More books on writing

This week I’ve been reading lots and may actually have had a breakthrough on the work-in-progress.

Self-editing for Fiction Writers, Rennie Browne and Dave King. This was a really useful book and the sections on inner monologue, sophistication and voice were illuminating. I think in an effort to avoid expository lumps and explaining dialogue or narrative I’ve also stripped out all the inner monologue. Suddenly breaking the 50,000 word barrier doesn’t seem like such an impossible task.

On Writing, Stephen King. This is part biography and part a discussion on writing. There’s little practical advice (don’t believe the quotes on the back) but what is there is useful. What there is a lot of is inspiration. It’s like a letter of faith to all aspiring writers and should be referred to whenever you’re feeling insecure.

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler. I picked this up as it was recommended to me. While there’s a lot of good stuff in here it does tend to the formulaic. There is lip service to stories other than the ones where the protagonist is a farm boy who becomes a king (metaphorically speaking) and the good guys always win, but that is really the focus of the book. If you like structure and formula, then it’s a winner. Not for me though.

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