The Creative Writing Coursebook

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who offered words of advice to my post last week, Do I Really Need A Creative Writing Qualification? Your views kind of confirmed what i already knew deep down…i don’t need one, as such, but if i ever wanted to teach creative writing it would be a good idea. Other than that i could probably get what I’m looking for in other courses but i still think it would look good on my CV 😉

So i’ll do what i normally do with these types of quandaries…i’ll stick it on the top shelf, let it gather dust for a bit then take it down in about a years time when I’m spring cleaning *sniggers*

In the meantime, I’m trying to move forward…

Thanks to DayDreaming In Words i ordered the OU books and rummaged through my collection of Creative Writing books in search of something i could “study” until they arrived.

And i came across this baby on my shelf…









I have so many books on creative writing, i think its about time i started reading them lol.  I need to set aside some time every day to work on my writing. I can’t sit here and moan that my writing is crap all the time. Like anything in life, if you want to be better at it you have to study, work and learn 🙂

So i’ll spend some time going through this book before i start the OU ones (because they look scary! lol) and see just how hard easy it is to “study” Creative Writing on your own.

I will of course share any golden nuggets of information or pure flashes of genius as and when i come across them 😉

And now…im going in…wish me luck!


Because i really don’t need any more Creative Writing books (but i love them anyway) is there a book you’ve worked through that you thought really helped you? Recommend me a book on Creative Writing 🙂









28 thoughts on “The Creative Writing Coursebook

  1. Scarlet Thomas Monkeys With Typewriters is THE writing book for me. I also have that exact workbook on my book shelf and I’ve never read it either 🙂 We should start our own online workgroup and go through the exercises together 😉


    • Thanks Jo :o)

      I have the Scarlet Thomas one…bought it up London when i was doing the Faber course…havent even read the first page lol….will bump it up the list 😉

      Ha ha ha, now theres an idea 😉



  2. I also have dozens of writing books on my bookshelf. The most helpful one is the one I bought first – Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Fabulous. And actually, I used it when I began teaching creative writing over 20 years ago. I found that teaching creative writing helps my own writing tremendously. Good luck to you!


  3. don’t use writing books I learn from other writers. right now I’m into micro fiction – what better way than to avoid writing longer pieces. I just wrote my first zombie piece through a fantastic group of writers


  4. My absolute favourite is Priscilla Long’s ‘The Writer’s Portable Mentor’

    Another long time favourite is ‘Writing for your life’ by Deena Metzger – the first and the best!

    I highly recommend both of these books! 🙂


  5. I have several good books about writing – but I’m not sure you need any more! As you’ve said, you need to read the ones you have and then act on them.

    So there.


  6. Ok. Without going crazy … here are my faves: Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones Wild Mind. Julia Cameron: The Right to Write. Heather Sellers: Page After Page and Chapter after Chapter. Jane Yolen: Take Joy. Ursula K. LeGuin: The Wave in the Mind. Donald Maass: Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction. Roz Morris: Nail Your Novel series. K.M. Weiland: Outlining your Novel and Sturcturing your Novel. I think I’ll stop there.
    Have fun!


    • Wow…thanks honey!

      Ive read both the Natalie Goldbergs, own the Julia Cameron one AND one of the Roz Morris…will bump those up the pile 🙂

      My Amazon wish list is taking a hammering today lol



  7. two shelves of ‘how to write’ books, and yes, the one you showed is amongst them…I don’t think I’ve really read it, I tend to skim when looking for an answer to a question…


  8. Hi Vikki ~

    I highly recommend “Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple: Take the Panic Out of Plot” by Martha Alderson. Martha has a big fancy publishing contract now, but this is from her early days and is the absolute simplest way I’ve found to understand plot. When she was young, she had difficulty with structure, so she studied fiction and then nonfiction and identified the universal pattern of structure. Some people don’t take the book seriously because it looks self-published; big mistake. Ignore the look and soak up the words.

    She appears at writers conferences, workshops and retreats all over the states (not sure if she’s gone overseas yet). She has worked with everyone from bestselling authors to Hollywood directors. Lucky for me, she’s local – down the road a bit in Santa Cruz (California). I saw her at a conference once and she explained structure so thoroughly I went on to read her book. Then I paid for a two-hour phone session with her, went to several of her workshops and two retreats. I learn something new from her every time. Over the years, she and I have become good friends so I’m a bit biased, but I don’t think unreasonably so. 🙂

    The first book published under her contract, “The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master,” is an extension of the book I mentioned above. I have bought it several times as gifts for other writers. Martha has several other writing books as well; you can see most of them on her Goodreads page:

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂

    Sara from NanoKent


  9. Pingback: Friday Fiction – A Day In The Life | The View Outside

  10. Even thou I don’t write stories, I do wonder if I should take some sort of writing course to help with my journaling, I suppose you could say it’s the story of my life and I want to make it stand out more on the page. I do envy your creative brain and pen skill 😀 xxx


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