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Creative Writing

Whether you are writing a dramatic play, a whimsical farce, or just trying to get creative, we carry an abundance of helpful books aimed specifically to assist the developing playwright, screenwriter or poet. Books by teachers and professionals alike, this section boasts a wide variety instructional manuals, hands-on activity books, and inspirational guides.

Spark: How Creativity WorksSpark: How Creativity Works
Julie Burstein
Julie Burstein traces the roots of some of twenty-first century's most influential and creative artists and thinkers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Yo-Yo Ma, David Milch, Isabel Allende and Joshua Redman. Burstein pulls back the curtain to reveal the sources of these artists' inspiration and the processes that bring their work into being. Softcover, 249 pp. $16.99.

The Art of TranslationThe Art of Translation

Ranjit Bolt
In this book, Ranjit Bolt take what is essentially a practitioner's view of the art of literary translation. Hardcover, 58 pp. $23.50.

So, You're a Creative Genius... Now What?So, You're a Creative Genius... Now What?
Carl King
Learn how to change your brain and carve our your own distinct creative space in the world of media and art. Artist, musician, web designer, and writer Carl King has done it all, and he shows you how you can do it too. Softcover, 190 pp. $20.95.

The Art of the ConversationThe Art of the Conversation
Catherine Blyth
Every day we use cell phones and computers to communicate, but are we losing touch with face-to-face talk? Find out exactly what you stand to lose with this rallying cry for the venerable art of conversation. Taking lessons from philosophy, anthropology, and literature, Catherine Blyth uncovers the rules and some surprising secrets, with advice for navigating conversational situations from bedroom to boardroom, and hilarious tales of how it can all go wrong. Softcover, 288 pp. $18.50.

The Dramatic Writer's CompanionThe Dramatic Writer's Companion: Tools To Develop Characters, Cause Scenes and Build Stories

Will Dunne
This is the book being talked about and recommended by both playwrights and screenwriters. It helps writers explore their own ideas in order to develop the script in front of them. The author effortlessly condenses dramatic theory with specific action steps. A resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, Dunne offers over sixty workshop-tested exercises that can be adapted to virtually any individual writing process and script. Softcover, 318 pp. 23.95.

Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for ScriptwritersTalk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters
Penny Penniston
Want to attract great actors? Write great dialogue. Want to grab the attention of eminent directors and producers? Write great dialogue. Want to enthrall the audience? Write great dialogue. In twenty lessons, Talk the Talk gives screenwriters and playwrights a complete tool kit for mastering the art of dialogue and includes more than eighty dialogue-writing exercises to guide classrooms, writers' groups, or independent study. Softcover, 242 pp. $29.95.

The Artist's Way Every DayThe Artist's Way Every Day
Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron's groundbreaking work on the creative process, The Artist's Way, has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. Taking inspiration from that classic work, this book serves as a daily guide and companion for readers traveling the spiritual path to higher creativity. Softcover, 413 pp. $18.50.

Writing and Script: A Very Short IntroductionWriting and Script: A Very Short Introduction
Andrew Robinson
Without writing, there would be no recording, no history, no science, and of course, no books, newspapers or emails. But when, where and how did it start? And how do we decipher forgotten scripts? Softcover, 157 pp. $11.95.

Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's GuideCanadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide

Laura J. Murray & Samuel E. Trosow
Copyright is an important legal issue that all creative artists need to understand. Using straighforward language and colourful examples, this book demystifies the Canadian Copyright Act. Never dumbing down the issues, the authors explore practical concerns pertinent to a range of interest groups. Softcover, 254 pp. $24.95.

Writing For ChildrenWriting For Children
Linda Strachan
Have you always wanted to write for children but are unsure where to start? If so, then this book is for you. Aimed at aspiring and newly published writers, it offers invaluable advice on the whole business of writing for children, from pre-school to teenage, and from initial idea through to final publication and beyond. Softcover, 182 pp. $21.95.

