agilebrit: (Praise ye the Lord)
[personal profile] agilebrit
Long story short, I have a contract from WordFire Press for my first (and only, to date) novel.

The contract is super author-friendly (it's only five pages long! It's in plain English! It's not a rights grab!), and if the timeline works out (and we're going to do our best to make sure it does), the novel will be out in time for me to hand a copy of it to Jim Butcher at Salt Lake ComicCon in September and tell him "thank you."
ljlee: where I work & play (workspace)
[personal profile] ljlee
So there was a post about novels about writing, but not about non-fiction writing books so far as I can see. Personally I love writing books and writing advice. What are your favorite books in this area? These are my top three:

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

I'm not even particularly interested in screenwriting, yet I believe this is a book that anyone interested in story and fiction should read. It has theoretically sound analysis and highly practical advice on every aspect of writing a story. It was the first book that helped me understand the concept of theme, after going through an entire education and dozens of books that were vague and unhelpful on the subject. Story also finally made it click for me why I shouldn't micromanage descriptions, explained the difference between complexity and complication, broke down the relative strengths of different media, and so much other good stuff. I still go back to reread random passages from time to time and always learn something new.

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

A solid book, though I didn't get as much of a big-picture view as I got out of Story. It helped me further pare down my writing, though it did give me a case of adverb avoidance that I still haven't completely recovered from. Some of the explanations were less clear than they could have been: For instance, I think Stein meant about the same thing with his concept of the "envelope" as McKee said with his admonishment to let actors act. Yet it was the latter that clicked for me even though Stein was talking about the novel form and McKee was not. I only had to make the conceptual leap from "actor" to "reader," while the envelope metaphor is still unclear to me. The part I liked best about Stein was the concept of the "secret snapshots," the need for total vulnerability and honesty in order to get the best possible story.

Honorable mention: Story Maker by Otsuka Eiji

I don't believe this one is available in English. Japanese comic book and light-novel writer Otsuka believes that anyone can construct a story if they follow a certain structure. At the back of the book he presents 30 questions designed to plug story ideas into the "there and back again" monomyth structure studied by Campbell and Vogler among others. The usefulness of the device will vary from person to person, but I found it one way to get a basic and workable structure in place.
serria: (Kari and Gatomon)
[personal profile] serria
Here's a little ice-breaker: what existing book do you wish you had written? Whether it's because the story really resonated with you or because the book was similar to your own style in terms or writing or themes, is there any book out there that you wish had your name on it?

For me, my favorite genre is fantasy, and I absolutely love elves, dragons, and other fantasy elements that have been done a million times now. In that regard, it's tough not to be a little jealous of Tolkien. His stuff isn't even my favorite in the fantasy genre, but I'd love to be on record for "revolutionizing" a genre, or establishing elements that would later become tropes.

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