Techniques of the Selling Writer
Why this book?
I sold three novels before I found this book, and it transformed how I think about writing. If you want to write stories that grab your readers by the throat and makes them want more, this is the book for you. Swain’s basic premise is simple: fiction is movement, action, and reaction. He deduces from this specific, actionable ways to construct compelling sentences that turn movement to action, action to scenes, and scenes to stories. Swain’s influence on screenwriting is everywhere, from The Rockford Files to The Mandalorian. His influence on contemporary fiction is just as pervasive. His ideas about “motivation reaction units” and “scenes/sequel pairs” are now in many “how-to” books, but no one describes them better than the man who invented them.