The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction - Alice LaPlante LaPlante gives one of the best explanations of the writing process I've ever read. It's not full of self-importance (I'm looking at you, Jane Smiley) or tired rules. Instead, LaPlante gives clear definitions and examples of techniques and provides would-be writers with exercises to help develop the techniques for themselves. A wonderful read for anyone who wants to write.