1. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    Tom Bird Method? Other Books?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Fife, Nov 12, 2012.

    I was reorganizing some of my stuff and found a book I bought a few years ago that I had never really gotten to reading. It's The Call of the Writer's Craft by Tom Bird. I read the first few chapters last night and thought that a lot of his points, while valid, were a little ambiguous and more of a feel-good, morale boost. I mean, it seems to be directed at people who experience writing paralysis before they even start writing--which, I presume is a fair amount of people. He does have a few valid points, such as waking up early in the morning to write. I forgot why I had initially bought the book until I scanned through the end; he does have a lot about dealing with publishing and agents. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about finding a cookie-cutter "method" and being constrained to it. I do like to learn what works and what does not work--picking and choosing based on principle.

    One question I have is: are there any other books you recommend about writer's craft, namely fiction-writing and publishing?

    Thanks.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've found most books about writing are discourses on how that particular author writes, so one may find a bit here and there that is of use, but otherwise... The best way to learn the craft of fiction writing is to read fiction. As to publishing, there is so much information out on the web now, thanks to forums like this one and blogs, it's nearly impossible not to learn what's needed. The only caveat there being to watch who's saying what and why.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'll start by saying that I consider "writer's craft" and "publishing" to be two very different things. On the former, the best book I've read on the subject has been James Michener's "My Lost Mexico", in which he discusses how be began to put together his novel, "Mexico", and how he came to put it aside for 30 years until picking it up again. It provides a glimpse into one writer's processes and shows the evolution of an idea. Fascinating stuff. But, as Shadow says above, general reading will yield more over the long haul.

    As for publishing, whatever you find in book form will be quickly out of date, and you'll find you need to check online sources to stay current. I also strongly recommend not to even THINK about publishing issues until you've made your ms as good as you can possibly make it.
     
  4. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. That sure gives me a lot to think about.
     
  5. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I liked The Writing Life by Annie Dillard.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Following on from Ed's suggestion, I'd like to suggest Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck began each day of writing his classic East of Eden by writing a letter to his friend and editor, Pascal Covici. He discusses the issues of writing the novel on a day-by-day basis in these letters. Fascinating and inspiring stuff!

    I'm also a huge fan of John Gardner's books on writing: The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist.
     
  7. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Noah Lukeman is a agent, his book The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile has some useful tips.
     

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