The Writer’s Compass

“But what will make me a good writer?” you ask. The answer is the same.  If you want to be a good writer, you have to write and write and . . . There is no secret formula, there is no fairy dust, there is no magic potion.  Only two things make you a good writer: being born with the talent to be a great writer, or experience. Experience comes in writing just like in any other physical or intellectual endeavor.  You do it, you make mistakes, you learn from your mistakes and correct them, you do it again and again.  You grow into become a marathon runner or a pole vaulter or computer programmer — step by step day by day, just as you grow into becoming a good, or even great, writer.

From The Writer’s Compass

Nancy Ellen Dodd

I’ve started reading The Writer’s Compass for some reminders about novel structure, character, plot, and creating a story map. I’m very much enjoying the book so far. Story is such an important part of my work that I enjoy reading new books on how to improve my writing and storytelling.

Do you have any favorite or new favorite books on writing?  I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.

12 thoughts on “The Writer’s Compass

    • Karen Wan says:

      I hadn’t thought of the idea of dreaming bigger than the reader. That’s a very good observation. It’s just what I needed to hear today. Thanks for sharing your passion of expression!

  1. LediaR says:

    The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. I have read this book over and over again. It is definitely the most worn and read book in my collection.

    • Karen Wan says:

      I love that book too. It’s especially good for me as a fantasy/sci-fi writer to know the mythic structure. I just received the Legend of the Tengu Prince yesterday, and it looks great, so great that my ten year old son wants to read it. Clearly the mythic structure is working for you. 🙂
      I can’t wait to read it! Congrats with completion of your book!

      • LediaR says:

        You bought my book, How wonderful! And thank you so much, Karen for giving it a chance. I hope you and your son both enjoy it. And yes, I used the hero’s journey in my story. But Tengu Prince is just book one. When you reach the end of it, remember, there is more to come… I am currently editing the sequel, Legend of the Cherry Jewel.

        I also thought of another good writer’s book that I recently rediscovered sitting on my bookshelf… Stealing Fire From the Gods by James Bonnet.

        Hope you have a fabulous week!

  2. jdhoward says:

    I have this book and so far I love it. The only time I have to read it is when I am on the stationary bike at the gym, so I’m still at the beginning. I bought the colorful index cards already…

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