Reading & Sharing Books on Writing - Journey path - can do remotely
(By the way, the idea of the
journey is that there are multiple paths and each person defines what they want to do. People can participate in more than one path.)
So, for this path, 'Reading and Sharing Books on Writing'
Read at least one chapter, or article, in ten writing books. (Such as most of the free ebooks that we got for the Kindle) or other books that people either have, or can get from the library.
Some are still available free--and you don't have to own a Kindle to download an electronic copy of the book (have to read it on your computer, though)
I was thinking that we could compete to see who gets the most chapters read (assuming that some of the books will be good enough to read the whole book), who reads them the fastest, share quotes from them, things that it sparks in our writing, etc.
Since Tim is working on a way of keeping score based on points. I propose that you get a point for reading an article or a chapter, and a point for writing a forum post that at least one person responds to sharing information about the writing book you read. (So, if no one responds to your post, you don't get that point. If two people respond, you still get only one point.) This should encourage us to share and learn from each other, as well as continue building our community
I just read 'Meet a Jerk...' and it was good and fun to read. I know Hooked is fabulous, so we may have some good resources here and if we can find a way to make reading these books fun and a joint project, it gives another potential path for the Journey.
Remember, people can take different paths for the Journey, and can participate in more than one thing. My main focus will remain revising my novels, but I figure that having gotten all these great free ebooks in November, I'd like to at least look at each of them, and probably read and learn from several of them.
If you'd like to join me on this Journey path, please respond to this thread and start reading and posting. (We'll figure out how to count the points later.)
I decided to work on character description this weekend since it's one of my weaker areas and I'm on the fourth draft of Sparks and still wondering what some of these people look like. And since despite giving myself prompts in November, I'm pretty sure I don't have good descriptions in 'Too Close for Comfort.'
I often look for good passages in books that I read, but that's a bit slow, so this morning I went looking for some good examples on line.
Which I think may be a good start to review.
I always like to find some writing advice as well as examples, so I'm also going to look at:
What are your favorite character descriptions? Or advice on writing character descriptions?
Great idea! I am always looking for good recommendations on books about writing.
Right now I'm reading 'Story Engineering' by Larry Brooks, which is actually making a lot of sense to me. I'm not sure what kind of post you are looking for though. Maybe you could take the lead so I can see what you had in mind?
Larkk, I'm debating between "Story Engineering" and "Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure" by James Scott Bell since I can "borrow" either for free as an Amazon Prime member. I think Story Engineering covers the entire spectrum of activities in writing whereas Plot and Structure only deal with those two aspects.
I also recently purchased "Writing for emotional impact" on Tim's recommendation and "Writing Down the Bones" as well as downloaded a slew of free books on writing including the ones on the thread Katherine linked to above.
A close friend of mine, now an English professor at St. Petersberg Junior College, gave me a gift one Christmas of "Story First: The writer as insider" by Reed. It was a book her creative writing professor had her read, and one she thought would be helpful if I ever sat down to write that novel I had been threatening to write since our high school days together. Last month it finally came down from it's dusty perch in my bookshelf where it has resided since that long ago Christmas. I haven't read enough yet to determine if I agree with my friend's opinion of it's worthiness. Just throwing it into the mashup of titles.
Now to find the time to read and post about some of them...
'Writing Down the Bones' has to be one of my favorite writing books so far. (I haven't read all that many, but I think it will remain up there.) Natalie Goldberg's ideas about writing flowing from some Zen place deep inside really resonated with me. Also, her ideas about writing longhand and writing every day have freed up my idea mill in many ways. The joy she finds in the pursuit of her writing shines through on every page.
I'm curious to see what you think about it. :)
I finally got going on editing, and I'm reading two fiction books and one non-fiction already on my Kindle, so haven't done anything with this.
My idea was that we would share something that we found useful that we read. Or something that we thought was stupid advice. That would encourage, hopefully, others to look at it and think about it. I'll try to post an example tomorrow in this thread.
"Meet a Jerk, Get to Work..." -- one of the free downloads I did during NaNo.
Also available at http://www.maadwomen.com/clairedaniels/jerk.html
It was then that I found myself saying, "Really, the best way out would be to kill him." She shook her head and replied, "I wouldn't do that." "Nor would I," I told her. Then I smiled. "Except on paper."
So, have you ever gotten revenge on someone via one of your characters? I sometimes intend to do this, using the flow of words to exorcise people who annoy me, but by the third draft, even I can't recognize them anymore.
I liked how the author of this article, Clare Daniels, considers characters and plot tangled together. I've often found that just putting interesting characters together helps develop plot.
Any one else have comments on this article?
It surprised me how the so-called victims ended up becoming the murderers, and the jerks the murderees!
I havent yet purposely set out to portray the nasty people in my life in stories. I write to get away from them, and to create something better. The funny thing is, though, how people and ideas that bother me come back in the story, all twisted and tangled up in new and interesting ways. Then, in the form of choices made by my characters, I can make things feel right to me.
As far as the separation between characters and plot, Ive found that I cant seem to plot worth a darn, but fortunately my characters tell the story for me. If I write about them, asking them questions, like where they are from, what they like to do, what their hopes and dreams and fears are, the story seems to open up from there. Even now, in revision, Im stuck on a part where I dont know why my main character was in a certain place at the right time. I have complete faith that he knows, if I just ask him. I guess thats a version of trusting yourself to tell the right story, but it feels more natural to me to put myself into the characters shoes and find out that way.
So, I don't plan on actually committing to this, because I know I won't actually keep up with it, but I would suggest 'On Writing' by Stephen King. It was one of the first books about writing that I read--only a year or two ago--and I thought it was great. Plus... I love Stephen King, sooo.
My first book about writing was 'No Plot, No Problem.' :)
The second was 'On Writing.' I found Stephen King to be quite stern compared to Chris Baty, but, between those two books, I had enough encouragement to sit down and write my first novel draft.
I haven't read No Plot, No Problem yet, but I would like too. But I think I tend to side with the more stern types, so maybe it makes sense that I liked Stephen King's so much. Haha. <3
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