by Lillian Csernica on March 14, 2013
I have read the books by Gardner, Vandermeer, King, and Bradbury. If I were to write such a list I would add Writing Open the Mind by Andy Couturier, How To Write A Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey and Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress.
Most writing books are a terrible waste of time, because they give you pretty basic Creative Writing 101 type advice about point of view, tense, plot structure, etc. and then combines it with a few workshop platitudes like “show, don’t tell”; “start strong”; “characters have to change during the story”, and then wrap it up with some canned advice like, “the most important thing is to write every day and read widely.”
If you don’t know that stuff, then maybe one of those books might be worthwhile. As I recall (this is way back in the dusty recesses of my memories from my last year of high school), I found Damon Knight’s Creating Short Fiction to be fairly useful. Oh, wait, Self-Editing For Fiction Writers was also really useful, actually. It’s all about how to cut words and make things cleaner. Well worth a read. And I thought that Donald…
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