You know me – I love (and sometimes hate) writing handbooks and books about writing in general. I have a huge collection and the fun thing is, there is a nugget of wisdom even in the most trite and blah of the How to turn yourself into a novelist books.
I especially like books written by authors I respect and whose fiction I love: Lawrence Block, Holly Lisle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Rachel Aaron, Chuck Wendig…
Or Jake Bible.
And I just got his Four Weeks to Finished, that is the sort of agile, no-nonsense book I expected from him.
If, as it looks, I’ll have to ramp up my production in the next weeks and months in the hopes of keeping my house from being repossessed, I know Jake Bible is the one that will provide some solid facts and a working method.
So, while I read the book (there go my carefully-planned writing schedules), you take a look at Jake’s page – and check out his podcast, while you are there.
On the subject of writing handbooks, I think I already expressed my unorthodox views – as far as I’m concerned, if it works for you it’s fine.
Me, I collect the things – and my friends know, and often give me writing books for my birthday, or for Christmas.
One thing I think is a pity is, most writing handbooks are written with the absolute beginner in mind – they spend all of the time talking about Point of View, Show Don’t tell, Infodumps and Exposition, and then maybe they give us the short version of the Hero’s Journey.
Nothing really wrong with that but, ok, let’s say I got that part by the time I was 16 and by the time I was 20 I had learned – thanks to authors like Tom Robbins or Elmore Leonard or Lawrence Block or Karl Hiaasen – that all of that stuff was good and fine and writing was something else altogether.
So I do collect writing books, but I really really cherish advanced books.
And I was given one for my birthday – it’s called Narrative Design: working with imagination, craft and form, it was written by Madison Smartt Bell, and it is a book about reading. Continue reading →
I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for a good book about writing.
I find writing manuals and books about the craft hugely entertaining.
There’s always something good to be learned, always some bit that can spark a whole new line of thought.
In this sense, my latest catch is exactly the sort of book about writing I love.
The Art of Character, by David Corbett (Penguin, 2013), is both an entertaining read, and the sort of book I’ll go back to in the future, and which will have me thinking as I read, write, watch movies.
This book hits deep.
Continue reading →