Writing Books,  Writing Resources

Writing Resource: The Emotional Craft of Fiction

As a writer it’s just as important to read as it is to put down your words. Read books in the same genre that you write. Read books in other genres. Read classics. Read short stories. And definitely read books on the writer’s craft.


There are so many books out there to choose from. So many offer a promise to turn you into a bestseller with their formula, or five simple steps, or 30 day plan, or whatever it may be. Personally, I try to avoid those. I’m always wary of things that seem too good to be true, and that’s especially true when it comes to writing.


I do, however, love to pick up books on the writer’s craft that delve deeply into the elements of story, that give insight into the current state of the publishing world, that contain great exercises for honing my writing skills, and, as is the case with Donald Maass’ The Emotional Craft of Fiction, explore in depth the richness of storytelling itself.



As I work on my novel, I want to be sure that I give it the emotional depth it deserves. I want my readers to have a deep connection to my protagonist and to experience an emotional journey throughout the course of the story.


Any writer, but especially a newer one like myself, would greatly benefit from reading through this book and going through the story excerpts to learn what gives a story emotional resonance. But apart from the great examples and the insight that Maass provides, the book also has 34 “emotional mastery” exercises to use with your work in progress.


I’ve just finished reviewing and rewriting out my novel’s plot, scene by scene, and going through those exercises will be one of my next steps in pre-writing. I’m sure some of those exercises will have to wait until I’ve gotten some of my draft down, but others will serve me well to think through before I start putting pen to paper.


So, to my fellow writers, I highly recommend this book. It’s easy to read, enjoyable, and provides some valuable insight to help bring more emotional depth to your writing.

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