East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The art & craft of writing, a handbook in the form of a dialogue

I have finally finished reading Yours to Tell, Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing, by Steven Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem, that I had started back at the end of may, and then had somehow slid down the reading pile, for a number of reasons.
I collect writing handbooks, and this one came back to me at the right time to offer some diversion and a different and fresh outlook on what I do. Because sometimes while we can’t write (for whatever reason), we still can read about writing

As the title says, the book is built in the form of a dialogue between the two authors, and it has a very relaxed, informal tone. It is probably not the best choice as a first handbook for the totally uninitiated, but if you’ve tried your hand at writing, you’ll find a lot of interesting insights in this one.
While all the classic topics one finds in various writing primers are here, the approach is much more personal, and the book feels like you’re sitting somewhere, having a drink with your writer friends, and they start talking shop – as writers will often do.

The wide range of topics is handled with class and the authors manage to have a very sophisticated approach while keeping the text fresh, accessible and fun.

I really feel like recommending this one.

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Writing Advice

As you probably know – or maybe you don’t – I collect books about writing.
I have over one hundred, and in truth I can tell you, there’s a lot of good advice in each and every one of them, even if not a single one is the final world, The Book, the stone tablets of the Law, dictated by the God of Literature Himself.


Right now, I’m having a lot of fun reading Chuck Wendig’s 250 Things You Should Know About Writing that, like all of Chuck Wendig’s writing books, is fun, informative and filled with the sort of common sense and down-to-earth advice that a lot of writing courses seem unable to muster. Continue reading