Announcement: #StoryCraft Book Chat

In #storycraft a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that, once every 6 weeks or so, we discuss a writing book in #storycraft chat – like a book club. I’ve had a few people respond positively (with book ideas, too) and no-one respond negatively, so I figure the ayes have it.
When we’ve had a little time for discussion and suggestion, I’ll put a Book Club page on this blog with a schedule and I’ll fill it in at least couple of books in advance. I’ll post an announcement of each book 6 weeks beforehand with as many links to reviews of it that I can find, for those who have the time to do a little more prep. than just reading the book. I’ll also do a quick pointer post for any reviews that #StoryCrafters may write in the weeks leading up to the chat, as I receive notice of them, and will add a digest of links in the intro to the transcript of each Book Chat.

The question that remains is: Which Books?

Your Suggestions

Obviously, I’d love to get ideas from you about which books to discuss (and add to my library, heehee.) So, if you could comment below with Title, Author and, if possible, Amazon link, that would be great. If you’ve read or written a review about it on a blog or site, please do link that as well.


The success or failure of the book club will depend on how many people are able to get their hands on the book and read it before the chat, so the more accessible the book, the better. Many writing books (particularly those by agents lol) are unavailable in eBook format, but worth reading, so I will make sure there is plenty of time for us to source the print editions whether buying them by post or arranging inter-library loans. Also, I’m in Australia, and I will be reading them before I put them on the schedule, so whether I have to wait for it to come by post or can whisk it to my Android tablet will effect how quickly it gets on the list.

If anyone thinks getting the books within the 6 week period will be a struggle and that an extra week would make a difference (I’m particularly thinking about those of you who will be going through libraries and inter-library loans etc.…) please do let me know.

Remember, it’s #StoryCRAFT

I’m going to be fairly disciplined about the books we do being about the work, rather than the writer, because that’s why #StoryCraft exists – there are plenty of places to talk about ourselves as writers, not many to discuss the craft. While books like Betsy Learner’s The Forest for the Trees are invaluable (mine sits permanently in easy reach on my desk, next to my thesaurus), I’d prefer that we focus on the ‘craft’ side of things with books like Noah Lukeman’s A Dash of Style or Donald Maas’ The Fire in Fiction. Not to say we’ll never do any books about ‘the writer’ but I’d rather make it 10:1, in the same way that I occasionally set ‘writer’s block’ or ‘getting it done’ as a topic for a chat.

So, there we go. I do hope those of you who usually DM or email me with your comments and suggestions will be brave enough to comment directly but if not, I’ll post the ideas anonymously for you, as I’d like to see if they garner any response.

As always, Happy Writing!


11 comments on “Announcement: #StoryCraft Book Chat”
  1. I haven’t really read a writing in years but I would love to see some detailed discussions of Stephen King’s On Writing. I’ve heard that aside from the biographical parts it’s pretty good! I might even go out and buy one, lol!


    1. I’m not sure how detailed we can get on a twitter chat but we can try. On the list (gives me a reason to boot up Mobipocket reader again to re-read this one.)


  2. Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a good choice. I just found my copy. I think “How I Write” by Janet Evanovich is good too.


  3. I haven’t read On Writing and would appreciate the motivation to do so.
    Other suggestions, in no particular order:
    * Creating Character Emotions, Ann Hood. (my review: )
    * Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin.


    1. lol Yes, On Writing is on the list (probably will be first) Would appreciate some other suggestions, too 🙂


  4. I swear by Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham, Writers Digest Books. Nancy Kress’s Beginnings, Middles, and Ends is also a good solid book to help you get through the rough parts.


    1. Thanks for the suggestions!I recently finished the first and just added the second to my Amazon cart, today. I’ll read it asap.


    Success and How to Avoid It by Mat Coward
    This book is more about the getting published and surviving financially as a freelance writer but it is one of the few books on writing I could get my teeth in.
    It doesn’t contain any writing exercises though so may not be what you are looking for!


    1. Hi Sarah,You are right, it’s not really what we’re looking for – not because it has no exercises but because it’s about the ‘biz’ instead of the craft. Thanks, though.


  6. says:

    I’ve been reading a LOT of writing books lately, so here are a couple of my favorites:
    I know the author is a bit controversial, but I thought How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey (—Step/dp/0312010443/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300058750&sr=1-1) had a lot of good advice in it.
    My other favorite book is Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain ( It’s an oldie but a goodie.


    1. I have the first on my desk atm, it arrived last week. I’ll pop it on the list! The second I’ll have a quick look at, if it’s more craft than biz, I’ll order it and give it a read.Thanks@


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