Once more into the breach my friends! Yes, it’s time for the AW Blog chain. This month each post is answering a writing question put forth by the previous poster. It makes for a great variety of both questions and answers!
My question was posed by the previous poster in the chain, jen.nifer over on Live I Must . You can check her chain post HERE . Her question to me was:
If you had to publish a book for writers starting out (think King’s ‘On Writing’ or Bradbury’s ‘Zen In The Art……’), what kind of approach would YOU take?
Funny you should ask . . .
When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time reading books about writing, reading magazines about writing, and looking up information on-line about writing. Many a tree was sacrificed to the almighty photo-copier in the name of research about writing.
In other words, I was doing pretty much everything except writing! It got to the point where someone suggested that I had enough information to write a book about writing and that maybe I should give it a try. Fortunately, I didn’t get very far.
Why do I say fortunately? Because there’s a lot of writing information out there already. Most of it really good information, some of it not so good. There are countless books and magazines and websites, the market is saturated with information about writing.
Come closer and I’ll let you in on a little secret. You ready? This is what I learned from all those books, all those magazines, and all those photocopies. There is no secret. A writer is someone who writes. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that. Yes, books can help you with the mechanics of writing, but they cannot show you that by putting these particular words together you’re creating something powerful. You can only learn that by doing.
These days I only have five writing books on my shelf and two of them are grammar books. The others, for those who are curious, are: On Writing, by Stephen King; On Writing Science Fiction, by the editors of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine; and Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight. Out of the 20 years worth of writing magazines I’d collected, I have maybe a dozen and to be honest, I’m not even sure where they are.
I haven’t seen Bradbury’s book Zen In the Art of Writing, but I highly recommend Stephen King’s book On Writing. As King himself says, it’s not so much a “how-to” book as a “how-he-did-it” book. If I was ever foolish enough to attempt an instruction book of my own, I would definitely model it after Stephen King’s. But really, what can I say except, get writing!
Next in line for the blog chain is Fame/Infamy over on Ambiguous Vindication and my question is:
Do you believe in writer’s block, and if so, what do you do to combat it? If you don’t believe in writer’s block, do you ever suffer from days where the writing just doesn’t want to come and how do you overcome this?
Don't forget to checkout the rest of the participants in the blog chain. You won't be disappointed!
DniC: Four-Lettered Words
Big Words: The Graveyard
Fokker Aeroplanbau: I'm Always Right, Far Right
Forbidden Snowflake: Delirious . . .
bsolah: Benjamin Solah, Marxist Horror Writer
jen.nifer: Live I Must
Lady Cat: Random Thoughts
Fame/Infamy: Ambiguous Vindication
aimeelaine: Aimee Laine
Proach: Deanna's Information Center
Apelle: Ghost Words and Other Echoes
lostwonderer5: Lost Wanderers Writing Blog
upsidedowngrl: UpSideDownGrl's Writing Blog
JamieMT: The Variety Pages