Your Favorite Book on the Craft

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polymath
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by polymath » February 14th, 2012, 9:48 pm

Favorite, the next one on the to-read-when-I-get-the-motherloving-time lists. I'm thinking of looking at some Virgil. Right now, I'm looking at contemporary criticisms of contemporary poets, novelists, and creative nonfiction writers.

The last and dearest favorite was Seymor Chatman's Story and Discourse. Aristotle's Poetics, Percy Lubbock's The Craft of Fiction. Jonh Gardner's The Art of Fiction. E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel. Gustav Freytag's The Technique of the Drama. Noah Lukeman. Phillip Gerard, Phillip Lopate, Vladimir Propp, Joseph Campbell, Bill Roorbach, Donald Maass, C.J. Cherryh, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, even Beckham and Swain, et al, Nancy Kress, poetics commentary and narrative theory, among the legions thereof.
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MattLarkin
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by MattLarkin » February 15th, 2012, 8:17 am

trixie wrote:LOL I knew it! Yes, the workbook might be better than the actual book because it's a hands-on, do it as you go kind of thing.

And I *really* need to get this James Scott Bell book. I know far too many people who recommend it.

*throws secret Maasskateer hand sign*
I really liked Breakout Novel and the workbook. Haven't read Bell's book, either, yet.
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trixie
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by trixie » February 15th, 2012, 10:07 pm

Claudie wrote:trixie: I can bring JS Bell to Vegas if you want to browse it. It'll give you a good idea of how valuable it is. :)
Ohhh! Yes! Would you? That would be great!

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dios4vida
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by dios4vida » February 16th, 2012, 10:49 am

trixie wrote:
Claudie wrote:trixie: I can bring JS Bell to Vegas if you want to browse it. It'll give you a good idea of how valuable it is. :)
Ohhh! Yes! Would you? That would be great!
Can I get a peek, too?! Pretty please? :D
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Falen
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Falen » February 16th, 2012, 4:45 pm

So much love here for so many great books. I'm going to throw in another one - Les Edgerton's Hooked.
LOVE that book. It really changed, for the better, how i handle my beginnings.
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Claudie » February 16th, 2012, 4:53 pm

dios4vida wrote:
trixie wrote:Ohhh! Yes! Would you? That would be great!
Can I get a peek, too?! Pretty please? :D
Sure thing. I guarantee you'll end up wanting more, though. :P
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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polymath
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by polymath » February 16th, 2012, 5:19 pm

What I'd like to read is a comprehensive theory of voice. Some great tidbits I've picked up here and there, most from Seymour Chatman's Story and Discourse. Discourse, of course, is voice in part for the D in SPICED: Setting, Plot, Idea, Character, Event, and Discourse.

Maybe I should write one. Linguistics, semiotics, semnatics, and narrative theory as they apply to voice. What can be taught, what can be learned, what can be developed, what can be invented, what can only be discovered.
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dios4vida
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by dios4vida » February 17th, 2012, 11:07 am

polymath wrote:Maybe I should write one. Linguistics, semiotics, semnatics, and narrative theory as they apply to voice. What can be taught, what can be learned, what can be developed, what can be invented, what can only be discovered.
Well, polymath, if you did write a book like that, I'm sure you'd have Bransforumers lined up by the dozens to buy it! (Myself included.)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Mark.W.Carson » February 17th, 2012, 11:39 am

I recently got Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, and while it has some pretty good info in it (I'm only into the character section), I have found that he loves to be verbose and if he says oeuvre one more time.... or mentions his six core competencies without mentioning the six core competencies I will scream.

I know he knows his stuff, but the book could have been significantly shorter and more to the point. That's not to say the information is not good, it validates some points I found with my characters, and expands on other areas I have to fill in minor gaps for, but it seems to be padded.

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dios4vida
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by dios4vida » February 17th, 2012, 11:52 am

mark54g wrote:I recently got Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, and while it has some pretty good info in it (I'm only into the character section), I have found that he loves to be verbose and if he says oeuvre one more time.... or mentions his six core competencies without mentioning the six core competencies I will scream.

I know he knows his stuff, but the book could have been significantly shorter and more to the point. That's not to say the information is not good, it validates some points I found with my characters, and expands on other areas I have to fill in minor gaps for, but it seems to be padded.
I definitely know what you mean. I almost didn't get through the beginning because he talked and talked without really saying anything of value...but once he got to the actual information, it was priceless. I think his book is a "take the good with the bad" - when I decide to go through it again, I'll be skimming through a lot of it. But the gems he buried in there are absolutely worth the digging. (Especially once you get to the structure section.)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Mark.W.Carson » February 17th, 2012, 12:55 pm

I'm sure it gets better... It has to :)

It almost reads like one of those "How to make a million dollars with my true and tested real estate" approaches. "If you use my simple 8 point approach to flipping properties" but then keeps saying that without mentioning the 8 approaches or what they are...

I am actually taking a small break from writing while I figure out what this book holds for me. I don't want to go through Yet Another Rewrite if I don't have to.

Jaligard
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Jaligard » February 17th, 2012, 2:10 pm

I have two:

A DASH OF STYLE by Noah Lukeman (his THE FIRST FIVE PAGES is also good) and SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Rennie Browne and Dave King. Those two changed my life.

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Falen
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by Falen » February 17th, 2012, 2:48 pm

Jaligard wrote:I have two:

SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Rennie Browne and Dave King. Those two changed my life.
Ooh, i'm reading that right now! Even though i'm not very far into it yet, i've already dog-eared a page to come back to later
"She said she cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short." - Brian Andreas

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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by CandiceR » February 17th, 2012, 4:08 pm

No one has mentioned Betsy Lerner's Forest for the Trees yet? That's a good one. My favourite though - as others have said - is King's On Writing. I often think about his analogy of the story as a fossil you dig up and chip away at (something that's already out their in the ether that you find). It's exactly how I feel about every story I write.

http://candiceabraham.blogspot.com/

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polymath
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Re: Your Favorite Book on the Craft

Post by polymath » February 17th, 2012, 5:05 pm

dios4vida wrote:
polymath wrote:Maybe I should write one. Linguistics, semiotics, semnatics, and narrative theory as they apply to voice. What can be taught, what can be learned, what can be developed, what can be invented, what can only be discovered.
Well, polymath, if you did write a book like that, I'm sure you'd have Bransforumers lined up by the dozens to buy it! (Myself included.)
Maybe a thesis for a PhD, but widely accessible, without the dread pump priming and off-point padding that mark54g locates in Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.

One feature I find in many narrative theory texts — that I understand for their profit motives but unsettles me — is the very topics on point they discuss and recommend are what they flout. Bassackwardly approach the subjects. Do as I say, not as I do. Look, here's what I mean in the inaccessible subtext of the situational irony I cleverly use to persuade you not to do as I do.

There ought to be a law. Be concise and coherent. Be credible. Be relevant. Be timely. Be persuasive.
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