And for today we'll ask "got reading?"
Many writers find certain books and manuals that are helpful to them as they navigate the writing process.
When I was at Duke for undergrad, I studied playwriting with David Ball, author of Backwards and Forwards. I still refer back to this book because although it was written with plays in mind, much of what David Ball talks about is relevant to novels.
Someone recently recommended Cheryl Klein's Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing Revising and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults. I've never had the opportunity to hear Cheryl speak, but reading these speeches enables me to feel like I'm in the room with her.
Another book I like is Darcy Pattinson's Novel: Metamorphasis. Darcy Pattinson runs novel revision retreats and I had a book I was writing that was very mediocre. I didn't want to give up on it. I was unable to attend Darcy's retreat, but bought this book to see if I could repair my novel.
My critique partner, Jill Arabas, recommended Hooked: write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go by Les Edgerton. It changed the way I looked at first line and the start of my novels.
Many writers love Ann Lamott's Bird by Bird. I have to admit, I own it and it's on my TBR pile, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
Sometimes when I'm in a rut, I'll seek a recommendation for a writing book. They're not a solution to every problem, but sometimes they are the nudge I need to restart my creative juices.
What writing books do you recommend?
After I've written a draft or when I'm having trouble moving forward, paging though The Writer's Journey usually sheds light on what's lacking structurally and inspires me to make repairs and get back on track again.
I had the good fortune of hearing Cheryl Klein speak at an SCBWI Metro NY Professional Series event about the revision process and she was wonderful. If you visit her website http://cherylklein.com/ you can also check out her insightful blog. So far, I've heard only good things about "Second Sight." I'll have to add it to my shopping cart, soon. ~~Karen