Inner Drives: How to Write & Create Character Using the Eight Classic Centres of Motivation	Inner Drives: How to Write & Create Character Using the Eight Classic Centres of Motivation
Pamela Jaye Smith
This inspiring and practical book delves into the fascinating world of archetypes, mythology, and the chakra system to reveal the deepest sources of character motivation and action for a single purpose: to enhance your storytelling abilities. Softcover, 238 pp. $36.95.

The Artful NuanceThe Artful Nuance

Rod L. Evans
Focusing on the subtle distinctions and often overlooked differences between or among imperfectly understood words, The Artful Nuance answers vocabulary questions that you never knew you had. From technical definitions ("herb" and "spice") to cultural literacy ("inductive reasoning" and "deductive reasoning") to subtleties in connotation (nerd and geek), each entry in this comprehensive guide distinguishes between two or more words that are commonly confused. Softcover, 208 pp. $15.50.

Arts Reviews...and how to write them

Celia Brayfield
This book explains how to seize your readers' attention and how to be witty always, fascinating most of the time and bitchy when you need to be. Reviews from classic writers like Pauline Kael or Kenneth Tynan are contrasted are contrasted with today's hot names like Mark Kermode and Stewart Maconie. Softcover, 154 pp. $29.95.

Free Fire ZoneFree Fire Zone

Theresa Rebeck
This writer's guide is both a discussion of the writer's craft and a no-holds-barred discussion of the politics in the movie, television, and theatre worlds. In a series of hilarious and provocative discussions covering all aspects of dramatic writing, Theresa Rebeck attempts to address what she considers both of a writer's primary concerns -- how to tell a story with truth and vision and how to maneuver as a dramatic writer in a dangerous world. Softcover, 212 pp. $23.95.

The Art of Writing DramaThe Art of Writing Drama

Micheline Wandor
The Art of Writing Drama includes practical guidelines for classroom/workshop approaches to the pedagogy of dramatic writing. Written by an award-winning dramatist and teacher, this book bridges the pedagogic and vocational, the academic and the professional. The book will be indispensible to academic courses, adult education classes, and anywhere the art of writing dram is taught. Softcover, 187 pp. $21.95.

The Complete Artist's WayThe Complete Artist's Way

Julia Cameron
Here, together for the first time in one elegant edition, are Julia Cameron's three core works, which together constitute a journey that will guide readers to discovering creative renewal. They are: The Artist's Way, Walking in This World, and Finding Water. Includes a new introduction by the author. Hardcover, 722 pp. $35.50.

The Seven Basic PlotsThe Seven Basic Plots

Christopher Booker
This remarkable and monumental book at last provides a comprehensive answer to the age-old riddle of whether there are only a small number of basic stories in the world. Using a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling. Softcover, 728 pp. $35.95.

Story Structure ArchitectStory Structure Architect

Victoria Lynne Schmidt
Story Structure Architect is your comprehensive reference to the classic recurring story structures used by every great author throughout the ages. You'll find master models for characters, plots, and complication motifs, along with guidelines for combining them to create unique short stories, novels, scripts, or plays. Especially featured are the standard dramatic situations inspired by George Polti's 19th century work, The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations, but with Schmidt's 21st-century spin. Softcover, 277 pp. $23.99.

Writer's Digest Writing KitWriter's Digest Writing Kit
Writer's Digest
This adorable box set comes with all the resources you need to start writing today! Includes the guide 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes - from developing good habits to writing and editing a new piece, novelist Bob Mayer gives you the skills needed to produce a polished final draft. The kit also comes with the Mini Market Book, 30 idea prompt cards, and 30 writing excercise cards which aim to challenge you to think about every detail of your work. Box set, $27.50.

The Elements of Style (Illustrated)The Elements of Style (Illustrated)

William Strunk, E.B. White & Maira Kalman
Every English language writer knows The Elements of Style. The book's mantra, make every word tell, is still on point. This much-loved classic, now in it's fourth edition, will forever be the go-to guide when in need of a hint to make a turn of phrase clearer or a reminder on how to enliven prose with the active voice. The only style manual to ever appear on bestseller lists has explained to millions of readers the basic principles of plain English, and Kalman's fifty-seven exquisite illustrations give the revered work a jolt of new energy, making the learning experience more colourful and clear. Softcover, 150 pp. $19.95.

