Sunday, July 18, 2004

good advice
If you're a writer you might want to check out Dave Long's blog right away, particularly these posts:
Writing and Advice, The Worst Advice, and The Most Contradictory Advice
I wanted to comment on the blog itself, but Blogger, in Blogger fashion, wouldn't let me.  Anyway, good, relief-imparting stuff, particularly Writing and Advice, because like Dave, I rarely read books on writing too.


Blogger Katy said...

Yes, Dave's last three posts have inspired a lot of discussion! I have read a million writing books, I admit. Some I actually couldn't comprehend (like "The Marshall Plan"), their systems for producing novels were so complex.

A few books I love, but they are more about principles than patterns. "Stein On Writing" has been very useful.

I guess Lamott's "Bird by Bird" and King's "On Writing" are the only ones I come back to, and I know why. Both books reveal the strengths and foibles of the author, and somehow that's the thing that helps me move forward with my own writing. I need to hear, over and over again, that everyone writes crummy first drafts. I need to hear how they feel lousy about their writing and themselves at least half the time--in other words, I need to know I'm not completely out of the realm of normal!

So I pick up one of these books (which offer very little instruction in method), read a bit about the author's addictions, neuroses, etc., and tell myself I'm not without hope!

And that's how I use writing books....

July 18, 2004 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Suzan Robertson said...

I agree.King's "On Writing" was the best of the pile I read and I have two others that I refer to from time to time out of the twenty or so that I read. When I discovered how these books contradicted each other, and seemed to make the process way too complicated, I gave them away.Dave's blog has been much more helpful.

July 18, 2004 at 2:26 PM  

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