Why read books on writing?

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charlesp
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Why read books on writing?

Postby charlesp » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:13 pm

David Isaak (I think I found his blog via something Jamie posted on "Best blogs of writer's" maybe?) has a very good little essay on Why you should (or should not) read books on writing. Well worth reading.

http://davidisaak.blogspot.com/2008/01/ ... nyhow.html

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"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Jamie Ford
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Postby Jamie Ford » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:15 pm

David does indeed have a very insightful blog. One of my faves.

I do think that most people can write. They can figure it out by breaking apart what they read and basically reading "with their eyes open" and not completely submersing into the story. But a few books here and there could probably expedite the process. But like David says, I tend to enjoy the ones that are less academic and more candid--basically the ones that make me feel normal, with the same obstacles as other writers.

Plot and story on the other hand...

I think that part of the creative process is harder to learn.
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charlesp
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Postby charlesp » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:28 am

Yeah, while I enjoyed "On Writing" it was the "this is how I got here" part that I found most interesting. I enjoy some of the "plans" on how to do it, but also realize that it's like a diet... it all depends on what works for you. I've also said before that I, now that I have a baseline of knowledge of "the rules" and such, tend to read writing books in the way a religious person might read their daily devotional. It's something to keep me in contact with my writing self, and to inspire (or guilt) me to write.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby pengwenn » Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:53 am

I read writing books to be inspired and to break down that fear I have sometimes when I sit down to write (including but not limited to writer's block). While I loved On Writing by Stephen King I found Terry Brook's writing memoir a little frustrating. He seems to keep reminding me that he was the exception to the rule. I don't suffer under the delusion that I'm going to be another exception to the rule so I want to learn how to win by playing the rules. Just me thoughts.
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