Posts Tagged peer review

Your Favorite Writing Craft Book is?


I’ve been reading books on writing craft over the last two months. My method of procurement has been, shall we say, opportunistic. Discerning readers might conclude most were not exactly top-notch. I’ve learned stuff, some of it even helpful…but there’s been a lot of blah.

I’ve learned a bit about what NOT to do. I love double negatives. That’s how we talk back home. It’s like a special code that boggles the overly literary. Give it no nevermind…

Several useful nuggets were nested amidst a lot of pages. A loooooot…too many pages. So, in the hopes of stirring cream to the top, I’m asking for your opinions, recommendations, and suggested reading lists. 

My goal is to find instruction on the craft of writing that is useful and not just another endless repetition of the same old trope. There’s nothing wrong with the familiar other than it feels like most folks read the same six books and continue to espouse the tried-and-true tired rhetoric. Trust me, I get the idea of…write, read, repeat. Got it.

*bangs head on desk*

I’m after something more meaty. Methods, practices, protocols…the strategies and tasks that people have developed for writing. Over the years I’ve figured out some of my own – now I’m interested in seeing if I can cannibalize concrete ideas from other writers.

Cue you, enter stage left.

I believe that at least one of you brilliant writers has found a different route to plotting, thematic content, rich characterization, etc. Each of you contains the potential to be the new guiding star. There are hundreds (egads, probably thousands), of how-to-be-a-better-writer books out there – tell me about some of them.

I’m especially interested in WHY you found a book useful.

As a person who enjoys workshops, I’ve begun to feel like maybe the payoff isn’t as great as once upon a time. As you likely know, sitting in a room with a published author usually costs a few pennies. I’m thinking maybe I should skip a workshop and apply the coppers toward purchasing a few new tomes. Help me choose…

I’m interested in good and bad, big and small, print and digital, old and new, trivial and complex. It helps if the guide is interesting to read but sometimes the best teachers are also the worst practictioners. If you recommend giving a book a wide berth, please explain.

I want to know…

~ How did Chanel-I’m-So-Original blow off your headphones with her insight? 

~ How did Ivan-I’m-So-Existential knock you sideways with his storylines?

~ How did Raoul-I’m-So-Sexy get you to do that between the pages? 

~ How did Penelope-I’m-So-Smart convince you of that lie?

I’m open to anything on writing: plot, structure, POV, scenes, setting, atmosphere, dialogue, scaffolding, themes, symbolism, threading, subplots, tracking time, believability, etc. Duplicate entries are appreciated…I figure the more mentions, the better (or worse), the book.

Let the list-making commence. Let’s do this thing! Bring it on!

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