Tools and Techniques, Part I: Reading Books

The Planning Process: Stories and Style

As I mentioned in my previous post, Developing Characters, Part I: Character Sketches, I use a three-act structure to outline my novels. I also mentioned in that post that I’m not a pantser.

I plan.

As part of the planning, I’ve read several books on the writing.

Writers read. They read fiction. They read nonfiction. They read about the craft.

Reading how to write is planning. It’s also learning from other writers. Too often people think they can just sit down and write: “Like, hey man, it’s art.”

Yes, it’s art, but it’s also a process, a science.

Even art has rules.

And, to cut to the chase, let’s just say, “Yeah, yeah, follow the rules now. Break them later.” However, always feel wary as you’re breaking those rules and question why you’re breaking them and if you really need to break them. If you don’t feel right about breaking a rule, then don’t. Find a better way. I attribute this to an author developing personal style.

I’m going to end this post with a list of books I’ve read on writing. In the picture attached to this post, there’s a few that aren’t listed here. Either I haven’t read those yet but intend to, or they’re just books writers should own.

Here’s that list in no particular order:

Author: Chuck Lang

Chuck Lang is a writer of science fiction and horror. Influenced by his years as a carpenter, four years serving in the US Navy, and his nearly two decades teaching literature, he holds an MFA in Writing (Fiction) from Lindenwood University. After completing his first manuscript, the supernatural horror novel DEAD GODS, in 2019, he has begun work on its two sequels, DEAD GODS: INHERITANCE and DEAD GODS: RESOLUTION. He is currently developing two additional projects, an urban fantasy horror novel and a military science fiction novel. He lives and writes near the frequently flooded Red River in Fargo, ND with his wife and two redhead sons.

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