In The Demons' Head #16: Writing Books; Good or Bad for your Writing
April 24, 2012
It's near the end of April and as the My Name Is Not Bob platforming and Poem a Day Challenge wrap up and most of us writers move onto our next projects which for some will be a new novel, others editing, and still others will have a number of tasks they intend to finish moving forward, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at a tool I'm sure a lot of us have used or invested in, Writing Books and I seek to answer the question do they help or hurt your writing.
When I first decided on this topic about a month or so ago I honestly figured that my mind was already made up, but as the month progressed and I got further into the Elements of Fiction: Plot book my mind started to change.
Originally, I thought that books that were aimed either directly at your choice of writing, or were written by those you highly respected that they would be beneficial, in reality I was wrong on both sides of that coin.
The first writing book I ever read was called On Writing by Stephen King and it made me rethink how I do all of my writing and I picked it up simply because of how much I respect his work. But then I received some writing books for Christmas from my amazing girlfriend Liz and decided I'd give em a try, what I found was that as long as you are receptive to some of the knowledge you can learn a lot, just like I have from the plot book.
Also, I learned that writing books can be general. Both from my experience with the Author 101 series, which is geared toward non-fiction writers. I learned a few secrets from that. The same can be said of my friend Brendon Wiles who is writing a lot more and has learned some secrets from the On Writing book that I have.
The reason I bring this up is because I was thinking back some time ago that these books were more hurtful to your writing then they could help but as time has went on I've decided that these things are something that is to be treasured but read with an open mind. What I mean there is that you can't want to incorporate EVERY single detail that is mentioned only because it would drive you insane trying to pull off the perfections. You still have to be you while your writing.
For the books I recommend, The entire Elements of Fiction Series, On Writing By Stephen King and the elements of style just to name a few. If you would like to check those out check out Amazon or Barns and Noble.
Until the next time you want to take a trip through the gates of hell and into the demons' head, I'm Kyle Robinson wishing you a safe trip back to the surface.
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