Paul Darcy Bowles’ “StoryCrafting” offers a good toolbox for writers at any point in their career
is (so far) one of the best all-around books I’ve read on the art of writing. For one thing, Bowles spends a great deal of the book on revision/revising and gets into specifics; things to look for, things to be aware of, what not to do, what to definitely do, … Lots of books talk about revision/revising while not offering much about the mechanics of doing so (my opinion). Bowles also provides ample insight on subjects like POV, Character, Plot, Scene, … It’s truly an good toolbox for anyone learning their craft.
The best part of this is that Bowles demonstrates his process while honoring yours. He makes suggestions for your process and in the end, if something’s working for you and you know it’s working for you, don’t change it. Figure out why/how it’s working and make it better.
Sage words, that.
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Pesky commas, Da Vinci’s pockets and more
Do you revise? Do you get something down once then go over it again? And again and again? And again?
No, scratch that last “And again?” It’s too much.
No, it’s good. It adds emphasis. It demonstrates emotional commitment on the part of the author.
I know musicians revise their compositions and painters revise their paintings. There’s a story that Da Vinci carried the Mona Lisa with him where ever he went and took it out from time to time to change something.
I can’t imagine him carrying around his painting supplies and, in the middle of a papal audience, adding an eyelash here or removing a birthmark there.
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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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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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