Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blogs and Books on the Craft of Writing


Every so often I stumble upon a blog with valuable information on writing and I realize that I have not even reached the tip of the iceberg in honing my writing craft. If you read every single blog and book about writing as a profession, you will have no time left to write the novel or non-fiction book. This is why finding a blog or blogs that keeps you on track without stealing your precious writing time, is important.

Many people spend hours a day surfing the internet, trying to gather as much information as possible on how to write, what is acceptable, how to hook a publisher or agent to invest in their books, that they end up with little or no time to do the actual writing. Don’t get me wrong, you need to know all this stuff, but without the finished novel, polished to as close to perfection as you can get it, the information is useless. You need a book to sell in order to sell your product. You need a completed manuscript to compare to the books doling out advise on how to write before you know if you’ve made the mistakes.

In a society where time is a precious commodity, I found a couple of blogs and books that will help you manage your time better while still keeping up to date on the business of writing a book. This is personal preferences to me and what I felt was helpful without spending all my time in the learning mode.

As for blogs:

Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers must be my absolute favourite. Her posts are well researched, informative and written in an easy to read voice. Her eight part series on the structure of a novel is particularly informative and any writer would do well to read them.

Another blog I found particularly helpful is Writers Digest. This website posts hundreds of helpful articles and tips not just about writing, but about the whole writing industry. It is one of the sites every writer should visit regularly.

As for books:

Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt is a good starting point. I found the book a little tedious to read(especially if you’ve just read a blog post from Kristin Lamb), but the information is invaluable. It sets out the different structures required for different genres as well as a little bit on handling conflict in the novel.

How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N Frey and his subsequent books on writing remains my all time favourites. This author has the ability to set out the steps to writing excellent fiction in a no-nonsense voice and in terms that the layman (that’s me) can understand. Besides a good dictionary, these books are a must in my opinion. 

As I’ve stated above, writers don’t have hours a day to learn the craft – we need it to write. These books and blogs made my life a lot simpler