Archetypes For WritersArchetypes For Writers

Jennifer Van Bergen
This book and its excercises will enable you to access and enrich the characters that already exist within you. Drawing on her years of training in theatre and decades of teaching, Jennifer Van Bergen unveils the secrets of using your own archetypes. This revolutionary approach has little to do with how to "create" characters or plot stories; it is more about how to find your character and story archetypes - or even how to have them find you. Softcover, 241 pp. $29.95.

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The Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your FictionThe Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction
Scott Francis (et al)
Inside this handy pocket-sized reference book you'll discover more than 1,000 writing prompts designed to get your creative fires burning. The editors of Fresh Boiled Peanuts, a literary journal, have compiled this selection of prompts capable of inspiring ideas to start anything from a short story to a novel. Softcover, 252 pp. $15.99.

Writer's GymWriter's Gym
Edited by Eliza Clark
Motivated by her own experiences as a writer and as a workshop leader, Eliza Clark has conceived a creative-writing book focused on quick and simple excercises--an inspirational kick-start to help writers practice and improve by getting their creative juices flowing. With contributions in the form of interviews, tips, and fiction excercises from some of the best writers working today, this is an essential book for both the novice and the seasoned pro. Softcover, 188 pp. $19.00.

Finding Water: The Art of PerseveranceFinding Water: The Art of Perseverance

Julia Cameron
Finding Water completes Julia Cameron's bestselling trilogy on the creative process to offer guidance on weathering the periods in an artist's life when inspiration appears to have run dry. This book offers advice and wisdom about tackling the greatest challenges you may face. This revolutionary twelve-week program for artistic renewal is an essential book for any artist. Hardcover, 286 pp. $32.50.

Writing for Animation, Comics, and GamesWriting for Animation, Comics, and Games
Christy Marx
In these days of feverish, cross-media fertilization, intellectual property is commonly developed simultaneously for a movie or TV show, a videogame, a comic book, a toy, a paperback, or an animated series. To help you get involved as a writer, Christy Marx offers a nuts and bolts guide to writing for animation, comics and videogames. Softcover, 226 pp. $41.95.

Writer's Guide to Character TraitsWriter's Guide to Character Traits
2nd Edition
Linda N. Edelstein
What makes a person commit a white-collar crime? Who is a likely candidate to join a cult? Why do children have imaginary friends? How does birth order affect whether or not a person gets married? When does mind over matter become a crippling problem? Writer's Guide to Character Traits, 2nd edition answers all of these questions and many others. With more than 400 easy-to-reference lists of traits blended from a variety of behaviors and influences, you'll gain the knowledge you need to create distinctive characters whose personalities correspond to their thoughts and actions--no matter how normal or psychotic they might be. Plus, you'll learn about common - and not so common - psychological, physical, and relationship discorders; delve into the minds of criminals; find out what it takes to be a professional athlete, scientist and truck driver; discover what life is like for a gang member, suicidal teen, and alcoholic; and more. Softcover, 378 pp. $18.99.

Stealing Fire from the GodsStealing Fire from the Gods
Second Edition
James Bonnet
Unlocking the secrets of story reveals the secrets of the mind and awakens the power of story within you. Work with that power and you can steal fire from the gods. Master that power and you can create stories that will live forever. This revised and expanded second edition includes important new revelations concerning the ultimate source of unity, the structures of the whole story passage, the anti-hero's journey, the high concept great idea, the secrets of charismatic characters, and the analyses of many important new stories and successful films. Softcover, 269 pp. $32.95.

Words, Words, WordsWords, Words, Words
David Crystal
Words, Words, Words is a celebration of what we say and how we say it. It invites us to engage linguistically with who we are: to understand what words tell us about where we come from and what we do. And as words continually shape our lives, it suggests ways that we can look at them anew, and become involved with collecting and coining words ourselves. Softcover, 216 pp. $19.95.

