A Gift to Writers Throughout Their Careers
Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction
has been on my bookshelf for (estimating) 20+ years. I picked up a used copy back when I made my first pass at fiction writing not realizing I’d plucked a diamond from a trash pile. My writing coach, Rich Marcello
, suggested I give it a read.
The title sounded familiar when Rich suggested it. I’d added the book to my collection and hadn’t touched it since I put it on my shelf. This is one of those “When the student is ready, the teacher will be there” things. I wouldn’t have appreciated Writing Fiction 20+ years ago. Rich suggested Writing Fiction about a year ago and I’ve just completed my first read.
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Where’d that gun come from? And watch where you’re lookin’, lady.
I reviewed Jill Nelson’s “Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View” previously
and still give the book high marks.
I highlighted several concepts and dogeared several pages during my first read. The book stayed on my desk and I kept getting closer and closer to a reread.
Rereading is a Josephism. I often reread books that I learn from or enjoy, a dog sucking the last bit of marrow from a bone.
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Walter Mosley’s “This Year You Write Your Novel” is an excellent read for authors at any stage in their career
I picked up This Year You Write Your Novel because I was reading Mosley’s The Man in My Basement
and Devil in a Blue Dress
and wanted to understand Mosley’s choices in the book. There were some authorial moves I understood, some completely threw me.
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I got Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View at the suggestion of my writing coach, Rich Marcello (and he’s great. I’ve learned things I didn’t know I didn’t know. It don’t get much better than that!). He told me I already did most of what Jill Nelson explained in the book and that I might pick up a few incidentals, which I did.
I read the book last week (while traveling) as I write this and have already caught myself a few times with her “gotchas”.
The only real flaw I had with her book was the exercises. I felt they could have been better explained and/or better examples given. More than once the reader is invited to rewrite a sentence to incorporate lesson elements. Excellent! Except the given solutions (and she does give solutions to the exercises. Thanks for that!) often incorporate information that was no where in the original sentence and the solution becomes several sentences long. The added content not being part of the original problem sentence threw me.
I understood her suggested solutions but found myself saying “Where did she get that?” or “Where did that come from?” more than once. A little frustrating (for me) and it didn’t stop me from highlighting many items and learning.
I do suggest it for writers/authors wanting to improve their craft.