Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's Working!

Even in just four days, writing every day is working, both for me and my blog. I'm starting to think ahead about future posts and the direction(s) I might like this blog to take. I've also increased my modest readership, according to my stats page. Not that 13 page views a day is great or anything, but it's double what it was last week.

Today is a theme day down at the blogathon, and the theme is "My Five Favourite Writing Books." Hard, hard, hard. I have a couple of dozen books on my shelf about writing, not counting the ones on writing sermons, and they all have their good points. I also found myself wishing that the topic had been widened to include favourite writing sites online, or other resources. But then this post would be a few thousand words long, instead of a few hundred.

So, here's my list, at least for today:

1) I'd be remiss if I didn't include at least one book by Jenna Glatzer on my list. Jenna's been a friend, cheerleader and inspiration to me for the past six years. If I succeed as a writer, it will be her fault.

I chose Outwitting Writers' Block because I'm a sucker for exercises that jog me out of my usual ways of thinking, and have me look at problems from different angles.

2) Speaking of looking at things from different angles, Ariel Gore's book How to Become a Famouse Writer Before You're Dead does just that. For those of us with a wide streak of individualism, this book is a treasure. I do hope that Ariel updates sometime soon, though, because despite a copyright date of 2007, it has very little about using the internet in the book, and that avenue for publishing has exploded since then.

3) I'm a fantasy writer when I'm not writing non-fiction of various sorts, and my favourite resource by far is The Rivan Codex by David and Leigh Eddings. It's not a book about writing fantasy per se. What it does is give you all the background texts that David and Leigh wrote for their Belgariad series. It's like watching a real painter paint instead of reading a book about technique. It's both unique and valuable because of that. Even Tolkien's background books (as good as they are) aren't quite as valuable to me as The Rivan Codex, because throughout the book Eddings makes comments about how things changed in the final writing and why.

4) If Jenna was the kick that got me writing again after years of absinence, Chris Baty and Nanowrimo are the kick that got me to actually complete a second novel a couple of years back. No Plot? No Problem! is a great book for getting you out of the swamp that keeps you from putting words on the page (or screen) and back into the habit of writing daily.

5)Finally, as proof that editors aren't infallable, and that their judgements are only human, this book or one like it should be on every writer's reading list:

It will give you the courage you need to keep writing when the world seems to be telling you that your work isn't good enough and you should stop and do something easier, like build rockets.

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