Recommended reference books

Discussion about the various aspects of the writing craft.

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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby PaulaO » 22 Dec 2012, 16:56

Don't over read how-to books. When it comes down to it, it is whatever works best for you. I have yet to find a single how-to book (in regards to writing) that fits my style. Instead, it's a little here and a little there and a lot me.

The best way to figure it out? Write. Just keep at it.
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby FranW » 23 Dec 2012, 08:03

Yes, I think it boils down to "read everything, try everything, use what works for you, and discard everything else."
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby Baker » 23 Dec 2012, 08:16

pokiepup wrote:I'm going to have to look that one up too, I do that too but I'm just starting my first novel (three chaps in) and I'm super nervous so i find that reading them and then saying 'hey I've done that!' makes me a bit calmer lol.

"How-to" books range from awesome to pretty useless. You'll also find that some books that don't make much sense when you first start out will become much more useful when you're further down the track. There is no one way to write. BUT there is a hell of a lot to learn about writing when you first start.

pokiepup wrote:Yeah I agree i was pretty scared by the first five pages glad it wasn't paragraphs otherwise I might have thrown in the towel all together lol. It's good but dose make you realize some hard truths.

Like many crafts, writing takes a lot of hard work to master. It's good that you've already got the mindset that you'll need to learn. You'd be amazed at how many people think writing is simply typing out the cool shit they have in their head, and have no idea that there are a lot of learned skills and conventions you have to grapple with.

Write, write, write. Read, learn, and rewrite.

Then rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite some more.

Oh, yeah, and ask questions, get feedback, and learn to critically evaluate prose by doing it to other people's work (because it's easier to see the flaws in someone else's writing). :-)
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby ElaineB » 23 Dec 2012, 10:02

Pokie, I see you've joined the Private Workshop. Good for you! It's been dreadfully quiet in there, but after the holidays, I've got something I can post for critique if no ones else does. But feel free to poke around in there.
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby pokiepup » 23 Dec 2012, 13:37

I did, I did. I saw that I was quite suprised that I didn't see much up I figured with as close and friendly as everyone seems to be that everyone would be posting since it feels like such a safe place. I look forward to reading yours I myself am trying to finish another chapter or two before I do so myself.
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby PaulaO » 23 Dec 2012, 14:11

Elaine, remind me when you put it up. Turn about is fair play! Or something like that.
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Re: Recommended reference books

Postby FranW » 23 Dec 2012, 15:35

pokiepup wrote:I did, I did. I saw that I was quite suprised that I didn't see much up I figured with as close and friendly as everyone seems to be that everyone would be posting since it feels like such a safe place. I look forward to reading yours I myself am trying to finish another chapter or two before I do so myself.

Oh, it's a safe place. It's just that some of us (me!) have a real problem Applying Butt to Chair and getting things written.

And, to be fair, only a small proportion of our members are in the Workshop -- quite a few of our members are not writers. That makes their book reviews and contributions to this forum extra valuable: they don't come in with preconceived notions, and they review honestly without worrying whether they're going to offend a publisher or whatever.
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