Purple Prose + writerly books

Expanding Beyond Your Genre (and meet Brad Pitt)

As writers, we’re constantly reminded to read outside our genre(s). Certain genres are character-based while others focus on plot. If you read predominantly plot-based stories, you’re missing out on an opportunity to see how others develop characters readers love to connect with. Romance, young adult, and horror are a few genres that rely heavily on emotions. Thrillers and suspense are perfect examples for solid pacing. By reading other genres, it will help you further develop your craft, plus they might trigger ideas to use within your stories.

But what about craft books on writing? Have you explored books that don’t focus solely on writing novels and short stories?

We’re all familiar with Writer’s Digest. My bookshelves are crammed full of craft books from the publisher (yeah, I have a little addiction issue). But last year, I discovered a publisher most of us aren’t familiar with—unless you’ve read Save the Cat! by Blake Synder. Michael Wiese Production publishes tons of books that focus on TV and film, and many of these deal with topics relevant to novelists.

The following are books that now live on my bookshelf (all which I love):

Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need by Blake Synder (I recently ordered the sequel Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into ... and Out of at Elana Johnson’s recommendation. It's in the mail.)

(Seriously, how can you resist this cover????)

Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story by Jen Grisanti

Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath by Dr. Linda Seger

Symbols, Images, Codes: The Secret Language of Meaning in Film, TV, Games, and Visual Media by Pamela Jaye Smith

Inner Drives: How to Write & Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation by Pamela Jaye Smith

Have you read any craft books geared toward screenwriters?

(So what does Brad Pitt have to do with this? Nothing. But it got you to look, right? And maybe if you study these books and take up writing screenplays, you might just meet him when you pen his Oscar winning movie. Hey, you never know.)

book, bookshelf, characterization, emotion, love, movie, Novel, plotting, screenwriting, subtext, symbolism, and more:

Expanding Beyond Your Genre (and meet Brad Pitt) + writerly books