8 Books to Help Improve Your Writing Craft

I’m a big fan of self-improvement in both my life and my writing. I love taking classes, going to talks, listening to podcasts – anything and everything that can help me glean more wisdom and knowledge. And so it stands to reason that I also love reading books about writing.

Today, I’d like to share some of my favourites with you. Over the years, these wonderful books have helped me to develop a writing routine, improve my craft and overcome self-doubt. I hope you find them equally helpful.

8 Great Books to Help You Improve Your Writing Craft

1. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande

I’ve mentioned this one before, but can’t resist mentioning it again. It’s a great little book – a classic from the 1930s, but still totally accessible today. If you want to become a writer, but keep tripping up at the first hurdle, check out this book. It has some great tips about developing both the mindset and the habit. 

2. The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters by Karl Iglesias

I love anything to do with developing good habits, and I also love reading about how other writers work. So I found this book a fascinating read. It’s also relevant even if you’re not writing screenplays, by the way. 

3. Screenwriting Updated by Linda Aronson

This is a very useful book about the craft of screenwriting. A large section is dedicated to the process of coming up with original ideas, which I find a useful reference when I’m at that stage in my writing. Aronson also writes extensively on non-linear narratives and multi-story plots, if that’s your thing. 

4. Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernit

I have to confess that I’m a big fan of romantic comedies. I’ve frequently tried my hand at the genre in the hopes of penning the next ‘When Harry Met Sally’! If you too are writing a RomCom, I highly recommend checking out this excellent book.

5. The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus

This is a must-read book for anyone trying to write comedy. It’s stuffed full of super tricks and tips. It also has a great section that helps you put the fear of failure to the back of your mind. And it’s really funny!

6. How to Write a Movie in 21 Days by Viki King

If you’re someone who worries about committing the next year of your life (or longer) to a piece of work, check out this book – it’s amazing! I followed this method some years ago, when writing one of my first ever film scripts, and it was liberating. Managing to get a whole script on paper in such a short space of time made me feel like a super hero!

In general, to be honest, I take a lot longer than 21 days, as I spend quite a lot of time planning and outlining first. But if you’re looking for that thrilling feeling of getting to the end FAST, then this book should be on your list. It’s fab

7. Making a Good Script Great by Linda Seger

Linda Seger is a well-respected Hollywood script consultant, who shares her useful insights in this great book about rewriting.However, it also has some great ideas on gathering ideas and getting started with your screenplay too.

8. Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

A wonderful, insider’s guide to Hollywood, written by hugely successful Hollywood screenwriter, William Goldman. If you’ve never read it, add this one to your list – it’s pure fun!

How about you?

I’d love to know which writing books you turn to again and again, so do let me know in the Comments below.

By the way, if there’s anything in your writing that you’re struggling with, get in touch as I might be able to address your issue in a future email.

Finally, if you find my posts helpful, you can sign up for my weekly newsletter where I share tips on all aspects of writing, productivity, habits and different ways of marketing yourself and your work.

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