Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing About Reading About Writing About....

By Art Taylor

Just as research offers a tantalizingly provocative pull—that work before the writing too often keeping us from the writing itself—so too might craft books pose some risk: lulling us into some illusion of productivity because we're immersing ourselves in thinking about craft even if we're not actually crafting anything, right? and we're being exposed to fresh perspectives and new skills, aren't we? and then there are those exercises I finished—like writing five hundred words about a man looking up at a mountain while grieving the loss of his dead brother (without mentioning the man, the mountain, the brother, or the words grief, loss, or death)—those count for something, don't they? (Thanks, John Gardner.)

Actually, while some folks (my wife, for one) might turn their noses up at books about writing, I often find them fascinating, and I firmly believe that my own work has been strongly influenced by what I've learned from a handful of writing craft guides. So I'm pleased to offer not just one but four different suggestions in response to this week's question: "What's your favorite writing craft book of all time?"

Each of the books below have offered me something different and specific:

In other news: Three of your Criminal Minds bloggers—Meredith, Alan, and I—will be participating in the first-ever Washington, DC Noir at the Bar event this Sunday, July 27, 8 p.m. at the Wonderland Ballroom. The full line-up also includes E.A. Aymar, Tom Kaufman, Nik Korpon, Don Lafferty, Tara Laskowski, Michael R. Underwood, and Steve Weddle. Full details here!


Susan C Shea said...

Congratulations for coming up with a different set of books, not easy for Friday's blogger! Sorry I can't jet into Washington but have fun. I loved doing a Noir at the Bar in LA!

Paul D. Marks said...

Hey, Art, some great suggestions. Some I know and some I don't, so it's always good to get turned on to new books on writing. But, of course, so many books, so little time. And isn't great coming at the end of the week? :)