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Choose six wise guides to help you write your novel

In “Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication & Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams,” author Heather Sellers recommends limiting the books you read while you’re writing your novel.

In an earlier chapter, she recommends making a top 100 list of books like the one you want to write and to read these books before you start writing.

But while writing your book, she says to limit your reading to six books: three books like the one you want to write (the books that inspire you the most) and three craft books. When she wrote her memoir, “You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness,” she had the following craft books on her desk: Robert McKee’s “Story,” John Gardner’s “On Becoming a Novelist,” and Eric Maisel’s “Fearless Creating.”

Sellers stacks her six books on her desk and before she starts writing she might flip through them for inspiration or, if she gets stuck during her writing, she turns to them for a boost. She calls them her “Six Wise Guides” and says the reason she sticks with six is for focus. These six books, she says, will teach her everything she needs to know to write her own book.

In my next post, I’ll share my six guides and why I chose them. What six books would you choose and why?

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