3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In The Top Two!,
This review is from: The Writers and Artists Guide to How to Write (Paperback)
First off I won't say I've finished this book; I'm quite positive it's going to be in my very small and select collection of "books I am still reading and always will be." Up until now my bible has been Browne and King's "Self Editing for Fiction Writers" but this one has made joint first place. It's written in an easily absorbed style, as if the writer is sitting opposite you and you're having a discussion, so you don't feel at all patronised at any point. It's as if he's agreeing with you before you say anything, and then gently adding his own extremely helpful points.
The subjects were clearly and logically sectioned, and starting with "what is your market" was particularly helpful.
I also liked the naming of the chapter on point of view: "Placing the Camera." Immediately it turns the whole process into one of visualisation, which is what we all do when we write.
This book also tells you it's okay NOT to write. For a while, at least. Many books and online guides insist you keep writing, no matter what, and sort of beats you around the head if you don't. This one carries the following advice for when you hit a difficult spot: "Is it going well, or are you struggling? If the latter, stop." It's not telling you to give up, but advises you write "chapter-by-chapter plans which summarises (the material you're confident of.)Then simply spend time thinking."
Very, very good advice. (Bizarrely, I find that MY best solutions come when I stop writing and play Bejeweled Blitz for a while! It clears my head of clutter and lets the coherent thoughts through.)
Lots of familiar advice in the editing section towards the end, but it's familiar because it works.
Finally, I'd like to say the text box summaries at the end of each chapter are, in their way, as useful and helpful as the chapters themselves. Particularly when (like me) you keep this kind of book by your side and full of post-it notes during the entire writing/editing process.
If I had a text box summary for this review it would carry the following points:
* Excellent guide and reminder for the serious and committed writer.
* Concise and easily read chapters on all aspects of creative writing
* Useful (and attractively presented) book to have at your side while working.