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IWSG August - Being Crafty

 This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for August 2021.

Alex's awesome co-hosts this month

 PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, 

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


August question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

I'm gonna be a real rebel this month. 

I chose to answer only the first part of the question, because I rarely read craft books more than once. And I'm going to break the rules by listing more than one.

Save The Cat by Blake Snyder

(I also have the STC for writers version on my e-reader, but I haven't read it yet.)

This is the book I'm most likely to go back to an re-read, at least parts of it. I also use a STC-style beat sheet to polish my plots. I got the worksheet from Jami Gold.

Other books that have helped me on my writing journey are:

Self-Editing For Fiction Writers by Browne & King

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
(This one may make you want to self-publish *gasp*, but it will save you time and trouble if you decide to pursue a traditional publisher.)

I have also gleaned a wealth of knowledge from blog posts and critique partners--probably as much or more than I've gleaned from books.

One book on my shelf that I haven't read yet is The Art of War for Writers by James Scot Bell. I hear it's good.

Thanks for visiting. :)


IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering  support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list


  1. I've read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and The First Five Pages many times. I like a different version of Save the Cat. It's Save the Cat for Writers.

    1. I have that, too, in ebook form. Need to read it.

  2. The self-editing book has been on several lists today.

    1. It's a good one and doesn't only cover spelling and grammar editing. It has much more.

  3. I have now seen a repeat of Save the Cat, it must be a good one.

    1. That's another one I have (in ebook form) that I haven't read yet.

  4. I don't own Techniques of the Selling Writer, but I do all the rest! Great list. One I definitely agree with.

    When I was writing up my blog post, I wanted to include the web resources I refer back to a lot, but then I started rambling on about the book I picked, and decided that was long enough for a post.

  5. Hi,
    I usually read my crafts books more than once too, and I like Save The Cat very much. I also have Dwight Swain and Self-Editing For Fiction Writers.

    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  6. I love Self-Editing For Fiction Writers!

  7. Save the Cat seems to be a popular choice. I selected that one, too.

  8. Replies
    1. LOL
      Same to you, though I'm ready for October and cooler weather.

  9. Yep those are must reads! I use STC for every story. Those beats are ingrained in my head. I took a STC master class once and it was really good.

  10. I have to read STC. I've heard such good things about it and have it on my bookshelf. Just haven't made the time to read it.

  11. I've read a couple of the books you've mentioned, and heard about the rest. What I probably really need, however, is a book on writing good prose.

    1. Try Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. It's not about proofreading (spelling, grammar, etc.), as the title makes it sound.

  12. Hello Melissa. I'm pleased I've met someone this round who mentions Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. I find a lot of conferences, online courses, use his book as the basis of their teaching. A stellar book.

  13. Save the Cat is my fave! keeps me organized
    I like your other recs as well
    hope things are going well for you!

    Tara Tyler Talks

  14. Thanks for the craft books shout-out, Melissa:)


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