Wednesday, 1 October 2008

New Writer's Handbook Offers Inspiration, Advice

Back in March I did a post on Embracing the Term Midlister, which has been quoted by a couple of sites as sort of a statement of purpose for this blog. Now it has been published in a slightly altered form in The New Writer's Handbook, Volume 2, published by Scarletta Press.

I just got my author's copy in the mail and I have to say I'm very proud to be sharing its pages with the likes of U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Newbery Award winners Shannon Hale and Kirby Larson, and dozens of other successful writers.

The chapters are loosely organized by themes such as Creativity & Motivation, The Craft of Writing, Pitching Your Work, Internet Marketing Skills, Business Savvy, and Last Words & Literary Thoughts. I'm in the final category. I'm not sure how literary my thoughts were, but I always like to get the last word. Most of the contributions are only two to four pages, making them easy, bite-sized bits to read before, during, or after your writing day.

I haven't read all the contributions yet, but I've already learned many things, especially from the Internet Marketing and Business Savvy sections, which I'm weak on. I'd prefer to write all day and leave the business and marketing sides of my career to someone else, but who would that be?

Several key themes run through this book, and they repeat what I've said many times on this blog: you have to put a lot of time and thought into your writing, you have to be a clear-headed critic of your own work, and you have to keep at it. If you only buy one writing book this year (besides the indispensable Writer's Market) you'd have a hard time finding a better book than this one.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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