Monday, February 29, 2016

Writing is a difficult road to navigate...

Let's face it, there is no how to book on being a writer.

Wait that's not right.

Okay, let me try that again.  There is no sure fire, 100% if you do this you will get published kind of book on how to be a writer.  There are hundreds of nearly useless manuals however and I swear the best way to become a published author is to write one these days.

But to be clear, the how to get published pool is full of murky pond water at best.

Everyday I look for more and more ways to develop my skills as an author and still keep my writing fresh so I am engaged.  It's a delicate balance.

Blogging is my latest experiment.  I'm not sure if anyone would really care what I have to say, but I like doing so for now, I'mma gonna keep doin' it!

Now, while I just got done saying there is no manual that is the be all and end all how to get published book, there are in fact two or three must read books on writing.  One of which is Stephen King's On Writing.  He is the most read author in the history of the planet, so it makes sense that he might know a thing or two million about the craft of writing.  And boy does he deliver with this book!  The first half is a memoir and such a page turner, I was actually disappointed when he started teaching me how to write.  I found there is a reason his characters always had such crazy things happen to them.  You know, that old saying, "Write what you know?"  His life was a Stephen King novel!

Anyway, after the memoir is over, he starts to talk turkey and his incites are so simple and captivating, while you read your skills will sharpen.  No practice necessary.  Truly and exceptional book.

Another great resource is The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.  This book is tiny but so chock full of answers to questions you haven't even thought to ask yet.  I have come to carry it in my writer's bag wherever I go.  And every once and awhile I pop it open and read a few pages.  Those few pages always turns into 20 or 30!

One resource that is invaluable to a writer, is the William Shun Proper Manuscript Format website.  while not a book, you'll find that if you start writing your novel in the proper format, it will save you a tremendous amount of editing later on.  And his model is recommended by many agents and publishers alike.

Kind of a short list, but like I said, some how to books come in the form of novels.  Canary Row is workshop on how to write.  It's amazing to me that Steinbeck put so much story in such a short novel.  I wish I had his gift for storytelling and judicious sentence structure.

Written by Matt Brennan

1 comment:

  1. On Writing and The Elements of Style are both in my book bag. Will have to check out the William Shun website. Keep on blogging.