There’s no shortage of books on the craft, technique and business of writing. I had no idea just how many books I had until i started to organize my home library and noticed a whole shelf was dedicated to writing.
Here are what I think are most useful
Story Robert McKee–This is actually a screenwriter’s guide. McKee is a bit of a grouch but he helps you organize how a story needs to be told. Big on conflict and what he calls “value changes” in scenes.
Screenplay: the Foundations of Screenwriting Syd Field–This book teaches you in a very anal strict way the beginning-middle-end deal of putting a screenplay together. A little on the structured side but very helpful.
Writing the Novel Lawrence Block–this is the anti outline book that let’s you know from one of the very best that you don’t have to be an unimaginative anal idiot to write a good novel.
It’s been my experience that half the books will encourage to write a 100 page out line describing every freakin’ scene in great detail before you actually start to write the damn book. The other half will tell you to start writing even if you’re not sure where you’re going.
Me? I’ve learned i do best with something in between.