Zen and Art of Writing
by Ray Bradbury
From the world famous author of The Martian Chronicles, Farenheit 451 and countless other great, great works of fiction, this is his book of essays about inspiration and how to ‘feed your muse’ as a creative artist..Not only that but each essay is a time capsule of treasures from Ray Bradbury’s past, all freely shared to help illustrate his point.
Half way through the first essay I was hooked, and while I’ve thankfully never struggled to come up with fresh ideas for my writing, I must admit this book made stop taking that creativity for granted.
The Writer’s Journey, Mythic structure for writers
by Christopher Vogler
If studied any kind of literature at a University level then you’ll have come across a number of theories about story and narrative like there are only so many (7 was the number bandied around in my classes) unique stories in the world, only so many different types of character or persona etc Most of which I must admit to thinking of just filler.
Christopher Vogler’s book doesn’t go anywhere near that, what he focuses on are the elements within great stories that are consistent, not just the obvious plot structure, but the story arcs and elements of the individual characters, the need for a hero to undergo a transformation before they can succeed.
I found the ideas in this book incredibly helpful in coalescing my intuitive understanding of the subject, and there are sections that I know i’ll return to time again. But, this isn’t a coffee table book, or a half hour read that will magically transform your writing. This is a foundation text upon which to build your understanding of the craft.
Its long and detailed, with many really good examples, but it does demand time to study and think about.