The Eight Crafts of Writing

Get a storytelling edge by learning the eight writing crafts and the storytelling secrets of how to engage readers. The first book on writing you need.

The Writing Jungle

JANE is an aspiring writer, who, like everybody else before her, parachutes straight into the writing jungle. And, like everybody else, she gets hung up on a tree with her parachute. The tree happens to be the writing skill How to Write in Limited POV. She looks around and notices a hundred more trees from which other aspiring writers are dangling. She cuts the parachute lines, drops to the ground, makes a somersault forward, and jumps to her feet. Around her, writers of all ages are cutting paths through the jungle. Jane can see just ten meters into the thicket. She is desperate for a map and a navigation system.

Help,” she calls. 

Well-meant answers arrive from all directions. 

”Create an interesting character and give her a great goal.”

“Write what you want to read.”

“Create a sense of wonder.”

“The more conflict, the better.”

“Don’t write to get published, grab the reader.”

“Be captivating. Or memorable.”

“Keep the reader turning pages.”

“Be unpredictable and keep the reader curious.”

Five years later, Jane is still cutting her way through the writing wilderness. She hugged countless writing skill trees, sun-tanned at the romance beach, ascended the suspense mountain, and hiked the Hero’s Journey track. But the storytelling jungle remains unchartered land. What else is out there? She still hopes for a map and navigation system.

The First Book on Writing You Need: A Structured Overview of the Writing Craft(s)

Most books on writing specialize in one, two, or three crafts, but none focuses on the overview (yep, that’s a paradox). Until now. The storytelling map is finally here: The Eight Crafts of Writing. 

The Eight Crafts of Writing is great for aspiring writers and writers who are a few years into their writing journey but got lost in the weeds – as it happened to the author.

New Writing Topics

Besides providing the map or storytelling, The Eight Crafts of Writing explores new writing territories, for example:

The psychology of storytelling

The adversity cycle: The origin of fiction writing outline

Protagonistic and antagonistic genres, stories, and scenes

How to use the eight writing crafts to engage readers

A new perspective on the shapeshifting writer’s block

Writing and Enlightenment

Seven years ago, I ventured into fiction writing because I felt it had an advantage over non-fiction. The first thing fiction writers learn, is the advice Show, don’t tell. Non-fiction is telling and fiction is showing.

Stories have the power to take people to exceptional states of mind, rather than telling about it. I believe that’s one reason why most ancient spiritual scriptures were written in story form.

When I wrote The Eight Crafts of Writing, I realized that writing and enlightenment have interesting parallels. We are immortal souls having planetary experience. The soul extracts wisdom and understanding and empathy from experiences and takes those with it. Stories are virtual experiences from which we can extract wisdom, understanding, and empathy as well.

While the higher self guides us from within, karma forces our evolution from outside – by taking us into challenging situations. Stories are inspiring struggles with adversity that can inspire us to face adversity in real life. And they can teach us a thing or two – in the form of prescriptive and cautionary tales.

Last but not least, one could make the case that crafting empathy is the supreme goal of art. No empathy, no evolution of consciousness – neither personal nor collective. Social progress is the history of men and women creating novel empathy for neglected people and social groups. Leo Tolstoy accomplished this extraordinary feat with Anna Karenina – mind he was a man. Les Miserables drew attention to the poor and sick, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin uncovered the intolerable life of African American slaves. All Quiet On the Western Front gives readers a true sense of the dread of war. Memoirs of a Geisha reveals the good and bad times of female Japanese entertainers, and Changeling allows us to feel with women suffering from cryptic social abuse. The Elephant Man reveals what it is like to be a kind soul in a freakish body. Many stories that promoted novel empathy became classics.