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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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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I picked up The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers
because I wanted to learn more about working with book bloggers.
Well, duh, huh?
Perhaps if I wrote “I picked up The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers because I wanted to learn more about slicing deli meats.” I’d be a more interesting person.
Confused, but more interesting.
Anyway, I believe this is a good book for extroverts. I’m not, and I tend to think of myself as boring and dull. The Author’s Guide to Working With Book Bloggers is full of excellent information and pretty much it comes down to standing on a mountaintop with searchlights pointing at yourself while shouting into a megaphone (provided you do it all politely).
Polite I can do.
And I love mountaintops for the view.
Not to be seen, though.
Much of what is suggested is common theory to anybody who’s done social/internet marketing and the application part is worth the read. Lots of good links and advice. Excellent for extroverts (in the social sense, not the psychological sense). I think she even says something about some of us having to get outside our comfort zones.
I’ll have to practice my shouting. I guess. maybe.
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.