This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for the month are:
Question of the Month is on writing craft…
What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?
Hmm. The advice or training I was given is summed up as “write loose and edit tight.” Meaning get it all out there and sort it out afterwards.
So although I have read Stephen King’s On Writing, and some of the other writing craft books mentioned in my creative writing course, I don’t go and reread them. I write.
Books for Editing
The real work begins when I start editing. Some people might call it redrafting, but in general, I call it editing, unless it’s so bad I have to lose whole chunks and rewrite it from scratch.
Then I refer to all sorts of blogs, most of which are very useful, but some can be confusing. There’s all sorts of useful stuff about editing, and book structure and improving your writing, which I read and digest throughout the year. I stick the best of it on my Pinterest ‘Business of Books‘ folder, and flick through when I need some inspiration. Sometimes things just come up in my inbox. An example is this reminder of filter words (and other things) from Louise Harnby, which I have bookmarked and left open as it’s relevant to what I’m doing right now.
The books I refer to while I’m editing are the excellent Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman & Puglisi, and my Oxford Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms, which has a permanent bookmark for the entry on ‘look’. This week I discovered I over-use ‘think’ also. Partly because this lot of characters said ‘I think’ a lot, and I’ve stopped them doing it!
Another book I reminded myself about before I started editing was J Lenni Dorner’s wonderful Writing Settings as Characters, and I’ve been attempting to make more of my places as I went. I did make something of them in the first draft, so I took in something from my reading of it at the start of the year! Highly recommended. I also learnt a good deal about structure from his book on Book Reviewing for Authors.
So those are the books I’d recommend if you want to enrich your writing 🙂
I spent most of July editing my scifi book Zanzibar’s Rings, and I did an update last week. I could do with a couple more beta readers, so if you like a science fiction novel with grown-up characters (it’s not YA), or you enjoyed my Rise Up story in April, and have time to read and comment on the beta version, I’d love to hear from you. Just pop a note in the comments and I’ll email you. The beta should be ready by the end of this month, and I’d like comments in October.
My July Sale – please review them!
This year’s July sale was fantastic. I ‘sold’ loads of books–some of them even for real money! If you bought any of them, please feel free to write a review after you’ve read them–it really does help, especially those new ones, the short story collections. Thanks.