What’s Your Favorite Craft Book?

Today I’m interrupting the continuation of my Advice to My Newbie Author Self series to rave about the latest craft books I’ve been devouring–yet again:

The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders

Heroes & Heroines

All fiction writers want to write stories with great heroes and heroines–characters who leap off the page and capture the reader’s imagination.


Fallen Heroes: Sixteen Master Villain Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden

VillainsThe villain is the hero of his own story – and is every bit as important as the heroic characters.


I’m in the middle of revisions, and I have to be honest on this one: I smacked myself upside the head so, so hard while reading these books. Yeah, it can be fairly easy to create characters and dissect their personalities and backstories until our eyes bleed, but if we start with an archetype, that job can–most times–be a helluva lot easier. 😀

I can’t recommend these two books enough. Easy to read and understand with character examples from movies we all know and love, these two books give us the starting point from which to leap into designing our characters. We can begin with one archetype, lightly cross into another (similar) archetype, and we can even take the archetype for a hero and pair him with the villainous archetype that’ll translate best for the readers (and vice versa).

Both of these books have a permanent position within my Must-Have Craft Books shelf. 🙂

Your turn: What craft books are you devouring these days? Do you have an absolutely favorite that you go to again and again?