Writing Craft Resources
*All links go to Amazon.com but many of these resources can be found elsewhere. These are NOT affliate links.
In no particular order, these are resources which I have found helpful, or others have highly recommended.
Any of the Writing Thesauri by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
- The Emotional Wound Thesaurus
- The Negative Trait Thesaurus
- The Positive Trait Thesaurus
- The Emotion Thesaurus
- The Urban Setting Thesaurus
- The Rural Setting Thesaurus
Story Trumps Structure by Steven James
This is a great book to help you look at your story in a new light and to ask questions that really push your story to the next level. This is the first book I’ve seen that is really great for pansters, but it is also great for plotters.
What I love about this resource is how easy it is to read. I simply read one entry a day/night and I glean so much information from this resource. I like to highlight, so a print version is what I prefer, but the e-book has links you can click within the book.
Goal Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
By far one of the best resources I have stumbled upon for developing my story and characters is Debra Dixon’s book GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict. It is a short read, understandable, filled with examples, and easy to apply. I bought the Kindle Version from Amazon, but if you prefer a hard copy, visit: Gryphon Books For Writers.
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
This a great resource for working with a manuscript or story idea to really make it a standout novel. My writing group is currently working through the workbook and I have found it to be invaluable. The lessons are really short and have relevant exercises at the end of each lesson.
The Story Equation by Susan May Warren
This has become the quintessential strategy for developing your story starting with character development. Before writing any story, I now start with the SEQ, or Story Equation. I promise there is no math involved, but it will propel you to write the absolute best story you can.
Caroline Myss’s Archetype Cards
These are a great tool for examining your character’s possible archetypes and developing well-rounded characters that have universal patterns your readers will identify with. Check out my blog post about it here.
This is a fantastic break down of 8 hero and 8 heroine archetypes, giving examples of their qualities, flaws, occupations, styles, and relationships with the other archetypes. I have begun using it during my initial character development process.
Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell
James Scott Bell has many wonderful resources, but this one is my favorite. It is a really short read and helps to really create a powerful story that follows the structure of good movies and books. I often pair it with Susie’s book above. The two create a powerful punch.
Around the Writer’s Block by Roseanne Bane
Bane’s three-part plan, which has improved the productivity of thousands of writers, helps you develop new reliable writing habits, rewire the brain’s responses to the anxiety of writing, and turn writing from a source of stress and anxiety into one of joy and personal growth.
Trouble Shooting Your Novel by Steven James
In this hand-on, easy-to-use guide, award-winning author Steven James provides helpful techniques and checklists, timesaving tricks of the trade, and hundreds of questions for manuscript analysis and revision.
Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland
By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.
Outlining Your Novel Box Set by K.M. Weiland
These bestselling guides will help you choose the right type of outline to unleash your creativity, guide you in brainstorming plot ideas, and aid you in discovering your characters.