Editing and Story Structure: An Incomplete List of Books

Editing and Story Structure: An Incomplete List of Books

If you want to read some books on editing and story structure, here’s a list for you — by no means complete.

If you have favorite books to help you with editing and story structure, post them in the comments and tell us why. Thanks!

To me, understanding editing and story structure go hand-in-hand. To make our stories compelling and powerful for our readers — assuming that’s what you want, we need to understand form and function of our characters, scenes, and plot.


1. 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing by C.S. Lakin

Lots of before and after examples by experienced fiction editors.

2. The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne (Also available on http://www.storygrid.com/)

Gets into the nitty gritty and gives a broad overview. Both! The print edition is a big format, perfect for the five-leaf clover on genre.

3. Wired For Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron

Discover how human’s need for story can drive our story crafting decisions.

4. Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure by Jesse Lee Kercheval

A nuts-and-bolts book by a skilled teacher. I especially love her “consciousness sandwich” explanation on page 33.

5. Archetypes for Writers: Using the Power of Your Subconscious by Jennifer Van Bergen

A deep book with so many nuggets!

6. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby

A step-by-step approach to crafting awesome and powerful stories. Geared toward screenplay writers, but just as helpful to novelists.

7. The Novel Editing Workbook: 105 Tricks & Tips for Revising Your Fiction Manuscript by Kris Spisak

An editing guidebook that will help you take your work-in-progress to the next level.

What are your favorite books on editing and story structure?

Post them in the comments below and tell us why you like them.

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