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My Thoughts on YOU ARE A WRITER and 250 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WRITING

(This is part of a series of “book reports” I’m doing – recording my thoughts on the books I’m reading as part of a general desire to read more. This will typically be talking about what I liked or didn’t and why I did or didn’t, generally related to thoughts on story-telling. It won’t be a discussion of deeper themes and meanings. Comments are always open to tell me your take. Click here to see all the books I’ve talked about.)

I broke away from novels after Wicked to read two books about writing I picked up at the Kindle Store. I wish I’d been smart enough to write this up closer to when I finished, but I know the gist of what I’d thought at the time so here’s a couple paragraphs about them:

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

You Are A Writer Book CoverThe focus of the book is on the things you should be doing to get your mindset into making a career out of writing. Things like building your platform and the importance of a brand and how to make connections and so on. There wasn’t anything I didn’t really know already and the book wasn’t about the nuts and bolts of story-craft, but it’s all useful knowledge and good for beginner writers (or lapsed writers) ready to make a career out of writing.

It’s also only a sweet $2.99 from Amazon. There’s also a website if you want to check it out.

250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig

250 Things you Should Know About Writing Book CoverThis book is presented as a series of twenty-five  item lists. A couple of the lists at the beginning and then here or there, much like You Are A Writer, were more meta and business minded. What I really liked about this book were the middle chapters that work great for beginners or just as reminder lists. Things like character, plot, dialogue, and so on. I could see myself reading them (or more likely condensing them into short bullets) in between projects as a refresher. What I didn’t like so much were the times he verged far off track into a whole lot of expletive dropping that seemed needless, often diluted the point he was making, and sometimes had me rolling my eyes. Fortunately those instances were low.

The best part of the deal is that the book is only $0.99 on Amazon and well worth it for just that middle content I talked about.