The book is designed to be used in a kinaesthetic way – through practical exercises that take the writer from the brainstorming of story ideas through to a three-act plot, writing a workable synopsis, creating characters, working up dialogue, themes, setting, building conflict, using symbols, setting scenes, and working up a cohesive story plan (call it an outline if you want). All of these are elements of good fiction, and Jaden covers them in a surprising amount of detail and in a way which is not facile at all.
Ignore this kind of stuff and unless you win some kind of book lotto, your book will almost certainly fall into the obscurity that is an ever-present risk of modern authordom. What I like best about Howard-Johnson’s book is the simple, informal prose which is both warmly reassuring (‘of course you can do this’), and deceptively intelligent. The reader is encouraged and reminded of his or her own innate capabilities even as they’re goaded onto to raising the bar.
Could a full-length novel result from an accumulation of five minute exercises? Maybe an episodic one. Of the seventeen “Student Contributors” whose exercises Abercrombie includes, only two are working on novels; the others are working on memoirs.
he week by week guide allows the reader to follow in the steps of the author with a daily look at some new topic or experience. The poetry selected by the author helps to build an appreciation of the many ideas considered by Walt Whitman, looking at snippets from his overall work may allow poets to appreciate how thoughtful he was and seek to follow in his steps.
As a writer, we know the importance of self-marketing and it can be overwhelming. By utilizing Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More we can take on this subject with the professional guidance of many authors who have been there, done that, and made it easy for the rest of us.
If you’re an artist–an author, a painter, a musician or an actor–who has chosen to live a creative life, you can’t avoid anxiety. It’s part of the process, inherent in the work you do. Coming to grips with that anxiety can be the difference between working and not working, which can be the difference between a fulfilled life that has meaning and one that is unsatisfying and meaningless.
So Writing Down the Bones isn’t just a guide for writers to write better, it’s a guide for living better and for integrating that life with work that is immensely meaningful. This is a book that will open doors of perception that won’t be closed again when you close the pages.
If you are serious about going the whole hog and self-publishing one, or many books, then you are going to become a publisher and trying to do it without this guide could be a big mistake. The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is one of the most seminal, practical and valuable books on the topic on the market and it belongs on every self-publisher’s shelf.
Although How to Turn our Book Club Into a Spectacular Event is targeted to young adults, there’s no reason your social nine or ten year old couldn’t use it, to create a club for younger readers. It’s a good excuse for a little regular party after all, and as long as your child is reading on par with his or her friends, a chance to work through jointly read books in a fun, structured manner has got to be one of the best learning experiences you’ll ever find.
This is no trivial message. It’s at the heart of a purposeful life, and in a world where nearly all of the media messages that are being bombarded at us are focused on the opposite – consume, scan, move fast from one interest to the next, and live life lightly, this is critically, utterly important. This is a book that should be read by everyone who wants to live their life in a way that is vital and leaves some kind of legacy.