Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writing Books...

I've read many writing books and can say that the vast majority of them would produce nothing more than a cookie-cutter book with little to no life. I have found only 3 that I feel are at all inspiring - Bird by Bird, On writing - both King's and Stein's. I loved all three of these books. I do like Self-editing for Fiction Writers as well, but for different reasons. I realized today that while many writing books are by agents or editors or publishing pro's. These three are actually by writers. Of all the experts to seek out in writing wouldn't you think we would turn to writers first? Oddly enough, I think we often turn to agents or editors and while their information is gold. It doesn't often speak to me in the manner that a writer can. I have read countless mentions of "show don't tell" but only after reading Sol Stein's description did the light bulb turn on. I've read editors speak about the value of tight writing. Okay, what in the heck does that really even mean? And then you open Stephen King's On Writing and suddenly it is all so clear. I'm sure I will read other books on writing and take bits and pieces from each, but for now I'm just going to write, revise, and write again until I feel I've learned as much as possible about the crazy craft known as writing.

M.B.

6 comments:

  1. Great post! I feel the same way you do! I think sometimes we become so obsessed with reading about HOW to write that we forget the importance of Just Writing. I haven't read Stein's book, but I have read On Writing, and I think Stephen King emphasizes that quite nicely. Just write. That's what we do. :)

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  2. Exactly! Now if I can only find time to write I'll be all set! :)

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  3. Bird by Bird is definitely one of my favourites. When I start to panic that things in my story are getting out of control, I make myself do that '1-inch picture frame' technique she describes, and all is (usually) well again!

    I love your point that the 'best' books you've found have actually been written by writers. So true. While I'm now tempted to go out and get Stein and King's I'm going to resist the urge, and just keep writing! I'll cross my fingers that you blog about Stein's 'show don't tell' one day :-)

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  4. Laura - I'll email you the details. :)

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  5. Hey! I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger and One Lovely Blog awards because I love reading your blog! (And not just because I agree with most of your posts!) :)

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  6. Amanda! You just made my day! That is too sweet of you. I'll link back to you in a post for sure!

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