Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Writers' Resources #1 - It Began With A Book

There is no shortage of books, websites, newsletters, conventions, friends and blogs all waiting to give you writing advice. You can spend so much time studying the craft of writing, you never start page one.

I have to admit I'm a writing junkie. I trawl the net checking blogs and sites, subscribe to writing podcasts and comb the bookstore looking for the threads of gold amidst the haystacks. Over the past couple years I've found some helpful stuff so why not add to the vast sea of writing info out there waiting to suck aspiring writers down?

Each week I'll let you know about a resource I think is helpful for authors (aspiring and established). Perhaps I can save you a couple hours. Then again you're reading this, so you're probably as bad an info junkie as I am. Take a deep breath. We'll get through this together. One link at a time.


Way back in the cretaceous period, when I started scribbling my first stories, another beginning-writer recommended I read Self-editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King. If I could find that writer today, I'd kiss her.

Self-editing was the first writing book I read and it remains the best. It's not about grammar, spelling and punctuation, although those topics are important, it's about making your novel the best you can. It's about honing and refining, distilling the ideas until they leap off the page and drag readers in. Good writing is in the details and Browne & King are all about details.

Below is a list of the chapters.
Ch. 1: Show and Tell
Ch. 2: Characterization and Exposition
Ch. 3: Point of View
Ch. 4: Dialogue Mechanics
Ch. 5: See How It Sounds
Ch. 6: Interior Monologue
Ch. 7: Easy Beats
Ch. 8: Breaking Up is Easy To Do
Ch. 9: Once is Usually Enough
Ch. 10: Proportion
Ch. 11: Sophistication
Ch. 12: Voice

If you haven't read Self-editing, go pick up a copy now. If you have read it, read it again. I know I'm going to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Found my way over via flist.

I do know who recommended Self Editing and every day, I think my beta readers should be thanking their lucky stars she did.