Every one of the books below provides unique techniques and point-of-views on what makes a successful story. This list of books has been instrumental in Laura's writing journey in one way or another, and will continue to over time.

Based off of the screenwriting book, Save the Cat!, this book uses the same "beat sheet" but gears it specifically towards novelists.

By: Jessica Brody

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel


King's first book after being hit by a van in 1999 starts out highlighting events in his life that lead to him being the author he is today, followed by tools every writer should have in their "toolbox".

By: Stephen King

On Writing


A fresh and insightful technique of story telling that focuses on the characters' emotional and moral growth and how that will drive the plot forward.

By: John Truby

The Anatomy of Story


Not a how-to, but more of an inside look of the life of a writer. This book contains essays penned by Annie Dillard describing the ups and downs that inevitably come with her profession.

By: Annie Dillard

The Writing Life


A workbook of writing exercises based off of Maass's writing workshops. It also includes dissections of actual "breakout novels" to help writers learn to analyze stories like a writer.

By: Donald Maass

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook


An actor's perspective on 'character' and ways to apply acting techniques in your writing.

By: Brandilyn Collins

Getting Into Character


An easy-to-navigate tool for efficiently expressing a character's emotions through body language, action cues, etc

By: Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The Emotion Thesaurus


Down-to-earth writing advice from Anne Lamott's own journey as a writer. It's a book full of wisdom, vulnerability, and humor.

By: Anne Lamott

Bird By Bird


A quick but impactful read on cultivating creativity. This book is broken up into 10 sections describing different principles to help with your creative process.

By: Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist


A nice guide for new writers looking to learn the basic building blocks of what makes a "good" story.

By: James Scott Bell

Plot & Structure


An oldie, but a goodie. This book is a great tool when it's time to do fine-tuning and tighten prose.

By: William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White

The Elements of Style


Developed by editor Shawn Coyne, this extensive book provides a detailed map of how an editor recognizes when something isn't working in a story, and then provides the tools to find a solution.

By: Shawn Coyne

The Story Grid


A book full of inspiration and empowerment to live the creative life you've always dreamed of.

By: Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic


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