A few weeks ago, I pared down my home library to about 100 books. I donated the rest to my local library, including two boxes full of books on the writing craft. This book stayed. Why? Because it’s a complete guide to all the rookie mistakes you’ll make trying to tell a story.
Your Screenplay Sucks! is written for screenwriters, so there are quite a lot of notes on screenplay format, dealing with Hollywood executives, and crafting dialogue. Am I currently writing a screenplay? No. Is the advice in here still relevant to the novel I’m writing, and the non-fiction books I’ve already published? Absolutely.
This book is a checklist of 100 way to make your work better, from crafting characters, to doing your research, to writing yourself out of your own problems. It is as encouraging as it is painful. Akers does not pull any punches. In fact, the entire book is meant to discourage you from a writing career, because writing is awful and painful and writing to make money is a special level of hell.
If you’re still determined to write any kind of fiction (or even creative non-fiction), the pointers in this book will help guide that process. It helped me get some new ideas as I was outlining my current novel. I’ll pick it up again when I start editing the draft I’m writing. I will probably reference it again to make sure I’m not missing anything before I start looking into publishing.
If you want some quick and dirty tips to encourage you, frighten you, or challenge you to work harder, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book and keeping it handy as you go through the writing process. http://amzn.to/1kGUf8U (affiliate link)