Three Books for Prose Writers
For those unsure of what prose might be, the simple answer is anything that isn’t poetry. So instead of following a strict structure such as rhyme or meter, the only structural requirement is that it follows conventional grammar. By this definition – I’m sure everyone has written in this style, and while prose can be anything from academic to casual, I want to focus on creative prose. If you find that you are more of a poetic writer, this probably won’t be helpful. Although you are more than welcome to stay.
Now let me get to the point of this post. Every writer I have met falls into one of three categories in writing and planning their stories. The plotter outlines every idea and situation, the pantser just comes up with an idea and figures out the rest as they write (“by the seat of their pants”), and finally, the plantser, who typically does equal parts of both planning and winging it. None of these are right or wrong when it comes to writing. It just depends on what works for you. Personally, I am the planster. The plotters will like the first book on the list best. However, it is helpful for everyone and is a good idea to read, whether you utilize the ideas or not.
1. Outlining your Novel by K.M. Weiland
This book is a fantastic place to start because it highlights the different types of outlines and teaches the reader how to make and use one effectively. Who knows, maybe you are a plotter after all. The second book on this list is by the same author but doesn’t lean towards any specific group. Instead, it focuses on creating characters.
2. Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland
Whether we like it or not, characters are what make or break a story. It doesn’t matter if the plot is amazing if the reader doesn’t like or care about the characters. This is why I am recommending this book. The more you know about the character and their arc, the more realistic they become. Not to mention easier to write. Finally, the third book on the list is what the pantsers will love. The book I put on here is one I am still going through myself but can be easily supplemented with another one of a similar style.
3. 400 Writing Prompts
Sadly, I could not find the author of this. But I placed a prompt book on the list to encourage writing even the most ridiculous ideas. Sometimes the best way to learn is to do. Remember, all writing advice is simply advice. In the end, you figure out what works the best for you. But these books can certainly help the process.