The Leaning Tower of Craft Books

I am a writing craft book ho.

I have absolutely NO control when I go to Amazon and they point me to “recommendations JUST FOR YOU”….and I think hey, they’re pretty good at this! Look, a new Nora Roberts! (purchase) And a new SEP! (purchase) and HOLY SMOKES SOMEONE CAME OUT WITH A NEW CRAFT BOOK!



I have craft books I’ve never read. Craft books I’ve read the first chapter. Craft books I own because someone (even someone other than Amazon) told me I should.

I own Kindle craft books even when I don’t own a Kindle. I subscribe to magazines to teach me the latest in writing craft. I own Steven King, Donald Maass, James Scott Bell. I own scenes, structures, story telling, script writing and time management. I own tarot cards, plotting cards and calendars. My house is covered in stacks of books, Rubbermaid containers of books and even–believe it or not–bookshelves full of books.

I’m driving my husband crazy.


Have I learned things? Sure. Could I learn more if I actually read the book rather than just coveted the ownership of it? You bet.

For me, I have to learn hands on, from classes and from reading. Even reading other authors teaches me great things. SEP and her dialogue. Nora and her characterizations. I learn from every source available to me.

I’ve heard over and over again that the key to being a better writer is to write. And by golly, I write. But I also know if I hadn’t taken Lori Wilde’s class on Romance Writing, I never would have known about how to show (and in which order) action/reaction. If I hadn’t taken Laurie Schnebly’s class on plotting, I never would have had that aha moment of NOW I GET IT!

And that’s why I read the books. Or at least pet them occasionally. Because in each one of these gems is something that I’m going to take away that I didn’t know before. And each little one builds me to being a better writer.

A broker writer, but a better one.

Oh look! Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay! I don’t own that one yet!!!




6 Responses to “The Leaning Tower of Craft Books”

  • Mavis Smyth:

    I thought Amazon only did that recommendation thing FOR ME :). I have tbr piles all over the house – cookery books are my weakness, and romance (obviously) – and I have the kindle app on my laptop, netbook, itouch, iPhone …. And yeah I have loads of how to write books …. Did I mention I’ve got a kindle (seriously) … Think I need help !

  • I’ll be darned. So that’s TWO of us who get recommendations! Is there no end to what Amazon will do for their best customers????

    I have the kindle app, but no kindle. Someday…..

  • Is there an intervention for this? Or some miracle drug that will get me to actually read and study the craft books? I have a shelf full and I’ve yet to read ONE cover to cover.

  • We possibly need a 12 step program. Craft Book Non-Readers Anonymous. I always think someday, when I take a vacation? That’s when I’ll take all my craft books and I’ll become soooo smart! But then I realize I haven’t had a vacation in 10 years, and there’s none forthcoming in my future..soooooooo…..

  • I think I’m afraid if I keep reading to the end, I’ll forget that tip I wanted to try back on p60. So at p60 I go off to try the tip and never go back. *sigh*

  • If you just dog ear the page? it’ll save your spot on page 60…lol

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