I covered three new books about writing (how to do it, why do it) for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. You can read the whole piece here.
Generally it’s not a great idea for writers to spend too much time reading about how to do their work. Better to just dive in and do it.
But sometimes, especially when you are stuck, it helps to see how some other writers break through that wall. Matt Bell’s Refuse to Be Done is a great handbook for this kind of thing. He is inspiring but also a realist, overflowing with numerous tips for hitting your deadlines and producing solid work.
The real recommendation here, though, is the anthology How to Write a Mystery. It is obviously very specific to its genre. But the book is truly a treasure trove of incredible and practical advice that can not just help any writer work through problems in their story but feel excited about doing it.
Hard not to love a book from an organization whose motto is, “Crime doesn’t pay. Enough.”