On Becoming an ArtistOn Becoming an Artist
Ellen J. Langer
On Becoming an Artist is loaded with good news. Backed by her landmark scientific work on mindfulness and artistic nature, bestselling author and Harvard psychologist Ellen J. Langer shows us that creativity is not a rare gift that only some special few are born with, but rather an intergral part of everyone's makeup. All of us can express our creative impulses--authentically and uniquely--and in the process, enrich our lives. With the skill of a gifted logician, Langer demonstartes exactly how we undervalue ourselves and undermine our creativity. This high-spirited, challenging book sparkles with wit and intelligence. It insipires in us an infectious enthusiasm for our creations, our world and ourselves. Softcover, 258 pp. $18.95.

Writing Down the BonesWriting Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
Natalie Goldberg
For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering on writers with her books and workshops. In the groundbreaking first edition of Writing Down the Bones, she brought together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice -- "it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind." This expanded edition includes a new preface and an interview with the author. Softcover, 312 pp. $17.95.

Inner DrivesInner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation
There are immeasurably powerful dramatic principles that have governed story-telling for millennia, yet the powerful dimension they can bring to the inner life of characters has been forgotten. This inspiring and practical book delves into the fascinating world of archetypes, mythology, and the chakra system to reveal the deepest sources of character motivation and action for a single purpose: to enhance your storytelling abilities. Filled with powerful examples and exercises, Inner Drives may be used to structure character arcs, devise backstories, boost conflict, pair up couples, and form ensembles -- resulting in strong, believable characters to drive your story. Softcover, 239 pp. $35.95.

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Dramatists Sourcebook
25th Edition
Theatre Communications Group
This fully revised 25th edition of the Dramatists Sourcebook contains more than 950 opportunities for playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists, including script-submission procedures for 380 professional theatres, 137 prizes and scores of publishers, fellowships, residencies, developmental programs, agents, service organizations, state art agencies and reference publications. The sourcebook is thoroughly indexed and contains an invaluable calendar of submission deadlines. Softcover, 348 pp. $25.95.

The Creative HabitThe Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life
Twyla Tharp
Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark. It is the product od preparation and effort, and it's within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit and an integral part of your life. Softcover, 243 pp. $17.50.

The War of ArtThe War of Art
Steven Pressfield
In this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, bestselling author Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity. The War of Art is an inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants guaranteed to galvanize every would-be artist, visionary, or entrepreneur. Softcover, 165 pp. $18.00.

The Creative Writer's CompanionThe Creative Writer's Companion
Stanley J. Corwin
This book will give you the inspiration and the strategies to turn your ideas into product. You'll learn how your plot and characters can become a movie, a television show, or even a cartoon strip, and how - by limiting yourself to just one of those industries, you can hamper your project's ultimate success. A easy to read, motivational guide to being a writer in today's content-hungry world. Softcover, $22.99.

The Sound of PaperThe Sound of Paper: Starting From Scratch

Julia Cameron
Drawing on her many years of personal experience as both an artist and a teacher, in The Sound of Paper Julia Cameron uncovers the difficult soul work that artists must do to find inspiration. With personal essays accompanied by exercises designed to develop the power to infuse one's art with a deeply informed knowledge of the soul, Cameron's most illuminating book to date provides readers with a spiritual path for creating the best work of their lives. Softcover, 312 pp. $19.00.

Developing Story IdeasDeveloping Story Ideas
Michael Rabiger
Developing Story Ideas offers students and other young artists a spectrum of resources and a structure of writing practice so that anyone can quickly and reliably generate a wide variety of stories. It does so stressing the importance of understanding oneself and creating collaboratively. $25.95.

Making a Good Writer GreatMaking a Good Writer Great
Linda Seger
A creativity workbook by the author of Making a Good Script Great. Designed not only to awaken creativity, but to teach the writer the process of being creative within the context of screenwriting. A unique addition to her other books. $18.50.

The Art of Dramatic Writing

Lajos Egri
Analyzes the mysteries of play construction -- premise, character, conflict -- a direct jargon free approach to the problem of achieving truth in literary creation. $15.50.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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