Monday, July 06, 2009

Craft books: Plot & Structure
By Patricia Sargeant

Have you read any good craft books lately?

I'm almost finished with Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. It offered some good insights into plotting, such as:
- The elements of a plot (lead characters, objectives, conflicts, etc.)
- Generating plot ideas
- Revision tips
- Pros and cons of outlining your stories

Each chapter ends with writing exercises based on the topic covered within that chapter. Chapter twelve also offers several common plots (e.g., revenge, quest, love) and their basic components.

Some of the information is a little rudimentary, but overall, Plot & Structure is a good writing craft book. I'm sure I'll refer to it from time to time, at least for chapter twelve.

Have you read any craft books lately? If so, would you recommend it? Why - or why not?


Rhonda McKnight said...

Plot and Structure is a good one. On my nightstand. I've been going back through it. Writing the Breakout Novel by Maas is a favorite, as is Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Deb Dixon. Excellent.

I purchased Book in A Month by Victoria somebody last winter. I don't recommend it for the author who doesn't write fulltime. Too much to do with a job. Funny thing is, I wrote a book in a month and didn't even crack open her book. Guess I already knew how. Just had to be motivated.

Patricia Sargeant said...

Hi, Rhonda! It's good to see you.

You named two of my favorites, too - Writing the Breakout Novel and Goal, Motivation and Conflict. Great books!

Did you by chance get Maas's Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook? I'm torn between starting that one next or his The Fire in Fiction.

Happy writing!


Rhonda McKnight said...

I don't do well with workbooks, too undisciplined, but I hadn't heard of the Fire in Fiction. I'll have to check that out.

GMC is one that flies under the radar, but it is the absolute best.

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