…a very good place to start. For a writer, that beginning must be story. It’s taken me a long time — three years to be exact — to recognize the importance of beginning in just the right place.
Honestly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. What I did know was narrative proved difficult for me, while reporting — writing magazine articles and nonfiction for the school and library market — came easily.
This interview with Marla Frazee, which my critique partner Julie Rowan-Zoch shared with me, began my awakening. Later, I scribbled down a list of books recommended by Tracy Holczer at SCBWI-CenCal, who said everything she needed to write Secret Hum of a Daisy, she learned with her library card. Then, library card in hand and holidays looming, I started studying.
Here’s my list of books, recommended by Tracy and others, that I found helpful enough to buy so far:
- Blake Snyder, SAVE THE CAT! and SAVE THE CAT STRIKES BACK
- Robert McKee, STORY
- Les Edgerton, HOOKED
- Jack M. Bickham, SCENE & STRUCTURE
- Donald Maass, THE FIRE IN FICTION
On my “to read” list is ART & FEAR (David Bayles), which argues that while the Mozarts and Michaelangelos exists, most art is made by normal, hardworking artists — artists like us.
Happy reading and happy 2015 everyone!
15 thoughts on “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning”
And you’ve inspired me to read all these!
And I’m sure you’ll come up with more I have to read!
That’s a great video of Marla reflecting on what it takes.
Wouldn’t it be incredible to take that class with her?
I agree, Cathy. When I saw that video, I almost cried. It is exactly how I feel. I can educate. I find storytelling difficult.
Great insight. I have been a journalist for 40 yrs, so I can completely identify with the reporting angle. Narrative is coming more easily for me. Good book selections. Wishing you the best in 2015.
Thanks Patricia! I hope you have a wonderful 2015 too. Happy writing.
Thank you for this list!
I don’t know if it fits in with what you’re currently studying, but I have found Jordan E. Rosenfeld’s MAKE A SCENE immensely helpful in my novel writing.
Oh, I will check my library and see if it’s in. Thanks, Beth!
Wow…library card in hand (or keyboard keys since I can try to reserve them online from my library), I venture out on this journey you’ve suggested, Kirsten…this is fabulous…thank you so very much for sharing. 🙂
Happy reading and writing, Vivian. If you find any other books you recommend, please let me know.
Library card and your list in hand 🙂 thank you
You are welcome, Cecilia. Happy New Year!
Thanks! I’ve been compiling my list and slowing getting through them. As a NF lover, I appreciate your picks!
Glad to hear it Beth!
Well said! 😀 That’s awesome! 😀