one more time. Since I first read it a couple years ago, it’s become the one book on craft that I can’t live without. It’s helped me out of some serious plotting jams, and it worked its magic again yesterday when I found myself stuck on my current project (the third book in the Dirt Diary series).

When I first start figuring out a book, I usually sit down with Truby’s tome and use it to help guide me through the main conflicts and turning points in the story. But this time around, I realized that my story had evolved so much since I’d first started planning it that I had to go back and redo the list I’d already made.

As I was doing this, I realized why I was so stuck. The character’s goal didn’t evolve over the course of the story; she was just doing the same thing over and over again. Boring! Once I realized that, I thought about ways to escalate the conflict in order to force her to adjust her goals and take more interesting action.

I’m glad I’m finally back on track. Now…back to writing!

What craft book can you not live without?

7 Responses to One Craft Book I Can’t Live Without

  1. Marisa

    This is my FAVORITE craft book!! I sing it’s praises to EVERYONE (and haha, actually, just finished singing it’s praises in an email to a CP just this morning!!!)

    Great book, and I’m so glad to see it shouted from the rooftops of your blog! :)

  2. Christine Sarmel

    Awesome ~ haven’t read this one and now’s a really good time for a little craft reading. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Mirka Breen

    Sold! (I think maybe I should not live without this book also)

  4. Karen Strong

    This is a good book. I may need to crack this one open again. One craft book I really like is MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER by Elizabeth Lyon. Full of gems.

  5. Marcia Strykowski

    Thanks for the tip! I haven’t read a book on craft in quite a while.

  6. Crystal Collier

    I’ve heard of this one, but haven’t read it yet. Buying now… So far my favorite is either Hooked, Plot & Structure, or Save the Cat…and maybe Self Editing for Fiction Writers. Seriously, I could scream about 5 others I ADORE, but this is getting long… Thanks for the rec!

  7. Ruth Schiffmann

    John Truby’s book has helped me a lot with my WIP as well. Another great one is Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass. My daughter picked it up for me for Christmas. It’s definitely one I’m glad I own. I’m sure I’ll go back to it often.