Authors showcase features two classic books on the craft of writing
July 17, 2013
Like many of you, I suspect, when I made the decision to get serious about writing, I bought and studied every book I could find about the craft of writing.
That exercise was a two-edged sword because if a person does that he soon realizes that instruction books for authors are all over the board. They share some common characteristics, but they also contradict each other.
Right off the bat, the would-be author finds “experts” giving him conflicting advice.
I was fortunate enough to find a writing coach who chimed in on the subject of how to write books.
“When it comes to books about writing there is only one book I could recommend,” he said.
That book was Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey.
Here is the product description from Amazon:
See why this book has become an international best seller and a true classic. The Writer’s Journey explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling in a clear, concise style that’s made it required reading for movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, scholars, and fans of pop culture all over the world. The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and man himself.
Those of you familiar with the work realize that it is a treatment of Joseph Campbell’s seminal book on mythology The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
So that’s the book my mentor recommended.
The other book I like better than the rest in the how to write genre is less esoteric and presents more of an anecdotal approach to the writing craft.
It is Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell.
Here’s the blurb:
Bestselling novelist David Morrell provides insights and advice learned during thirty years of writing and selling novels–insider secrets that are sure to help writers achieve the next level of literary success, whether they’re just beginning or already published! With captivating anecdotes and thoughtful discussion, Morrell explores the basics of the writing craft, from structure and character to dialogue and style, allowing readers to look into the mind of an internationally-known bestselling novelist. He also examines how to get published, the business of writing and the steps for getting fiction translated into film.
Just in case you don’t recognize Morrell’s name, just think one word Rambo. Or as his author page puts it:
David Morrell (born April 24, 1943 in Kitchener, Ontario) is a Canadian-American novelist, best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become the successful Rambo film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 26 languages. He also wrote the 2007-2008 Captain America comic book miniseries The Chosen.
One of the reasons I like Morrell’s book so much is because in it he discusses the years of struggle that transpired behind the scenes before Rambo became a household word.
So there you have it, two books on the writing craft. I am sure many of you have your own favorite books on writing.
I’d love to know what they are.