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Over the past 15 years of studying theater and the art of storytelling, I’ve come to appreciate several books. I find myself continually going back to each of these for different reasons. I would say that at this point, all of these should be required reading (or skimming) when it comes to creativity and storytelling.

On Creativity:

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We all need help with creative brainstorming. At certain points in the creative process, each of these has served me well.

Idea Revolution by Clare Warmke (1 above)
Creative Sparks by Jim Krouse (2 above)
Caffeine for the Creative Mind by Stefan Mamaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield (4 above)

Hanging around creative people always has an effect on me. These books in essence allow each of us to hang out with some of the most creative people in the arts.

It was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God – Ned Bustard, Editor (3 above)
Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (5 above)
Scribbling in the Sand by Michael Card (6 above)
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp (not pictured)

We don’t always want to create. What are the forces stopping us from being at the top of our game? How can we break through our creative barriers?

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (not pictured)

On Theater

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Being a good actor or storyteller takes practice. These three books have a wealth of ideas for how one can hone her skills.

Improvisation for the Theater by Viola Spolin (1 above)
The Second City Almanac of Improvisation by Anne Libra (2 above)
Experiential Storytelling by Mark Miller (5 above)

If you’re putting on a family experience, technically you’re staging a variety show or theater production. That takes a lot of work. Learning some theater skills could help take your FX to the next level.

Stage Management and Theater Administration by Pauline Menear & Terry Hawkins (4 above)
Scenic Design and Lighting Techniques by Churck Gloman and Rob Napoli (3 above)

On Story

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Need helping capturing and writing down the perfect story? These are great resources for honing your story writing skills.

Story: Recapture the Mystery by Steven James
Story by Robert McKee
On Writing by Steven King
Into the Elements (DVD writing workshop) by Donald Miller
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This list is obviously not exhaustive. I’m always looking for new resources to help me perfect my storytelling skills. What book or resource needs to be on this list? Comment and let me know!

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