You know I love me some science fiction. This post, over on the tumblr site Vintage Geek Culture, is a great dispelling of the “truths” of the pulp era. Like Chuck Wendig’s post about the “Sacred Cows of Writing Advice” and Dean Wesley Smith’s books on the myths of conventional and indie publishing, it’s great to see critical looks at the way we’ve always believed things to be.
While there is always a core to these “truths,” there’s also an equal number of examples which show there is more to it.
Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have a problem here. I have long been a fan of Terrible Minds, the website/blog of Chuck Wendig. His blogs and books about writing are usually spot on and I have long recommended him to my writing students. Then I read this book. Continue reading
30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a fun, easy to read kick in the pants for aspiring writers. I read it as a possible text for my creative writing class.
The conceit here, especially coming as it does at the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo, is that Wendig, a prolific author and blogger, will guide you through 30 days of writing. It’s a good conceit. It works and I can certainly see how reading a chapter a day at the start of your writing will give you a nice little push for the day’s word count. And Wendig is a fun teacher, the kind you always wish you had in school. He curses, goes off on tangents, and generally doesn’t feed you any bullshit. This is a good thing. There’s not a lot of padding here. reading it straight through took less than an hour. And while none of his advice is particularly new or inventive, it’s presented in a fresh way and he does offer some insight befitting his “I’m a professional, I’ve been doing this for a while” credentials.
What this isn’t, however, is a book for base beginners. He gives solid advice, yes, but with no explanation or tutorial. It’s like trying to learn plumbing without knowing what the wrenches are called. Once you have the basics, this is a wonderful way to push yourself through a month of writing.
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